A six-member jury will hear opening statements today in the case of a dog shot by a Frederick County Sheriff's Office deputy in 2010.
Taneytown, Md., residents Roger and Sandi Jenkins claim their constitutional rights were violated when Deputy First Class Timothy Brooks shot their Chocolate Labrador, Brandi, outside their home in the 16800 block of Bullfrog Road on Jan. 9, 2010.
They also maintain that Brooks and Deputy First Class Nathan Rector entered their home without a warrant or their permission after the shooting, in an attempt to locate their son and serve him a civil warrant.
According to the complaint filed by the plaintiffs' attorney, Cary Hansel, the dog was not acting aggressively toward or even facing Brooks when he shot her. The dog suffered injuries to the back of her shoulder that required surgery. The Jenkinses turned down a $2,500 settlement offer to cover her veterinary bills.
Brooks said in his report that the dog was approaching him aggressively, and that Roger Jenkins made no attempt to restrain or control the dog. Jenkins claims he was trying to bring the dog inside the home when she was shot.
The Jenkins' attorneys have not specified the amount of compensatory, punitive and emotional damages they are seeking.
"We're going to leave it up to the jury to decide that," said Rebekah Lusk, one of the Jenkins' lawyers. "We're not going to put a number on constitutional violations."
The Jenkinses are also seeking noneconomic damages related to the training of deputies in how to deal with animals, as well as on policies regarding searches.
The trial is expected to last seven days.