A family is demanding $200,000 in damages after their dog, Grizzly, was shot and killed by a San Diego police officer.
Four complaints were also filed with SDPD Internal Affairs against the officers connected to the case.
When officers went knocking after midnight Feb. 22 at the Fuentes home, the family said police ignored two things — the "Beware of Dog" signs posted on the fence and their better judgment.
Owner Alfredo Fuentes said Grizzly was shot three times by SDPD Officer Robert Meiselmen.
"Grizzly was a member of our family and he's very special to us," said Alfredo Fuentes Sr.
Fuentes said he and and his wife were jolted awake by the knocking, then gunshots. It took 40 minutes for the 7-year-old husky-pit bull mix to bleed to death, the family said.
"Our family has been very hurt and very sad. Myself, I have had problems at night," Fuentes said.
The officer wasn't responding to a call for help, but rather canvassing the neighborhood for information about an assault and stolen car case.
"He had a Taser. He had pepper spray and he had a gun. He pulled his gun and repeatedly shot this dog," said family friend and advocate Sundi Sage.
San Diego police called animal control but help did not come, Sage said. A police lieutenant later apologized to the dog owners.
"An apology is not acceptable. They killed a family member and you apologize: 'Oops sorry, we shot your dog three times,'" Sage said.
Sage helped the family file the formal complaints.
The Fuentes are demanding $200,000 for their grief.
They intend to use it to cover whatever costs they might incur convincing the state legislature to create a law that holds police accountable for killing pets.
"The family has no interest in money. They just want justice. They want to make sure this does not happen to another animal another family," Sage said.
In an email response to an NBC 7 San Diego interview request, an SDPD spokesperson wrote, "It would be inappropriate to comment on this claim while it is still under investigation."