EL RENO, Okla.-- An uproar in El Reno.
A dog owner claims a city animal control officer sprayed her dogs with pepper spray, while they were inside her yard.
The city sent out a statement, saying that after an investigation into her claims, they believe the officer did nothing wrong.
Serenity Hicks says she was gone when her neighbor saw her dog outside of her fence, but when hicks got home, checked her surveillance video, she was shocked.
“The animal control officer walking up right here and apparently spraying the dogs,” said Hicks.
Hicks says both of her dogs were whining and rolling around in the grass when she got home. She also had a letter from animal control on her door.
“It states that two pit-bulls were out, running at large, barking, no license to servants,” said Hicks.
After washing the dogs face and eyes-- she checked the surveillance camera that's in the back of her home.
In the video, you can see the animal control officer walk up the fence towards the dogs with something in hand.
Hicks says by that point the dog that got out somehow was back in the yard.
“It`s pretty frustrating,” said Hicks. “I just don`t understand how someone could be so cruel to animals and work for the city.”
Hicks neighbor, Jacquelyn Hood was the one who called animal control in the first place.
She says she only saw one dog out, not two like the note from animal control says.
“It made me really upset because it felt like they were saying I was lying like I was lying on my name because I never called and said there were 2 dogs out,’ said Hood.
In a statement the City of El Reno released, following an investigation saying:
“On 12/18/2018 Acting City Manager Matt White received a complaint from a pet owner along with a short video. The owner reported her two dogs were “pepper sprayed” while inside of their fenced yard in the 900 block of W. Woodson by an Animal Control Officer. Mr. White directed an internal investigation based on the complaint and initial video recording.
Internal Affairs Investigators were assigned to follow-up on the owner’s complaint. Investigators reviewed the supplied video recording as well as interviewed neighbors, witnesses, photographed the reported fence section as well as interviewed the Animal Control Officer.
The investigation determined that the animal control officer was dispatched to a report of two pit bull dogs out in the area of 900 W. Woodson on 12/17/2018. Further, the Animal Control Officer did not use pepper spray on the two dogs while inside of their fenced yard. The pepper spray was used by the Officer when the animals approached him in an aggressive manner while responding to the report of the animals running loose in the neighboring yards and street.
The video supplied by the owner appeared to support the owner’s report. Upon further review of the video with “still shots”, it was obvious the officer did display the “pepper spray can” at the two dogs while they were inside of the fence to keep them inside of the yard as he attempted to make contact with the owners. The video also showed the spray was not discharged as the spray safety mechanism was not disengaged. Additionally, the dye bonding agent of the pepper stray was not present on any of the fencing material where the alleged act occurred.
As a result of the investigation, no further action was taken with regard to the video. The Police Department is reviewing current policy and practice as well as exploring additional resource when dealing with similar calls for service. “
Hicks believes otherwise. She and hooks are now calling on the city to do another investigation.
“I’d like for them to take a look at it again,” said Hicks.
“'I’ve tried to contact the city in regard to the statement on the part that I`ve already stated is already not true in my opinion and I just hope they get back to me so we can figure all of this out,’ said Hood.