© Gabrielle Stropaki
A pet dog was shot dead in front of its owner and her two-year-old son by a police officer in Boise, Idaho.

Owner Gabrielle Stropaki and her son Hayden loved the dog, named Kita, dearly and are heartbroken that she was killed. Police say that they were responding to a report of theft in the neighborhood when the dog ran up to them. They say they felt threatened.

"In about five seconds he pulled his weapon, asked whose dog it was, and shot her in the back of the head," said Stropaki.

Neighbors who witnessed the incident also claimed that the dog gave a couple of barks at the officer, but that the dog wasn't trying to attack him. Stropaki maintains that she had let the dog out of the house to go to the bathroom without a leash and that she was watching him, along with her 2-year-old son. She says that her son witnessed the shooting as well.

Now the family is outraged and says that the officer acted irrationally.

"By the time I came out she was down, I ran over and looked back and said you just shot her," said Stropaki's mother Michelle Pierott. "Kita wouldn't have attacked."

In a statement released by the Boise Police Department, authorities are still claiming, however, that the officers felt their lives were being threatened and that the dog would bite them.

"Officers never want to harm an animal," reads the statement. "The dog came upon the officers quickly and they felt it was about to bite them. This is a very dog friendly community. Many officers have dogs. We work with dogs. Dogs running loose are a safety risk, for people and for the dogs. This was a very unfortunate situation for everyone involved."

The incident is currently under investigation.