COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Springs plumber in jail for animal cruelty was recorded killing his neighbor's pit bull during a 911 call he made minutes before.
It happened in February of 2012 on Vondelpark Place in the Holland Park neighborhood. A clearly frustrated Blake Pfeifer says the pit bull has been in his yard all day and knocked down his fiancee.
"I've called the Humane Society-- OK, alright I'm going to shoot it right now," said Pfeifer.
"No, no, wait ,wait, wait," said the operator.
"It's got a hold of my leg!" Pfeifer said.
The operator tells him she's sending police, but doesn't know when an officer might arrive. The operator asks if Pfeifer can go inside away from the pit bull, but he says he can't get away and that the dog is humping his leg. Pfeifer says he doesn't need medical attention "at this point, but I might."
Almost two and a half minutes into the call, Pfeifer says he's had it and fires his gun. The dog can be heard whimpering.
"I did not want to do this. Damn it, I'm putting it down," Pfeifer said before he fires another shot. "I had to shoot it! I had no choice."
The pit bull, Prime, belonged to Pfeifer's teenage neighbor, Aaron Pyne.
"He was really puppy-like, always wagging his tail and really happy," said Pyne, who said his dog was never vicious, but occasionally got out into the neighborhood.
Arrest records show Pfeifer had called the Humane Society to complain about the dog being in his yard several times in the past and at least twice the day he shot the animal. That day, a neighbor corroborated that Prime had been at Pfeifer's home for hours.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region said it had impounded Prime once before and given Pyne a $50 citation.
Joe Stafford, the Humane Society director of animal law enforcement, said the organization got close to 60,000 calls for service last year and has to prioritize.
"That description that (Pfeifer) gave was not one of a dog that was attacking him or causing him or potentially causing him danger or damage," said Stafford. "At that time, it was considered a dog running at large. It wasn't considered an emergency call. It was prioritized appropriately."
Stafford said, at most, the Humane Society has five officers on the road to cover an area from Monument Hill to the Pueblo Co. line, and from Teller Co. to Marksheffel Road in El Paso Co.
"We prioritize calls with our first priority being emergencies," Stafford said. "That would be an aggressive dog call, a dog that was out charging at someone acting aggressively, or a dog that was hit by a car."
He said the average response time for emergency calls is 16 minutes.
After shooting Prime, Pfeifer stayed on the phone with the 911 operator for several more minutes.
"I've made this threat several times, but it's a threat I never ever wanted to follow up on," he said. "I wanted someone to do something about the owners of this dog."
Pfeifer went on to say: "The Humane Society said, 'You'll go to jail if you shoot the dog.' And I said, 'I'll take my chances.'"
Pfeifer has been held without bond since he was convicted for aggravated animal cruelty in early February 2013. He will be sentenced on April 4. KRDO Newschannel 13 asked Pfeifer's mother if he would be willing to do an interview from jail. She said her son might talk once he's released.