It's Time to Train Officers Not to Kill Dogs

Cops are just "following policy" - and that's precisely the problem.

A cop shot a dog the other day. Again.

Maybe you’ve seen the video -- it was all over the Internet, complete with the dog's grisly death spasms. Hawthorne, Calif., resident Leon Rosby was using his cellphone to record a standoff between police officers and armed robbers. At the end of the standoff, officers headed Rosby’s way. He put his dog, a Rottweiler named Max, in his car, then placed his arms behind his back to be cuffed.  (He’d had run-ins with the law before.) 

As the officers began taking Rosby into custody, Max jumped out the car window and approached. At first he sniffed the ground and paced, agitated but not threatening. When an officer made a move toward Max, he jumped and snapped.

So the officer killed him.

This was just a few days after police officers in the Chicago suburb of South Holland went to the house of Randy Green to investigate a report of an unleashed dog. While the Green family slept inside, the officers watched their dog, Grady, rest on the front porch. After 20 minutes, according to the Greens’ lawsuit, “Grady approached Officer [Chad] Barden,” at which point Barden – who, the lawsuit contends, had a dog pole in his vehicle – shot him. 

That incident followed by just a few days another one, also caught on video, in which two El Monte, Calif., officers entered – without notice – the fenced yard of Chi Nguyen and shot one of the family dogs when it approached. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports “there were four children present at the home when the shooting occurred, and a children’s pool party was taking place in a front yard across the street, according to the family and the video.” El Monte Police Department spokesman Dan Buehler said the officer “followed policy.”

That’s precisely the problem.

Across the country, both state laws and departmental policies seem to let police officers use deadly force as a first resort against family pets that often present little or no threat. In one infamous 2010 case from Missouri, an officer shot and killed a dog that had been subdued and held on a catch-pole. In another, an officer shot D.C. resident Marietta Robinson’s 13-year-old dog, Wrinkles, after Robinson had confined the dog to her bathroom.

Last year police officers chasing two suspects in Lake Charles,Louisiana, shot a dog named Monkey that barked at them. In Henrico,Va., last July, police officers went to the home of a homicide victim to notify the family of the slaying. When the family dog ran toward them, the officers shot and killed it. In Danville four years ago, a police officer shot and killed a 12-pound miniature dachshund. For growling at him.

Danville's chief says the officer followed policy.

Police officers receive extensive training about the use of force when it is applied against humans. But how many departments provide training on dealing with pets? Very few, says the Humane Society. This despite the fact that, according to a Justice Department paper (“The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters”), 39 percent of U.S. homes have dogs. More than half of dog owners “consider their dogs family members,” it continues, “and another 45.1 percent view them as companions or pets.” Less than 1.5 percent view them as property.

Do we really need systematic training to combat a few isolated incidents, however unfortunate? The question rests on a false premise. Civil-liberties writer Radley Balko notes that over a nine-year period Milwaukee officers killed 434 dogs – about one every eight days. And that’s just one city. Across the country, according to Justice, “the majority of [police] shooting incidents involve animals, most frequently dogs.”

But surely those shootings occur because the animals themselves pose a serious threat, right? Nope. The Justice Department says not only that “dogs are seldom dangerous” but that even when they are, “the overwhelming majority of dog bites are minor, causing either no injury at all or injuries so minor that no medical care is required.” As Balko writes, “If dangerous dogs are so common, one would expect to find frequent reports of vicious attacks on meter readers, postal workers, firemen, and delivery workers. But according to a spokesman from the United States Postal Service, serious dog attacks on mail carriers are vanishingly rare.” 

Yet serious – deadly – attacks against dogs are all too common. They shouldn’t be. And the solutions are obvious: Departmental policies, backed by state law, should require police officers to use lethal force against companion animals only as a last resort. Officers should receive training in safe and non-lethal methods of animal control – and in dog behavior: “An approaching dog is almost always friendly,” according to the Justice Department; “a dog who feels threatened will usually try to keep his distance.”

Finally, lawmakers should require an investigation of every dog shooting, to avoid what the public too often gets now: a knee-jerk defense of the officer involved and a callous dismissal of the family’s suffering.

After all, if a child ran at a policeman with a knife the officer might fire in self-defense – yet nobody would just let it go at that. Animals don’t occupy the same moral station as children, but family pets are more than just property. A badge and a gun should not be a license to shoot them at whim.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

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  • Fluffy||

    Actually, it's time to charge officers with reckless endangerment if they discharge their weapons when there's no demonstrated real time existent threat to human life.

  • SugarFree||

    Yup. Tulpa is always playing up the "spinning in a blindfold with an automatic rifle in a park" nonsense for a reckless endangerment standard, yet here are cops firing at dogs in tight spaces of houses in the chaos of a home invasion dynamic entry and popping of rounds in a neighborhood with crowds milling around.

  • anon||

    I love your use of Dynamic Entry there.

  • ||

    like Johnny implied I'm blown away that a single mom able to get paid $4012 in four weeks on the internet. did you see this webpage... www.Blue48.com

  • mtrueman||

    "Actually, it's time to charge officers"

    Sensible comments. It also makes sense to question the wisdom of the force providing these officers with such a deadly arsenal as part of their equipment. I would also question the wisdom of the force's hiring policies. These dog shooters clearly lack compassion.

  • John||

    The problem is a lot deeper than training them not to kill dogs. Everyone including cops love dogs. Cops own dogs themselves. I don't there is some kind of pre-disposition among cops to hate dogs or be afraid of dogs. In fact, it is just the opposite and much worse. Cops love dogs just as much as anyone else. And they shoot dogs not because they are afraid of dogs or hate them or are concerned with their own safety. They shoot them because cops know that killing someone's dog is probably in this society the best or one of the best way to terrorize someone. They made killing the dog SOP because they want to ensure maximum terror in anyone they have a confrontation with. Cops didn't used to kill dogs. And they arrested plenty of dangerous people. What changed is that cops didn't used to terrorize the people they arrested or came into contact with. Now they do.

  • ||

    I suspect you're dead on target with this, unfortunately.

  • SugarFree||

    There is also the lack of accountability for killing pets. It's a sort of perverse Pascal's Wager, since there is a tiny chance that a dog might attack you AND nothing will happen to you whatsoever for killing the dog, why not just kill the dog?

  • John||

    But to most people killing a dog really sucks. And that is true of cops as well. Cops have dogs. Cops like dogs just like t he rest of us do. I don't think the cops kill the dogs for fun or out of concern for their safety. I think they kill the dogs because it is so shocking and terrorizing to the person being subjected to the raid. It is just another piece of the shock and awe strategy.

    We always joke about cops hating dogs. But they don't hate dogs. They hate people and killing dogs is a really effective way to harm people.

  • KPres||

    The kill dogs because they're sociopaths. End of story.

  • SugarFree||

    Of course that's part of it. But killing a dog is killing a dog, no matter why you are doing it.

    It takes someone fundamentally broken to see a goofy-natured lab cowering with fear in a corner and then putting a round into it. They don't belong in society. They need to be somewhere far away from decent folk. At the very least they shouldn't to be empowered to use force with virtually no accountability.

  • John||

    It takes someone fundamentally broken to see a goofy-natured lab cowering with fear in a corner and then putting a round into it.

    For sure. I just think the reason they do it is not because they want to see the dog suffer. They do it so they can get the satisfaction of terrorizing the dog's owner. Not only did we bust that fucker, we shot his dog too. That is how they think. It is sick. And there is no way to fix it.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Oh, there's a way to fix it.

  • Free Society||

    A homeowner can shoot back. for all the good it will do them, they can shoot back damn it.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I swear to god, if a cop ever shoots my dog, I'm either going to jail or the morgue.

    There was a cop wandering around my neighborhood last week, looking for someone who robbed a store. I brought the dogs in from the yard (which is fenced in and the gate is bolted shut) "just in case".

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    My gf has an overly friendly, 80 pound Boxer, and I told her if she ever had to have a cop come over, to make sure she locked him up in a room. (the dog, not the cop)

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I got one of them "evil, vicious, beastly" Pit Bulls that is insanely friendly. Seriously, Worst. Guard Dog. Ever. He'd help burglars carry my TV out if he had opposable thumbs.

    Now, I didn't raise him as a guard dog, but as a family pet. But even though I have a 6 foot high fence that is bolted shut with several bolts, I make sure he's inside and in a locked room if the cops are patrolling my neighborhood.

  • wwhorton||

    I've got an AmStaff and a Rhodesian/APBT mix, both rescues, about 70 pounds each. The AmStaff, arguably the "purest" pit, has this high-pitched, whiny bark. I have a friend who has a phobia about large dogs, and when he first heard Jack start barking he fell over laughing. He's mostly dangerous to people with highly developed senses of smell, although he does tend to ram people in the back of the knee with his nose if you won't play with him. Carmen, the Rhodie/Pit, has a hellhound bark, but, unless you mess with Jack (or happen to be a squirrel) she never makes a peep.

    I've actually got pictures of both of them laying on top of my cop neighbors, and video of one of the cops flapping Jack's ears like wings. And our neighbor, a city cop, has two dogs that she absolutely adores. I'm extra careful to make sure she and all her cop friends meet our dogs. Just in case. I'm hoping it's more difficult to shoot a dog whose name you know.

  • Drake||

    I'm shocked that cops have not been killed by pissed-off dog owners. Revenge would certainly cross my mind.

  • Bryan C||

    If a cop was killed for that reason I doubt they'd tell us.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Of course they wouldn't, Bryan. We'd get a story in the media about how the noble police officer bravely gave his life while enforcing the will of the people. The terrible savage that shot the honorable officer simply opened fire instead of surrendering during the totally legit no-knock raid and was justly put down for his transgressions against our heroic peace keepers.

  • KPres||

    "I just think the reason they do it is not because they want to see the dog suffer."

    That's just a bonus.

  • Incredulous||

    KPres is right. They're fucking sociopaths with a badge and a gun. I don't give a fuck whether they "hate" dogs or they just have no empathy.

  • Joshua Wise||

    But cops have human friends too, and that doesn't stop them from abusing innocent citizens.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Yep.

    Puppycide is a type of extra-judicial punishment that cops can dispense at will.

    Cops like it because it boosts their libido dominandi. Their masters understand it as a means to terrorize the general public into submission.

    It's not going to end. FYTW.

  • Robert||

    I think that's a large part of it, but it seems to extend beyond. For example, were the cops interested in terrorizing the family whom they came to notify the death of a member of? Was the cop who shot the police dog he was working with looking to terrorize someone? I suspect they just plain enjoy shooting or otherwise killing animals who are not their own pets.

  • d-illest||

    I don't buy this logic. Cops love dogs, yet kill them as a method of terrorizing people? Its hard to believe that anyone would kill something that they love. I don't think that there's any sort of police protocol that mandates that they shoot dogs. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong about that.

    If police have the audacity to shoot someone's innocent dog, then they obviously have no regard for the livelihood of that animal. It seems as if police officers have no regard for any animal, including the people that they "serve and protect."

  • MC1135||

    I think you are RIGHT ON with this assessment, but I think it will have a different effect than what police hope for...

    Cops *hope* that shooting your dog will instill fear in you... But from my experience it seems to instill hatred, and anger rather than fear.

    I think this type of behavior will backfire on police in a very bad way. I think they're making their jobs much more dangerous.

  • Dave Krueger||

    It's time to start recruiting cops from those who have the level of people skills that most people acquire by the time they get into 2nd grade. As it is now, cops are recruited from those who have an arrogant, neanderthal mentality combined with a massive superiority complex. To cops, there are two kinds of people: cops and non-cops. Non-cops are the enemy.

  • wwhorton||

    I haven't met a cop yet who was under 30 and wasn't in the military. The attitude is different. The training you get in the military, even if you're an MP, doesn't prepare you for traditional peacekeeping roles.

    I mean, think about it. Part of the problem that we had in Iraq is that we had Marines trying to be police and failing miserably because they were totally unprepared. So what do we do when they get home? Hire them as police. People whose experience in law enforcement involved walking down streets in a foreign country expecting anyone at all to come running at them with a bomb or take a potshot from a window will probably take that same mentality with them in a domestic law enforcement scenario. They're not learning how to be beat cops, they're just occupying a different country.

    If they're coming from a situation where failing to shoot a woman running at them might result in death by suicide bomber, do you think they'll hesitate to shoot a dog just to be safe?

  • AlgerHiss||

    I agree: Under my rules, if you’re coming from the military, then you will NOT be hired in civilian peace keeping.

    Mixing these two disciplines is toxic.

  • Dibbler||

    If killing a police dog is tantamount to murdering an officer, then police killing a pet should be a first degree murder charge. Let them meet the standards they set for us, idiotic as they are.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Let them meet the standards they set for us

    That is just why it won't happen.

  • Paul.||

    You're suggesting that cops need to be treated with the same, higher standards they treat me?

    Good troll. A-

  • Rasilio||

    No, sorry not good enough, cops and all other government agents need to be held to a higher standard

  • sarcasmic||

    They kill pets precisely because they know full well that it has a similar psychological effect on a person as killing their child.

  • Free Society||

    and less paper work to contend with after said murder.

  • GroundTruth||

    While the dog aspect is disturbing, at a yearly work safety training session, we were told that in the event of "violence in the workplace", the local police intend to simply deploy a swat team and come in with weapons drawn. Seriously!?! In a town of 30,000, the police have a swat team, and a plan to use it as a first response? These guys need to take a chill pill and get over themselves!

  • John||

    Of course if there is an actual lunatic shooting the place up, the police will sit outside until he is done and then come in and clean up the bodies. If it is some mundane argument, they will charge in guns drawn and probably shoot someone and certainly terrorize everyone.

    You can always trust the police to do the exact wrong thing.

  • sarcasmic||

    What's the point of having a SWAT team if you can't use it at every available opportunity, and what's the point of being on a SWAT team if you can't kill anyone who doesn't obey your team's conflicting demands?

  • califernian||

    As a young man I always thought the Brits were such pussies to have unarmed cops.

    Now I realize it's the only way to do it.

  • Libertymike||

    Young men tend to conflate manliness with guns and badges and troopsies.

    A man is a pussy if he joins a state sponsored military or para-military organization. No exceptions.

    If a man is truly a rugged individual, he would rather die than join up with Caesar and his jar headed losers.

  • Drake||

    The Brits used to have armed citizens and unarmed cops. Now the police carry submachine guns and the citizens are disarmed.

  • Paul.||

    You can't realistically have unarmed cops in this country. There are dangerous thugs about.

    The issue is that something has changed. Something over the last-- I'll say, 30+ years.

    The days of average cops doing a career and never drawing their service weapon is over. There seems to be a race to the top in an attempt to not only draw, but draw, discharge and kill something.

    The fact that Ian Birk only lost his job, and probably only lost his job because he made the unfortunate choice to kill a minority (the only thing that seems to get the press worked up about) when he executed someone in the back is indicative of the problem. It's institutional, and it goes all the way to the top.

    I don't know what the answer is, but we need new leadership in every police department in the country.

    And I think getting rid of the police union would be a start.

  • wwhorton||

    Stop treating returning veterans as a police recruiting pool. Seriously. We're hiring ex-military as police with this notion that they've got the perfect skillset for peacekeeping and law enforcement, when we just saw in Iraq and Afghanistan how totally inept even the finest soldier is in a policing role. We need to go back to recruiting dedicated civilians. I'd go so far as to say that military service should be considered a detriment to any applicants.

  • Incredulous||

    The only way this will stop is if cops who murder family pets are held criminally liable and police departments are held civilly liable.

    Why doesn't this happen? It seems that neighborhood watchmen can be prosecuted for murder after a clearly self defense shooting so why aren't police prosecuted for murdering family pets for no reason? And it seems like you can sue for absolutely no reason at all so why can't you sue if the police murder your dog for no reason?

  • sarcasmic||

    Because the cops, the judges, and the prosecutors are all on the same team.

    They all give each other special favors.

    If a prosecutor started charging police with crimes, then when his son got caught with drugs the cops would take him to jail instead of giving him a ride home.

    If the judge started believing video instead of false police reports, then the next time he got caught driving drunk he'd be taken to jail instead of given an escort home.

    There is an incentive for the political class to take care of its own.

  • Simon9_1956||

    Basically I think you've hit the nail on the head. In the big picture you either work with/for the "gang" or you're an outside and therefore of less concern.

    The gang supports each other. we all know it. It has increasingly become an "us" vs "them" issue. But they in theory "work for us". Unless and until we withdraw power from them.

    If ballots don't work (because of a corrupted system) then we withdraw power by other means. Non-violent non cooperation a la Gandhi and MLK.

    Or violent resistance if that doesn't work. Which I think is why we have an ammunition shortage going on.

    Or we sit back and let it continue. It's all about choices.

  • Jackand Ace||

    In reality, a neighborhood watchman gets prosecuted for murder because he initiated a confrontation with an innocent man, did so when advised not to, and fired his weapon killing that man. Not so far-fetched at all.

    But leave it to you to dismiss some of the above cases where dogs initiated the attack on policemen. Yeah, lets see you stand there while a Rottweiler charges at you with teeth growling.
    Pretty brave behind that keyboard, aren't you?

  • Paul.||

    What does a Rottweiller charging at you with teeth, growling have to do with a dog that was sitting on a porch getting shot?

    oh, you actually believe that in every single case, the OFFICER'S LIFE WAS HANGING BY A THREAD!

  • Jackand Ace||

    From the story above:
    "As the officers began taking Rosby into custody, Max jumped out the car window and approached. At first he sniffed the ground and paced, agitated but not threatening. When an officer made a move toward Max, he jumped and snapped.

    So the officer killed him."

    Yeah he did...because he was threatened with an animal he had no ability to reason with. Its for his protection. And his life being threatened is not the only criteria...being maimed is another.

    And in all the rest of the cases Barton relies on hearsay, and never the officers testimony. Sure the family brought suit...that makes their version right? I doubt it.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    You and every other dumbfuck defending this cop are forgetting a very very important piece of the puzzle.

    Rosby was being illegally detained. The cops didn't like him filming them, so the arrested him. Yes, the dog came to his owner's defense. Yes, it may have bitten the officer. That doesn't change the fact that had the officers been actually following the law, none of this would have happened. Period, end of story.

  • MC1135||

    DING DING DING!!!!

  • TANSTaaFL||

    Jackand Ass,
    Video contradicts your story. Completely. Sensible would be to release the guy you are arresting on a nonviolent crime and ask him to secure his dog. Second option is to use non-lethal force including (but not limited to: a) taser, B)baton, C)the huge rifle the officer was carrying next to the dog killer D) mace.

    The biggest reason you are utterly full of shit is that there is little to no serious dog attacks on mail carriers, meter readers, paper boys etc. If they can find ways to handle these "terrify" and "violent" creatures without putting buckshot in their snouts than so can pour "brave civil-servants".

    You are damned boot-licking apologist and I and everyone else who isn't a violent and authoritarian asshole despises you! BTW that includes the Baby Jesus!

  • Jackand Ace||

    Yikes! Good luck with all that!

  • The Fatman||

    Another troll here to show us all how to properly suck a cop. Please die in a fire with your progeny you statist piece of shit.

  • MC1135||

    Amen.

  • wwhorton||

    If the dog initiated the attack, then the cop should be able to prove it. That's the standard whenever a cop fires a weapon on the job. If you can't justify the shooting, you shouldn't have shot. Standard too high? No problem. Resign. You want the power and the perks, you live by the higher standard.

    My father was a deputy in Prince George's County, one of the nastier parts of Maryland as it borders southeast DC. He managed to never kill anyone or anything in the line of duty, dog or otherwise, so it's possible. As a dog owner, he also would've put a hole in any cop who happened to think shooting our dogs was a necessary precondition to responsible policework.

  • Jackand Ace||

    And what makes you think the police were not able to prove it? You just take Barton's opinion as fact? I don't.

    And no one ever said it was a "precondition." Its just a condition, like many others, that a policeman is faced with each and every day...his/her well being threatened.

    Its not like they can warn the dogs to back off, you know.

  • ||

    And what makes you think the police were not able to prove it? You just take Barton's opinion as fact? I don't.

    Instead you take the cop's opinion as fact? Even better. It's not like cops would ever lie or use excessive force and then cover it up or anything.

    There's enough of these cases documented to eternity and back that you can safely say there's a pattern. The first case cited in the story is a rather shitty and far less egregious example than many. That doesn't change the rest of them.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    "You just take Barton's opinion as fact?"

    Mucho video evidence to support his claims against cops. You have ANY that support yours???

    Though, apparently even video evidence isn't enough to keep cops from lying - http://www.techdirt.com/articl.....ence.shtml

  • The Fatman||

    Of course he has no "evidence". He don't need it to slip that sweet pink meat into his mouth.

  • ||

    a neighborhood watchman gets prosecuted for murder because he initiated a confrontation with an innocent man, did so when advised not to, and fired his weapon killing that man.

    You seem to know a lot more than the prosecution's witnesses about the case. You should have come forward sooner.

  • Jackand Ace||

    So tell me exactly what I got wrong.

    Did Zimmerman initiate the confrontation? Yes he did...he even says so.

    Was he told not to? Yes he was.

    Did he shoot and kill Martin? Indeed he did.

    Good try, though.

  • KPres||

    Actually, Zimmerman wasn't told not to follow Martin. The actual quote was "we don't need you to do that", which implies that you can if you want to, but don't have to.

  • Jackand Ace||

    In training they are told not to initiate a confrontation.

  • KPres||

    He didn't initiate a confrontation.

  • Jackand Ace||

    So let me ask you a question about what we do know. Martin was an innocent, unarmed kid walking home. He got followed by an armed person, who he did not know. A confrontation ensued, and the innocent boy was shot and killed. This is what we know.

    My question is this: if that was your son, given all that you know, would you have wanted a trial for murder, so that the facts can come out? I am asking you that given the comment above that I initially responded to, which said it was "clearly" self defense. If you were the kid's parents, was it CLEARLY self defense?

  • ||

    Well, thankfully, that's why parents don't get to be the prosecutor. And innocence is presumed until guilt is established. Enough facts came out during the police investigation that no charges were recommended. After the media put the bug in yours and everybody else's ear and turned this into a story, a special prosecutor was established and charges were filed. Charges the state has had an extremely difficult time proving sufficiently to their burden.

    So tell me exactly what I got wrong.

    Did Zimmerman initiate the confrontation? Yes he did

    We don't know that. He says he didn't. The other participant can't tell us. The witnesses who testified certainly weren't clear - most didn't even call 911 until they heard screaming and a gunshot. There's no obligation to accept the prosecution's narrative without evidence. In fact, it's just the opposite.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Oh, and the most important of all...was Martin innocent? Yep, just a kid walking home.

  • ||

    Oh, and the most important of all...was Martin innocent? Yep, just a kid walking home.

    That's actually not terribly important in the context of the case. Neither Martin nor Zimmerman was doing anything wrong in walking around the neighborhood - Martin heading home, Zimmerman watching for crooks. The only question is whether Zimmerman's use of deadly force constituted murder or self defense. You seem a lot more sure of your answer to that question than the facts of the case would warrant.

  • John Galt||

    Most Americans love their dogs enough that it could almost be said part of being American is the love of dogs. What's wrong with these cops? Has their job made them forget who they are?

    Maybe it's time to put rules in place that discourage fraternization among themselves during off duty hours. Doing so would leave them little choice except become even more anti-social or spend time with the citizenry so they could unlearn the training and indoctrination that has obviously led them to believe the people are the Enemy. We're not, and neither are our dogs.

  • ||

    It is funny how things work out. There have been lots of dog murders by cops, egregious crimes in my opinion. There have been many arrested for videoing the cops, also egregious crimes in my opinion. But this case is not either of them.

    Still, whatever grief the cops get over this is well earned.

  • ||

    While a lot of these shootings are indeed bullshit, some are legitimate, and I think there's a tendency to knee jerk reaction. The first example cited in this article is a lot more ambiguous in terms of whether the force used was justified than, say, the one where the dog was shot cowering in a room. If I'm a cop, or a mailman, or joe blow walking down the street, it's not my responsibility to take care of your precious baby doggy in a manner that pleases you. Obviously that doesn't mean you get to go around shooting people's pets at your whim, but dogs do attack. There's a reason the cops have a fleet of them on their force to run you down and maul the fuck out of you if it pleases them. The difference between your sweet, precious Fifi and Kujo is exactly dick to somebody who doesn't know either dog. If I get an inkling your unleashed dog is going to hurt me, I'm probably going to shoot it as well. Protip: "...he jumped and snapped." means, to most people, "this dog wants to hurt me". If you're going to get pissed off about somebody shooting your jumping, snapping, "agitated, but not aggressive" dog, keep it at home.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Here is an opinion piece from LA Times echoing your thoughts:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/op.....6976.story

  • KPres||

    Mi"If I'm a cop, or a mailman, or joe blow walking down the street, it's not my responsibility to take care of your precious baby doggy in a manner that pleases you. "

    It is your responsibility not to attack somebody for no reason, like these cops did. And if you do, the dog has every right to defend it's caretaker.

  • ||

    The fact that the detainment may have been unwarranted is the only thing that makes the case a little ambiguous. But the story seems to be stuck more on the dog getting shot.

  • ||

    May have been? Go look up Title 18, Chapter 13, Sections 241 and 242 of the US Code. The DOJ has a nice page that explains both.

    Making an arrest to prevent the exercise of a constitutional right is a federal crime. Doing it with threat of a dangerous weapon (and what cop isn't armed?) makes it a felony.

    Use of force to prevent a felony is a lawful use of force.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I've been a paper boy, garbage man, and UPS delivery man. I had my pants leg ripped once. It was a very small rip. I guess cops are just big pussies.

  • Jackand Ace||

    And you probably threw that UPS package over the fence when you saw the Rottweiler barking.

  • The Fatman||

    Slurp, slurp,slurp. Can't get enough of that sweet, sweet cop can you?

  • ||

    Pig-fucker

  • silverfang789||

    I would call for civilian oversight boards that would have the power to review video footage and suspend or fire cops caught abusing their power.

  • ||

    It's only a matter of time before an officer shoots a dog...and is shot in turn by an outraged family member. Without doubt, the police will call it a premeditated first degree murder of the officer.

  • Jim Kress||

    "Across the country, both state laws and departmental policies seem to let police officers use deadly force as a first resort against family pets that often present little or no threat."

    Time to turn this around. My "policy" is now that I will use deadly force against any police officer who presents any kind of threat to my family pet. How about you?

  • Bill Ding||

    Cops shoot dogs because they might still get in trouble for shooting people.

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    This was just a few days after police officers in the Chicago suburb of South Holland went to the house of Randy Green to investigate a report of an unleashed dog. While the Green family slept inside, the officers watched their dog, Grady, rest on the front porch.
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  • RobM1981||

    If memory serves, the folks at Ruby Ridge didn't start shooting until they saw someone shoot their dog.

    Shooting a dog in front of the owner is an incredibly asymmetric thing to do. A lot of people view dogs as family. Killing a dog in front of an owner can, and has, result in the owner having a momentary lapse of reason. In other words "they might start shooting, or something like that."

    As this article points out, the officers are risking being shot at instead of simply dealing with the dog.

    Nobody is talking about an officer who is truly being attacked - and I disagree with this article there. There are plenty of cases where dog attacks are VERY serious. Officers shouldn't have to be attacked before they defend themselves.

    But a bit more restraint - like "call animal control" - is a much better path forward.

    Shooting a dog in front of the family has caused people to Snap before. Why would the police want to risk that?

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