Houston homeowners Aisling and Wes Jones’ beloved pet was suddenly shot dead at their home last month. Boss was an eight-year-old, 54-pound Boxer dog that the couple had had in their family since Boss was just six weeks old. Like many others who raise and love their pets, Boss was like “their very own child” and is deeply missed. Free Press Houston spoke with Aisling about the details of the events that lead up to Boss’s untimely demise – one that she and her family consider to be a horrific tragedy.
According to Aisling, on the day of the incident, which occurred last month, she and her husband, along with Boss, sat inside their home with their windows cracked and front door open, enjoying the fresh air.
With no warning, Aisling heard two hasty knocks on her front door followed almost immediately by the sound of guns firing. According to Aisling, Boss ran to the front door at the sound of the knocks, and was shot multiple times by HPD officers standing in their front yard. Once outside, the dog continued running to the side of the house to where Aisling calls his “safe spot” – a hiding spot where Boss kept his toys and balls. The officers continued to shoot at the dog who, as Aisling described, was running away from the cops, not towards them.
Wes sprinted out the door following Boss to the side of the house where he found the dog laying in a growing pool of his own blood. The officers allegedly continued to shoot at the dog while Wes was outside of the house, and still had their guns drawn as Aisling came out after him.
Appalled and confused, Aisling and Wes asked the officers what was happening. Aisling said she was shocked when the cops stated simply, with no emotion or remorse, that there was nothing they could do about it, and that help was on the way. It turns out the “help” that was coming was their supervisor, and that his purpose there was only to reiterate that there was nothing HPD could do. Aisling said at one point there were seven officers in her front yard, and not one of them expressed sorrow for her loss.
In an effort to try to save Boss, Aisling said she took off her sweatshirt and wrapped it around Boss’s gunshot wounds and they headed to the vet. Based on the amount of blood that he had already lost, she knew there wasn’t much hope, but she rushed him to the closest 24-hour clinic, where Boss was announced dead upon arrival. Afterwards, Aisling sent his body to the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory to receive a necropsy. The final report stated that Boss died of “exsanguination,” or blood loss, after being shot “three to four times while he ran away” from the officers.
The police sergeant was still at her house when Aisling returned home from the vet. She noticed that the cops had, by that time, picked up most of the gun shells and bullet casings, only missing a few. The cops had taken no pictures (coincidence?) but Wes managed to snap a few photos of the blood pools around the yard and the blood spots in the house. Aisling said neither she nor her husband walked inside the house after Boss had been shot, leading them to speculate that the first shots were fired while the dog was still inside their house.
The HPD officers filed their report concerning the incident and the next day another cop from a different division came to the Joneses’ home to speak to them. Aisling said their stories did not match up. The police report stated that Boss was a large, aggressive dog foaming at the mouth. According to Aisling, Boss definitely did not fit that description– as he was only 54 pounds and the average weight for a male boxer is 60-70 pounds– ranking Boss in the below average weight category. She also stated that he was not foaming at the mouth.
The Joneses sought legal counsel and were instructed by an attorney to open an investigation with Internal Affairs, which is exactly what they did. Just recently the case was closed. The findings concluded that the shooting was justified, and it was determined that the HPD officers involved were not in the wrong. Aisling says she is shocked and devastated because she believes it is not justified.
So, exactly why did HPD come out to their house in the first place? Wes and Aisling’s next-door neighbor– who owns a pit bull that Aisling says barks constantly– called the cops to come out to the Joneses house. Allegedly, over time, and still currently, there have been many complaints by old and new neighbors, concerning the incessant barking of their neighbor’s dog. Aisling stated that she and other neighbors had called 911 and 311 several times over the course of the past few months in regards to the barking dog with no resolution. Nothing ever seemed to stop their neighbor’s dog from barking, so Wes sprayed the pit bull with water from a water hose in hopes that it would help stop the barking. In response, the owner of the pit bull called the cops on Wes– citing animal cruelty against her own pit bull– so HPD came out to the Joneses’ house. The reason that the cops were called out to their house had nothing to do with their dog, Boss– they were called there to talk to Wes – so why the cops shot the Joneses’ dog is a question that may never be answered.