WYCKOFF, N.J. — More than $7,785 had been raised as of Wednesday afternoon from a GoFundMe page for a civil suit that a Wyckoff family said it plans to file against local police for shooting and killing their dog while investigating a burglary last year.
Although Officer Kyle Ferreira was exonerated in the April 2015 incident, the owners of Otto the German Shepard were collecting money because "the costs of the emergency veterinary care are already significant, and securing proper legal aid is going to require its own costs," the page says.
“Though the Vukobratovic's are determined to seek damages, there is no guarantee they will be compensated for their losses for quite some time,” it adds. “This fundraiser is a means to help this grieving family with the stresses of pursuing this to the furthest extent.”
The incident occurred after Ferreira went to a Lawlins Road home to investigate a burglary report while the homeowner was at headquarters reporting a break-in, authorities said at the time.
With no cars in the driveway, nobody answering and signs of a possible break-in, he un-holstered his service weapon, they said.
Moments later, “a full-grown German Shepherd jumped of the window and charged at the officer in an aggressive manner,” Police Chief Benjamin Fox said at the time.
Ferreira then “began running towards the gate that he entered in an effort to escape,” Fox added. "Near the edge of the patio area that he had been standing on, the dog bit him on his right boot[,] latching on to him.
“Officer Ferreira stated that he believes that the dog let him go after the first shot but it continued to come at him,” Fox wrote. “He stopped firing after the dog turned and went back towards the house."
Otto limped toward the house, leaving a trail of blood behind him, before being taken to the Oradell Animal Hospital, where he later died, the GoFundMe page says.