Dog Gone Shame: Woman Says Cop Shot Her Beloved Pet for No Reason

jade2.JPG
Jade seated with one of Alvarez's three adopted children.
Billie Alvarez was on her back patio eating breakfast the morning of Friday, April 16, when a man dressed in all black jumped out from behind a tree. Her dog, Jade, a two-year-old terrier mix, woke up from a nap and sauntered over to the man.

"Her tail was wagging and she was smiling at him," recounts Alvarez, who says the man soon identified himself as a cop with the north St. Louis County suburb of Bellefontaine Neighbors. He said he was investigating a report of a vicious dog on the loose.  

"I tried to tell him that Jade had never bit a soul and that she wasn't violent, but he didn't give me a chance," says Alvarez. "He drew his gun, and said, 'I have to shoot her. I have to shoot her.'"

Within seconds Alvarez says the officer squeezed the trigger dispensing a round from his department issued .40 caliber Glock right between Jade's eyes. The bullet exited though the canine's neck.

"I couldn't believe it," continues Alvarez, who says she attempted to grab Jade moments before the shooting but fell to the ground when her newly reconstructed knees buckled. "I had knee replacement surgery in January. I was lying on the ground wailing, and he just shot her. Just like that. My seven-year-old daughter was home sick that day and came running out to see her dog dying in the backyard. That dog was her baby -- and mine."

Alvarez admits that Jade looked similar to a pit bull, but said the dog was not such breed. "She was trained as a service animal," she says.

alvarez_house.JPG
The Alvarez house (depicted with marker) sits at the end of a cul-de-sac. Billie Alvarez says the officer jumped out from behind the pine tree (circled) dividing her property from the neighbor's.
Following the shooting, the 57-year-old Alvarez called her husband who rushed home from work and took Jade -- still clinging to life -- to the veterinarian where the dog was euthanized. Meanwhile, Alvarez says other officers with the Bellefontaine Neighbors police force arrived on the scene, with a few of them offering condolences. 

Still, more than two weeks later, Alvarez says she's never gotten an official apology from the department, moreover she says they've failed to fully investigate the incident. "I went to the station and they said the investigation was closed, the officer was justified. They'd never even asked me my side of the story."

Bellefontaine Neighbors police chief Robert Pruett calls the shooting an "unfortunate incident."

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64 comments
Kayte
Kayte

my 2 year old pitbul was was shot twice by police officers. she had gotten out when we werent home. our neighbor called the cops and said she was trying to attack the kids that were in the street. my neighbor is a d***, but i will tell u about that later. they said that she was biting the bumper of the police car when they got to my house. so they tased her and only one of the things stuck to her so it didnt take her down. they then beat her in the head repeatedly with their flashlight and then she tried to go after him. they shot her once in the face , and once in the neck. Right in front of my other dog. and they drug her across my yard and left her by the side of the house, in the snow. they didnt cover her up or anything. and they left a police card in our door. when we got home the card was on the ground and we saw our dog dead in our yard. an officer should have waited til we got home so they could explain what happened. but all of the cops stories arent matching. what do u expect from a dog when u are coming on to their territory coming at her with guns and everything else. my first instinct would be to bite their ass too. the cops didnt apologize, didnt show any remorse or sympathy for what they have done. she didnt even bite anyone and they still killed her. she is the nicest dog i have ever owned. she only looked mean because she was a pitbull and her ears were cropped. i loved Roxanne like she was my daughter. i will never forgive them for what they have done. losing her is the hardest thing i have ever went through. it has only been a week and all i do is think about her. it still doesnt seem real. and i cry everytime my daughter says "Where's Roxy?"the whole thing with my neighbor... he lives right next to me and his fence seperates his yard from mine. he also has a partial privacy fence at the side of the back yard. when my dogs are outside on their tie-out cable he throws firecrackers at them making them bark. and when they start barking, he then shoots them with BB guns. i have called the police several times over this and they havent done anything. they said i didnt have proof. apparently taking her to vet to get them removed isnt proof enough. i can see in his yard from my kitchen window. i heard the firecracker go off and she started barking. i stared out the window and saw him aim his gun over his fence and into my yard. and when he saw me he turned around and went inside.but no one will do anything. all of the cops like him because he snitches on everyone for everything so he wont get in trouble for anything. when the officer came here he told me ' well if i was your neighbor, i would be doing more than just shooting it with a bb gun." a cop shouldnt say stuff like that. and of course he didnt get in trouble for that. police are the ones your supposed to rely on for help, but the ones in parke county indiana are all crook-ed as hell. i have lost every ounce of respect for police officers around here. no one in this town likes them or my neighbor, because he is a Bas****. everyone in this town knows my two dogs and that they wouldnt hurt anyone unless they were provoked to do so. thats basic instinct. if my three year old daughter can play with her and get rough with her and she doesnt try to hurt her, that shows that she isnt mean. everyone loved my dogs they always came over when they were outside and they would pet them, its just my stupid effing neighbor. hes gonna get what he deserves. karma is a b****. well thats my story. thanks for reading

he also was bragging the next day about calling the cops and watching her die. my husband heard him say it as he was walking down the road. and they started arguing about it. and of course, my neighbor being the cop caller that he is. marched his fat butt in his house and called the cops. he said the my husband was threatening to kill him..im sorry but he is the only person i can say that i honestly hate with a passion. how could someone honestly live with themselves being that messed up in the head to get off by seeing an animal murdered in its own yard.

brandon
brandon

i know how these people feall had a cop cum n my yard and shoot my dog?my best friend cuz he was a pibull he said it tryed 2 bite him but that was a bunch of bs my dog was very loveing and never tried 2 bite no one u can ask anyone who new death 2 the fucking pigs who thank thay can shoot r dogs 4 no reason dont thay reall lize there like r kids i love u rebel rip boy

xman
xman

hey st john your probebly a fucken bad cop and i hope some one kills every thing you love then cripples your cop fagget ass and fucks you in the neck you punk bitch mother fucker im just sorry it wont be me because you probebly wont give me your address so i can skull fuck and i aint playen it makes me hard thinking about givin you a labotomy with my dick you fucken cunt i make you my skull bitch

BN Resident
BN Resident

My heart goes out to this family and I pray they get justice. This doesn't surprise me. The Bellefontaine Neighbors police are a bunch of morons. Its no wonder we have so much crime in the area. Instead of going after the "bad guys", they bully innocent residents. That so-called officer should be fired and prosecuted! I look forward to the day when I leave this neighborhood. It has a corrupt police department. I hope this family continues to fight for justice!

sidhartha
sidhartha

I have my pet cobra sitting on my back porch when I eat breakfast too. I couldn't imagine a officer of the law having the audacity to protect himself from my cobra. So what if it's poisonous, if it comes at you, you let it bite and shut your face. How dare you defend yourself against an animal that you've never encountered. You should have just taken a woman's opinion on the personality of her dog. Animals are not unpredictable, you never hear of a animal hurting anyone, or snapping and mauling someone. It's unheard of. She should be lucky all you shot was the dog.

Billy
Billy

Mr Beal: Were you there? Nope, I'm pretty sure you weren't. Neither was I, but the difference is that I know the officer involved personally. I know him to be one of the most honest, hard working Policeman around. He and I spoke of this incident long before it became public. He felt bad about having to shoot the pit bull, but the fact remains is that this dog (which is the subject of why he was there in the first place) charged him, placing him in fear of being injured or worse. He told the owner several times to get her dog, but she stood by and did nothing. All the talk about this dog being a "service dog" is really silly. Only certain dogs have the temperament to be "service dogs" and "terrier mixes" (aka pit bulls) are most definitely not one of them. Service dogs under go months, if not years of obedience training. I can see that this dog was friendly to it's owner and her family, but the owner had a history of letting this dog run loose, which is why the Police were called in the first place. When the Police are investigating anything, they can go anywhere necessary to investigate, so he had every right to be on her property.

OMG
OMG

WTF!!!!!!!!!!! OFFICERS THESE DAYS ARE SO DUMB I BET THEY THINK THEY CAN SHOOT THE PRESIDENTS DOG TOO. WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP THE DOG WAS CHARGEING. HE MUST HAVE JUST GOTTEN OUT FROM THE FUNNYHOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Beal
Mr. Beal

Hey Billy,If it's alledged or true its not unjustly damaging a person's reputation.

Mara
Mara

Hey did anyone see the story tonight on chanel 4? A little girl was mauled by her neighbors dog ( a pitbull) so very sad she has had a couple surgerys already and will need more. I thank you officer Wills- that could have been my child!

cheryl
cheryl

Why would you say this officer came into their yard "uninvited" like any of you would invite them over for tea??? He did not take a break from work to go stand in this ladys back yard- acording to the article he was sent on a call by a neighbor to check on a dog that was loose- if the dog was so sweet and innocent why did'nt the owner keep the dog in her arms??? Why let the dog down- you know your fence is broken and you see a stranger? The inconsistencies in this story are almost funny- I guess we can all just sit here and read the entertaining but apparently fabricated storys this family wants to spin- thanks for the laughs and for showing everyone the type of people that give NOCO a bad name!!!!!

chris
chris

you all are the kind of morons that should not be allowed to have animals or children for that matter- I hope your own dogs bite you!!!

Cheryl
Cheryl

I would check your facts people- this story was told by a family full of ANGER and HATE and they have gotten thier friends to rally around and try and create something out of NOTHING!!!!! This officer did NOTHING wrong- if a call is made the officer MUST respond- there are NO FENCES I would love to find which one of you could walk the exact property line.....If a dog is coming at you and you are asking the owner to get your animal and they can not even control the dog would you believe this to be a friendly family pet or the vicious dog you were called about in the first place??? To Jill that makes a lot of sense take the cops guns away and I hope you don't ask for help when your life is on the line- and The Truth- your right cops should just go ahead and let animals attack themselves- I hope you are ready to pay the lawsuits that will follow, I personally hope the officer here opens his own lawsuit against this family for mental anguish and slander!!!!!

Jessi
Jessi

The thing that I really dont understand is where is their pepper spray? Where are their tazer guns? Why do these officers feel the need to shoot to kill? This is the fourth story I have read, and they all read very similarly. Dogs being shot dead on their own property when they were showing no signs of aggression. Police officers are not even called out on cases of loose dogs, etc. That is Animal Control's job, and should be, as Animal Control officers use tranquilizers, tazers, and other non-lethal means of subdueing a scared animal. This dog was obviously not attacking the police officer, and the owner was right there, why the violence?

Jill Caine
Jill Caine

What is wrong with people?????? Sounds like the police need to have their guns taken away for a while. Dogs are family!! If they want to be so trigger happy, why not get rid of animal abusers, drug dealers and murderers?? This sickens me!!

The Truth
The Truth

It doesn't matter if that dog charged him or not, the Cop's on her property, without an emergency requiring immediate intrusion, and therefore he has the ability to retreat and call-in animal control if necessary. Shooting the dog was unjustified, and that is the bottom line.

I also find this sort of behavior absolutely ludicrous, given the fact that most LEOs now have Tasers as standard issue LTL forms of self-defense. Even Mace will get the job done more often than not, and every Officer has a canister of it.

Given recent incidents, Police need to be better trained on how to deal with canines. This is getting way out-of-hand, and seeing how at least 1/3 of Americans own dogs, such situations will inevitably be encountered by Law Enforcement and civilians alike.

@Miley, even if a deadly situation is encountered regarding a dog, a good pop to the snout will typically suffice. A sidearm should only be discharged as a LAST resort, and that is common knowledge regarding any situation in life. If you're overly afraid of getting a nip, scratch, or being roughed up every so often when carrying out the course of your duties, then don't become a Cop in the first place. Unlike being a soldier, being a Police Officer requires pride in showing immense amounts of restraint. You are not on the battle-fields of Iraq or Afghanistan, and shooting every threat is not suitably aligned with being a Peace Officer.

David D
David D

This is all our fault, people! We sat back and did NOTHING about these cops for years, and we're surprised when they're kicking in our doors without warrants, shooting whatever they want, and pretending to do "investigations" on themselves!

Cops do these things because they know they can get away with it!

Time to lock and load, folks.

Billy
Billy

Hey Mr Beal and Dee, you do realize that when you name names, and say disparaging things without the benefit of facts, you are likely opening YOURSELF up for legal action? It's called "libel." Has anybody actually thought to think carefully about the statements made by Mrs. Alvarez to this very obviously biased reporter? "The dog was smiling" ???? Really? I've been around a lot of dogs, and when they "smile," especially pit bulls, they are baring their teeth... and getting ready to tear something up. And this was a PIT BULL! The reporter said "terrier mix." What do you think a pit bull is? A terrier mix. Make no mistake, if you are a Policeman, and a pit bull is "smiling at you" you're getting ready to bust caps. Because they sure aren't getting ready to do a tap dance at a Vegas Revue.

Dee
Dee

If there's a petition on the care2petition site or elsewhere, I'll sign it. Need a petition declaring that Officer Carl Willis undergo further training or anger management. At least it will bring awareness to the fact that there's too many officers shooting family dogs now. Shooting too quickly because they can. It needs to stop.

Josie
Josie

The article did say that Jade is a service dog which makes this a federal case. All service dogs are cover by the ADA and it is a federal violation for anyone to harm a service dog. Even if Jade had charged the officer he was in the wrong to have shot her since she was in her yard and he was an intruder. He dischrged his fire arm in an unsafe manner and could easily shot Billie or the little girl that was home from. This officer is no better then a criminal a should be treated like one.

Rough Neighbor
Rough Neighbor

A lot of officers have an issue with control. That's why they go into law enforcement - they like the control. Strip them of the badge/uniform and they're nothing more than a weak wimp. The majority are crooked and all they're going to do is take up for each other. He didn't have to kill the dog. Simple, he didn't. Murderer! I hope he has a heart attack and dies.

Kendall
Kendall

screw your dog....they're annoying anyways

Miley
Miley

Seriously! This was the most ignorant, one sided story full of misinformation, I've ever read. Inresponse to some of the assinine, idiotic comments:1)The officer was in uniform..their uniforms are NAVY. Navy pants and navy shirts...duh!2)There is no warrent needed when investigating in plain sight.3)I'm sure the officers would LOVE to call a dogcatcher when they get the HUNDREDS of "viscious dogs loose" calls, but St. Louis Co has ONE animal control on duty at a time. So by the time he would get there, someone has been injured. 4)Officers don't want to shoot dogs, they like dogs more than most of the A-holes they encounter in NOCO on a daily basis. But they have a duty to perform, and if there is a threat, then they have to act. They are VERY sorrowful for that animal, it's not their fault their owners are idiots and don't train them properly.

Give a little credit to those who CHOOSE the only profession where you are disrespected, shot at, underpaid, fear for their lives every time they go to work, and rarely get your side of the story told. Think about that next time you're in need of assistance or want them to respond IMMEDIATLY because you need to bitch about your neighbor.

Amanda
Amanda

Where is animal control for these procedures, if a call is made is it not animal control that is suppose to investigate these issues with dogs...why is the police now being the only ones involved in these incidents were dogs are being shot heartlessly. Some of you had said the neighbor made several complaints and who is to trust the one complaining or the one that has the complaints made. I can one vouch their are neighbors out there that despise or hate dogs and will make crap up to get their neighbors in trouble or try to get rid of the dogs, whos to say this is not the case with this family. I myself had a neighbor that Hated dogs, called on my dogs all the time, they were running the neighborhood, they were barking excessively yada yada...well for one I had a fenced yard dogs never outside unless I was home and my dogs were not excessive barkers at all. Animal control would come out only to sit in the street monitoring for noise (barking) and loose animals and never hear or see such a thing, this is how situations should be handled, speak with the owners of the dogs, handle the situation properly and do a proper investigation of the problem. Finally my neighbor had no claims any longer as he was discredited for calling in lies. Its sad this was not the case here, how is it acceptable for a police out of uniform to come onto someones property without a warrant, investigating or not that is illegal. The man had no buisness doing what he did, the dog never even left the property and was shot on its own territory for no reason. Charging animal my butt, lame accuss by cops to cover their a**'s. For those of you that state the animal should have been leashed or confined by a fence, that is all true when an animal is left alone, the owner was with the dog on the patio. This dog is a therapy dog therefore well trained so why would there have been a need with them being in their yard lounging on the back deck.As a trainer my dogs are respectful and obedient off leash, as long as on my property there is nothing illegal about it. Leash laws state dogs must be leashed outside of your property leash laws say nothing about a dog being leashed when on its own property as long as your dog is contained or controlled on your property their is nothing wrong with the situation. To say I am irresponsible for having my dog off leash or not fenced is ridiculous, I bet my dogs are 100 times better behaved than yours ever will be and would never be a problem, people can walk by and my dogs return to my side when someone is seen as they have been trained, but regardless they are on my property. Now my dogs are never outside loose when not attended or I am not right there to handle any situation, and that was not the case this particular day,the cop knew the woman/owner was there, he could have told her to call her dog since it was on her property and not displaying any threat.As the retired police officer that commented stated this officer did not follow proper protocols in ivestigating this situation therefore yes I do believe this officer was at fault. If police are now going to become Animal Control they need to be trained properly to handle dog situations and they need to be trained to use a tranq gun which would be safer all around, shooting a dog in its home environment with people nearby and children on the premises when did that become proper procedure.I feel for the alveraz's, RIP Jade.

Jade
Jade

This is horrible! "Unfortunate Incident" doesn't quite justify what happened to this family and their family pet. I don't really give a shit if this dog was loose at some point what gives this man who just appears from behind a god damn tree to make the call to shoot an animal who's showing NO aggression. Oh I'm outraged and my heart goes to this family. May Jade, my namesake, run free at the rainbow bridge though it was obviously far too soon for her to go. :(

SaucyB
SaucyB

WTF!?!? he came into THEIR YARD, uninvited, without provocation and 'had to shoot the dog'?? what happened to calling animal control? INVESTIGATING? he should be brought up on charges, I don't see how this can possibly be legal?? as far as moral or ethical? what a douche!

Christy
Christy

hey dave your right post men don't kill dogs- but dogs have killed post men.... and wounded many many more.... I bet this story would have never gotten out if that officer would have just gotten injured first!!!!Mike- I know this sounds silly but if an officer feels he is in danger he must do what ever he can to protect himself- there are rules as far as animals are concerned and the officer followed the rules in that situation- if the pet was not on a leash- I doubt that lawsuit could go very far- what disregard for the law was this officer not upholding - was the right choice to IGNORE the complaints made - he should not have walked around to investigate if this dog was outside running around???

Chris
Chris

Ok- did anyone read this article, if this dog was "trained" as a service dog- like the article states- then why did the owner not "command" the dog to stop- lay- sit- come- any of these commands the dog would have followed- especially if this dog is just taking a leisurely stroll toward this man. And if that were the case then the officer would have shot the dog in the back- right- I guess if that did not happen- what else is an exaggeration - what else is not the whole truth?? If this sweet- gentle pet is just playing out in the yard and would never hurt anyone why did he not listen to the owner- this amazing family pet surely knew that his owner could not run so he must have been used to listening and obeying every command on the spot right?

cheryl
cheryl

I also know police officers and they do not have time in their day to just stand around "hidding" behind trees. The office must have been there for a reason- someone made a call and a complaint about an animal- now who's job is it to decide who is being honest- the person that calls and makes a complaint or the person the complaint is about? You have also mentioned that no above ground fences are allowed so if this officer walks around is it possible that they cross on and off property lines? Now if this "crazy" cop is planning to just shoot your dog why say anything- if he is hidding why not stay back shoot the dog and run???? If your electric fence is broken and you know it and you care soooo much for your animal you are going to do all you can to take care of it- like keep it on a leash while outside ( because as you mentioned your knees are bad and you can not possibly run after him if he runs away) This sounds like a story of a family that made a mistake did not follow the rules and now want to find someone else to take the blame. It is sad that our society seems to be looking for someone to take the blame for anything that happens. We want the police to make a statement- and when they do they break confidentialty rules in place to protect people who make complaints. I believe I read there have been several complaints- hmmmm how long has that fence been broken?? oh and if the dog NEVER leaves the yard why would ANYONE ever complain???? We are all soo quick to complaiin about the big bad police until we need someone because we are in danger then they can't get there fast enough- wonder why maybe because they are busy investigating stories that grow larger and larger by the day and become a silly which hunt - what will that fix?? Has anyone ever looked to see what kind of good this officer may have ever done- I'm sure that means nothing- I believe most of the people that don't trust the police is because they are doing something they know they should'nt!!!! You complain today but let someone break in to your house and put your children in danger and who would you call??? I bet you would expect that same officer to put his life on the line for you or your family then- and would you stop to think for a moment about him or his family??? Doubt it

Bunch ov Hillbillies
Bunch ov Hillbillies

wanna know why u never here of sum one shooting one our dogs up here in our neck of the woods? one word hogs. they eat what is throwed to em. dog killers and thieves taste the same to a 200 pounder. ifn you throw em one you smartelect punks with a computr key board wraped round ur neck Id do it wood just mess up the bacon. so ifn ur out in public and want an animal owner that loves animals to kick in ur teeth just talk loud enough so cuzin bob can get wind of it. he got him sum new boots needin to be brokein. aint no city folk gonna talk bad like ur doin here in the open. sissys.

NOCO
NOCO

So none of you were there when this dog was shot. It has been determined that the dog was not confined and approached the officer.It is a fact that the officer shot the dog. A lot of critics on here are blasting at the officer for what he did. so my question is why these same animal loving, save the whale, tree hugging people are not blaming the irresponsible homeowner who could have prevented all of this by simply confining her Fucking dog so it won't run up on people. The cop got a call about the same dog running loose and charging people. So WTF, blame the homeowner.

dave
dave

shut up luther

dave
dave

SHUT THE FUCK UP LUTHER UR A ASSHOLE

Mike C
Mike C

Regardless of whether the complaints about the dog were valid or not I do not understand why the dog was shot. The officer's actions show an astonishing disregard for laws he is charged with upholding. If I were Mrs Alvarez Bellefontaine Neighbors would have a lawsuit on it's hands.

Q-Bert
Q-Bert

Fuck 'da police.

concerned american
concerned american

i think the police are gonna need a wake up call... because the more people that see how fucked up the police are, the less they are gonna trust them... and more and more people trust the police less and less. whats gonna happen next time someone gets shot ... get the shovel bury em out back never say a word... thats what america will become.

MikeF
MikeF

"The point is, we have dog ordinances to protect both parties."

That's also why we have dashboard cams on cop cars - to protect both parties in an incident. Of course, dashcams don't help much when the officer is hiding behind a tree and shooting at random pets.

st. john
st. john

My crotch smells like wet dog.

trolo
trolo

You pretty much have to be a sociopath in order to be a police officer. Anyone who can feel empathy or sympathy wouldn't be any good at it. There is a very high rate of alcoholism and suicide among police. My guess is those are the ones who aren't sociopaths. They can't cope.

moonmac
moonmac

I can attest that 50% of Cops are sociopaths. I've dealth with a 100 police officers over the years & from what I've found half are cool & the other half are psycho freaks with a badge!!!

Luthor
Luthor

I don't get it why this is such news. This is standard police procedure.

Frank
Frank

Avoid cops at all costs, it may save your life.

Dave
Dave

Mail delivery people manage to go through their entire lives without once having to kill a dog to protect themselves. These gun-happy police neanderthals need to grow a spine instead of shooting as a knee-jerk response to the presence of a family pet.

ceanf
ceanf

the pig just wanted to kill a dog that day. so he sneaks up in someones yard, without a warrant i might add, pops out from behind a tree with gun drawn, then shoots a non-aggressive dog that walked up to someone that came on to its property. and that is some how ok? just an 'unfortunate incident'? what freaking country do we live in? Cause i dont think we can call it america anymore. Maybe the disgruntled residents of Bellefontaine should find out where these so called police officers live, and if they have dogs, give them some nice tasty anti-freeze pops. they kill your dogs for no reason, you kill theirs. seems pretty reasonable to me.

dave
dave

Shouldn't cops usually be in uniform? How is this proper procedure?

Scott
Scott

Whatever happened to calling a DOG CATCHER if there's a report of a vicious dog on the loose? And cops wonder why people don't trust them any more? Because bad cops do unbelievably horrible things like this, and good cops cover for them (which in my mind, makes them bad cops as well). I'm very sorry that the "protect and serve" police did this to Mrs. Alvarez and her family. If anyone came into my yard and shot my dog, I would go insane.

rexanderson42
rexanderson42

@Kendall I hope you burn in a house fire. Mother fucker!

rexanderson42
rexanderson42

@st. john Your breath smells like dog penis. ASSWIPE!

rexanderson42
rexanderson42

@Luthor standard procedure if your an evil mother fucker.

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