Animal lovers stage protest over shooting of dog by Passaic police

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NEW BRUNSWICK -

Protesters from five different animal rights groups descended on the NJSPCA headquarters in New Brunswick Tuesday night to get express their outrage over a dog shot and killed by a police officer.

The demonstrators came so they could speak at an NJSPCA meeting that was scheduled and were dismayed to find out that the meeting had been canceled. There was no explanation why it was canceled. A training session with agents was held instead.

"We got word that the meeting was canceled last minute and now all of a sudden there's a training class,” says Deana Spinelli, with the organization Husky House.

Some of the demonstrators tell News 12 New Jersey that they believe the meeting was canceled because NJSPCA officials caught wind of the protest.

The demonstrators are angry about the fatal shooting of a dog named Wildfire. The dog was shot and killed by a Passaic police officer after she got loose form her owner’s yard and began fighting with other dogs in the neighborhood. The incident was caught on the officer’s body camera.

RELATED: Passaic officer shoots, kills Bergen County animal control officer’s dog

Wildfire was a pit bull-bulldog mix. She belonged to John Timmins, a Bergen County animal control officer. Timmins wants animal cruelty charges filed because Wildfire was lying down when she was shot. 

The Clifton Animal Control officer seen in the police officers’ video also did not attempt to put the dog on a leash. He is also heard telling the officer to use deadly force.

“It's like a suspect running with a gun. He shot at people, he wounded them,” the animal control officer can be heard saying.

"We are also concerned with how officers are trained to handle situations. What has happened to Wildfire is completely uncalled for, says Carla Mohan, with New York Bully Crew.

Timmins has petitioned the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office to take up the case and file cruelty charges. Protestors say that they want the NJSPCA TO step in and hand out punishment.

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