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The Globe and Mail

Owner of dog killed by OPP upset about secrecy of investigation

The OPP coat of arms, in Toronto, Sunday December 1, 2013.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

The owner of an elderly dog who was run over twice by police, then shot to death, remains in the dark about an incident that sparked nearly 90 official complaints and resulted in an investigation by officials who may never publicly reveal its findings.

Karen Sutherland's 21-year-old deaf dog, Merrick, got out of her backyard in Collingwood, Ont., during a storm in mid-October and ended up wandering around the neighbourhood.

Neighbours a few streets over thought the dog was a coyote that was acting "in a daze" and they eventually called police.

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An officer showed up around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. Video of the incident captured by a neighbour shows him running over the dog twice with his cruiser before getting out and shooting the dog to death, which police later admitted was a dog and not a coyote.

Sutherland says she was only interviewed once by Ontario Provincial Police, who told her they were conducting an internal investigation.

OPP refuse to discuss details of that investigation, but said the case was initially handled by its internal professional standards bureau before they handed the investigation over to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. That office also refused to discuss the case, adding details would only become public if the police officer's actions were deemed "serious."

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