If you read this blog regularly, odds are you are already familiar with the tragic story of Autumn Mae Steele. Autumn was killed by Burlington Iowa police officer Jesse Hill; Hill opened fire in an attempt to kill the Steele family dog, Sammy. Hill opened fire as Sammy leapt onto him; as a result, Hill did not have control over his weapon. One of his shots hit Sammy, wounding him. The other shot hit Autumn. At the time of the shooting, Autumn's four-year-old son was right next to her, along with her husband. The bullets could have easily struck anyone at the scene.

Autumn Mae Steele's dog Sammy, before being shot by Burlington Iowa police officer Jesse Hill


After the shooting, the police seized Sammy the dog and have refused to allow the Steele family to see him. Burlington Iowa's Animal Hearing Board has scheduled a review this month to determine Sammy's fate. Burlington PD Major Dennis Kramer oversees the entire Animal Control Office. Legally declaring Sammy is a "dangerous dog" could legitimize Jesse Hill's negligent use of his weapon in the face of a non-lethal threat and mere feet from an infant.

In a desperate attempt to bring Sammy home, the Steele family has started a petition on Change.Org. The petition would go a long way toward showing the Burlington Police Department and Animal Control Office that they are not operating in secret, and that they have taken enough from the Steele family.