Sheriff’s deputies shoot business-owners’ dog outside Atascadero dry cleaners
Deputies reportedly assumed a robbery could be taking place
–On June 15, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office deputies were on patrol and traveling in the 7800 block of El Camino Real in Atascadero when they observed a business with the front door open and the lights off. There was a vehicle parked in front of the business with the trunk open with a man pushing a laundry cart walking toward the vehicle.
The deputies exited their vehicle to investigate. They reportedly identified themselves as sheriff’s deputies when two pit bull dogs ran from the business toward the deputies, according to the sheriff’s office. One of the deputies, fearing the dog was about to attack him, fired three rounds at the animal, striking the dog.
The dog was transported to a local veterinarian and survived its injuries, which were deemed non-life-threatening. The dog was released after treatment to the owner that day.
Reports identify the man as Junior Gonzales, whose family owns Fashion Dry Cleaning & Laundry at 7800 El Camino Real. He said he had just returned from a trip out of town before midnight on Monday when the incident occurred. Gonzales’s wife was also detained and handcuffed by an Atascadero police officer, reports say.
The sheriff’s office says they have been in contact with the owner of the animals and worked with him and the veterinarian and has offered to pay for all the vet bills related to this incident.
“It is always unfortunate when an animal is harmed,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a press release. “The sheriff’s office has initiated an investigation into the circumstances of this incident. And it will be followed up with an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Unit. No further information is available at this time.”