Ciroc and Rocko have a long road to recovery, but they have thousands of strangers rooting for them.
They are the dogs who were shot by a Minneapolis police officer during a burglary call Saturday night – an incident that was caught on a home security camera and shared on Facebook, where it quickly gained attention from people all over the country wanting to help.
And help they did, as donations trickled steadily into a GoFundMe set up for the two dogs. In just one day, the fundraiser has far surpassed its original $8,000 goal and is above $20,000 as of Monday afternoon. Many people donating are also sharing photos of their dogs with messages of support.
The dogs' owner, Jennifer LeMay, shared her gratitude in a Facebook update, thanking everyone for their kind words, encouragement, and understanding for her family's tragedy.
"Without all of ya'll I honestly don't know how any of this would be possible," she wrote Sunday night.
Both Rocko and Ciroc – two American Staffordshire Terriers trained as service animals to LeMays' two children – are home recovering. The donations will be used to cover the dogs' medical bills, which are quickly adding up.
Rocko has multiple bullet wounds, but Ciroc will require the most expensive treatment – he took a bullet to the face and needs surgery to fix a fractured jaw. LeMay says the surgery alone is expected to cost up to $7,000.
Posted by Jennifer LeMay on Monday, July 10, 2017
The police chief responds
Minneapolis Chief of Police Janeé Harteau has released a statement about the shooting.
"I've watched the video, and as someone whose family has included dogs most of my life, I can say that it was difficult to watch. This was an outcome that no one wanted," the post reads.
Harteau said she's asked Internal Affairs to review the video to determine whether the officer's use of force was necessary, and that the department has reached out to the family to help with the vet bills.
She also said the department will get more training on how to deal with dogs.
"To help us prevent similar outcomes in the future, we will be implementing updating mandatory training specifically for officers identifying effective tools and tactical strategies with police and dog encounters. We want both our officers and all our community members to be safe," she said.
Video sparks public outrage
The police were at LeMay's home in north Minneapolis Saturday night, because her daughter had accidentally set off the family's home security system.
The alarm was quickly turned off by the security company, but two officers arrived at the home. LeMay says one climbed her 9-foot privacy fence and shot the dogs. Her video of the shooting has been viewed more than 300,000 times as of Monday.
Most people commenting on the video are outraged because it appears the dogs weren't displaying any aggressive behavior.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Police Department hasn't given any updates since a statement posted Sunday night, which said the incident was being investigated.
But according a police incident report obtained by the Star Tribune, the department claims the dogs "charged at the officer."
LeMay says the video shows they didn't, and that she plans to take legal action.
"Yes we will be obtaining an attorney and we are pressing for justice to be served. But right now will take the back burner to the primary focus of what is truly at stake...the health and the well-being of our boys," she wrote on GoFundMe.