A crowd gathered at the Crown Point Square Sunday night to remember Atka and Kenai, the two huskies who were shot by Crown Point police on Wednesday. The dogs owners, Brad Nitz and Lindsay Schild, sat among the crowd holding candles during the vigil. Brad comforted Lindsay as she wept. Most of the attendees said they learned about the event through social media including Facebook.
Kara Michalic, Lindsay Schild’s sister, organized the event with help from and Sherri Christopher, of Guardians of the Green Mile Rescue. Christopher told the Gazette that she would like to see a lethal force matrix for animals similar to that which is used on people. “I have never heard of a postal working shooting an animal” Christopher explained. Christopher explained that she would like to see a lethal force protocol implemented by police agencies in Indiana. She explained that she has personally felt threatened in her own home recently when police came to serve civil papers on her neighbor. The call for police training was the most popular theme of the night as attendees spoke.
Catherine Osborne, a licensed therapist who often works with grieving pet owners, brought her therapy dog Phoebe to the event. Osborne runs a rescue and training organization called Black Dogs for Good, Inc. Also attending the event were individuals from CPR Fund Rescue.
The Northwest Indiana Gazette spoke with Assistant Police Chief Janda on Thursday and he confirmed that the dogs had been shot by Crown Point Police after the property owner called police reporting that her cat was being attacked by “wolves or coyotes.” The woman later called back to report that her husband was being attacked also. The police report paints a picture of calm animals and a frantic homeowner who directed police on at least two occasions to shoot the dogs. The cat was reportedly treated for injuries. The homeowner reported no injuries and police were not injured.
The area where the animals were shot is a residential area situated between a bike trail and little league park. Lake County Animal Control were not called to the scene, though they are approximately one mile away.