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Hundreds of people gathered in the streets of Salt Lake City to protest what they called an unnecessary shooting by police, and demanding immediate justice for the victim—a 110-pound dog named “Geist.”

The gray dog was in the backyard, secured behind a fence, when he was killed by a police officer searching for a missing boy. Police said dog was shot when he rose in an “aggressive manner” as officer entered dog's fenced-in area. The boy soon after was found at home asleep.

Many dog owners brought their pets and waved signs: “Shoo not Shoot,” “Man’s best friend should not be gunned down,” and “My pets are my family.”

“It’s overwhelming, the support of the community,” said Geist’s owner, Sean Kendall.

Kendall said the officer who shot his dog should be fired.

“I believe this officer made a terrible judgment call,” Kendall said. “In my profession, if I make a terrible judgment I’m fired. “

Protesters had much to say about Police Chief Chris Burbank when he commented at a news conference.

“In this particular circumstance, evidence shows that the dog was extremely close, in fact, within feet of the officer,” he said. “After 23 years in law enforcement, I haven’t seen this type of public outcry when certain human beings” were shot by police, Burbank said.

Kendall released a video on YouTube showing a confrontation with police outside his home.

“We entered the yard looking for a lost child,” Sgt. Joseph Cyr says. "He was threatened by the dog and shot the dog. That’s as simple as it gets.”

“So I get to bury my dog because an officer couldn’t back up and close the f--king gate,” Kendall says.

Lethal incidents by police around the country has increased dramatically in recent years. Police killed an unarmed homeless man by shooting him multiple times in the back when he tried to walk away.

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