HEYBURN – Police shot two dogs running loose on Interstate 84 near Heyburn Saturday evening.
It happened at exit 211 just before 6 p.m., according to a news release from the Heyburn Police Department. Officers say traffic was at a complete standstill at this location, and it was causing a safety hazard.
“The speed limit of this section of interstate is 80 miles per hour and traffic cannot stop abruptly,” the news release says.
Police found two large dogs running loose on the interstate, which was causing the backup in traffic. Two people reportedly put their safety at risk by trying to catch the dogs, but they were unsuccessful.
Dogs didn’t respond to officer’s whistles, calls and shouts, either, according to the release.
“The dogs were not in range to use a taser. Recognizing traffic was heavy for Memorial Day, and in fear for the motoring public with great potential of a rear end collisions at 80 mph, the officers made the decision to shoot the dogs at 6:03 p.m. Each dog was shot once and removed from the roadway. Neither dog had tags,” according to the news release.
Stephanie Carsner is one of the people who was allegedly trying to catch the dogs. She posted a widely shared video on Facebook detailing what happened seconds before the shooting. She claims to work for an animal rescue shelter and says Idaho State Police had given her permission to come and rescue the dogs. The dogs were thirsty and “not at all aggressive,” she writes.
She explains they “almost had the dogs in hand” when an officer approached and asked if the dogs were hers.
“(He) told me I should be at home, then told me he was going to shoot them. I screamed (sic) no he isn’t because I’m there as a rescue & myself & DOZENS of others almost had the dogs in hand,” Carsner writes.
Carsner says the officer jumped into his vehicle. He and other law enforcement officials trailed behind him and shot the dogs on sight.
Carsner is heard in the video yelling at the officer as he is seen motioning them to drive on. Strong language is heard throughout, which is why we haven’t included it. But you can watch it here.
One of the dogs was killed, but the other was left alive and suffering, she writes on Facebook. Carsner says shooting the dogs was unnecessary and calls it a case of animal cruelty. She is calling for the officer’s dismissal.
Carsner has not responded to a request for comment.
Heyburn Police reference Carsner’s Facebook post and video in the news release. Stopping on the interstate “highlights the potential safety risks these dogs were presenting to the public,” the department says. “These circumstances are not easy for first responders or the public.”
“It is vital to note, the above information is based on a preliminary and ongoing investigation. The understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed by investigators,” police say.
Carsner says the information presented about the incident in the news release is a complete lie, and she wants “justice for these fur babies.”
EastIdahoNews.com will update this story if Carsner responds.