Deputy Shoots a Dog That Is Actually Dangerous: His Own

From the Detroit Free Press:

An Oakland County K9 officer fatally shot his own police dog today when the 5-year-old purebred German shepherd attacked him after recently showing signs of aggression, according to a news release.

The incident occurred at a veterinarian’s office, where the sheriff’s deputy had taken Gunner, who had been a member of the county’s K9 unit since 2007, the release said.

The deputy, a 23-year veteran of the department and 5-year police dog handler, took Gunner to the vet to explore “options available to curb his aggression,” police said. But while the deputy and the veterinarian were trying to attach a leash to the dog, Gunner leaped in a biting lunge toward the deputy’s face, and he blocked the dog with his forearm, the release said.

The dog kept biting the deputy and refused commands to let go, so the deputy drew his gun and shot him.

“This is an extremely sad situation,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a written statement. “These dogs are more than a police asset. They are beloved members of the department and the handler’s family.”

Wonder if they’ll keep that in mind when they’re dealing with other families’ “beloved members.”

Hat tip to former Reason editor Radley Balko.

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  • Tim||

    Hey Balko were Bath Salts involved in this cannabalistic attack?

  • Tulpa the White||

    No, this was toilet salts.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Wonder if they’ll keep that in mind when they’re dealing with other families’ “beloved members.”

    In a word, "No."

  • Enough About Palin||

    "The deputy, a 23-year veteran of the department and 5-year police dog handler, took Gunner to the vet to explore "options available to curb his aggression," police said."

    Try not kicking him all the time.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Seriously. Dogs -- and especially shepherds -- are NOT inherently aggressive.

  • tarran||

    IIRC German Shepherds are one of the few breeds that were used in combat in WW-II that could be returned safely to civilian life.

  • Tim||

    They have to be trained, and that's exactly what they do with Police Dogs.

  • It's the President, Stupid.||

    Yes they do. It's an extension of the LEO, just like their gun.

  • Drake||

    Nonsense - Dog personalities vary.

  • sarcasmic||

    If anyone else did this the cop would have shot them.

  • Tulpa the White||

    The dog kept biting the deputy and refused commands to let go, so the deputy drew his gun and shot him.

    Apparently officer safety is not the top priority when dealing with police dogs, since otherwise he would have shot the dog immediately upon lunging.

  • juris imprudent||

    shot the dog immediately upon lunging

    No, SOP is to shoot before they have a chance to lunge. You can never be too careful out there.

  • Brett L||

    I think the dog was just following his primary mission of protecting the public from danger.

  • ||

    It's Choose Your Own Adventure for my response:

    For pad punning go to page 1. For overused internet acronym go to page 2.

    Page 1: He shoots, he scores!
    Page 2: FTW!

  • Alan||

    In many states, Police Dogs are considered law enforcement officers, and killing one is considered a crime equal to killing a human police officer.

    Any bets on whether it's handled this way in this case?

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    Any bets on whether it's handled this way in this case?

    The cop can make a pretty good case for self-defense in this situation. And as sad as it is, I don't blame him for shooting the dog either.

  • WWNGD?||

    If a citizen shoots a cop and calls it self defense they would get laughed at and end up on death row. Laws should be applied equally. (but they are not)

  • thom||

    I don't either. But if a "civilian" had shot his crazy dog, that person would be on their way upstate for five to ten.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Agammamon||

    So, what happens when a cop shoots another cop? 'Cuz police dogs are cops right?

  • sloopyinca||

    Was any concern given to whatever was behind the dog when he shot it? I doubt a dog's body will catch a bullet at that close range, so I wonder what the cop was thinking when he shot it in a Vet's office.

    Also, couldn't they have euthanized it on the spot instead of, oh I don't know, discharging a fucking gun in a vet's office.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    The dog kept biting the deputy and refused commands to let go, so the deputy drew his gun and shot him.

    So I highly doubt the cop gave any concern for what was behind the dog when he shot it, his only concern was to stop the dog's attack.

    Sloop, most cops a grade A assholes, but in this case I really don't see much to get upset about except a dog was killed.

  • sloopyinca||

    I'm not nearly as concerned with the dog being killed as I am with what was potentially behind the dog when the cop pulled the trigger. That was my only point.

  • John||

    No shit. And this guy does not know how to handle dogs. These dogs are overly aggressive. I have about come to the conclusion that the breeding for police dogs has damn near ruined the German Shepherd breed and has ruined the Belgium Malinois. And they will bite their handlers. That said, in all of my years being around LEOs and having a special fascination with police and military dogs and dog handling, I have never heard of a police dog grabbing and refusing to let go. These dogs go through a long training period where the ones who are too aggressive and won't respond to commands are weeded out. This just should never happen.

    I will bet dollars to doughnuts that this guy is a complete fucking asshole who was cruel and mishandled the dog until the dog finally had had enough. I am taking the dog's side over the cop. It was more than likely the cop that needed shot.

  • Tim||

    Yeah, about the only other thing I can think of is that the dog had a tumor growing that was either putting him in intense pain or making him crazy, or both.

  • Tim||

    Or, before they left home, the cat told him he was going to get fixed. Fucking cats.

  • ||

    Seconded. After the intensive training they go through, dogs don't just snap and go crazy for no reason.

    It's always possible the dog had a medical problem that was causing him distress. But in the absence of that, I would put the blame on the cop.

  • WTF||

    Yes. 99 times out of a hundred, if a dog is acting badly it is the fault of a human.

  • John||

    ^^This^^

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    +99

  • Zeb||

    And one time out of 100 the dog just went crazy because of a brain tumor or something. And if it's a police dog, it gets written up in a newspaper.

    I've got no dog in this fight, but I don't see any reason to conclude anything about why the dog attacked. While it is exptremely unlikely in any particular case, odds are pretty good that at some time, some police dog somewhere in the US will just randomly go crazy and attack his handler for no good reason.

  • ||

    I've got no dog in this fight...

    I hate punners!

  • WTF||

    Sure, the dog could have had a brain tumor or something, or the cop could have mis-handled it. I could be wrong, but I know where I would put my money.

  • Brendan||

    It sounds like the canine cop psych profiling/examination was as rigorous as the ones given to the human cops.

  • WTF||

    Too bad the dog couldn't yell "STOP RESISTING!"

  • ||

    I was right there with you until the last sentence, Sloop. You ever try to start an IV on a dog who's intent on chewing your face off? My guess is it gets a 9.999 degree of difficulty.

  • fried wylie||

    dammit, shoulda scrolled down before duplicommenting.

  • fried wylie||

    couldn't they have euthanized it on the spot

    You wanna try intervening on an attacking dog with a needle full of poison in your (probably trembling) hand?

  • db||

    Plus they keep that stuff in the narc cabinet which is supposed to be locked. There aren't just pre-dosed syringes of Succumb lying around a vet's office for the taking.

  • sloopyinca||

    Yeah, I may have underthought that statement.

    Still, shooting through something that will not retain the bullet is a bad idea unless you are certain of what lies behind your target area.

  • fried wylie||

    Seriously, where was the officer's taser THIS time?

  • ||

    Wrong picture. Should show one of the rabid dogs from I am Legend.

  • R C Dean||

    So, does this mean if a police dog latches on to my arm, I am entitled to shoot it in self-defense?

    Or is this another privilege reserved to our blue-clad masters?

  • ||

    So, does this mean if a police dog latches on to my arm, I am entitled to shoot it in self-defense?

    You can, but you'd be rolling the dice, at least if you live in Ohio. A few years ago (and this may have been covered here), this guy was convicted on a midemeanor animal-cruelty charge after he shot a runaway police dog that had wandered onto his property. He said he feared for his and his son's safety. They originally managed to get an indictment on charges of killing a police dog - a felony - but they'd have had to prove he knew it was a police dog.

  • fried wylie||

    they'd have had to prove he knew it was a police dog.

    This is why I don't agree with plainclothes police dogs.

  • Aresen||

    So. Are they going to have an elaborate funeral for this dog with LEOs flying in from 47 states plus Canada and Mexico with a 10 mile long cortege that blocks traffic for 2 hours?

  • John||

    They should. The dog was a lot nobler of public servant than any human cop.

  • Skid Marx||

  • ||

    That's what happens when you use dominance-based training methods and train dogs to attack people. Dogs have a pretty tough time differentiating whom to attack. Just like your family pet has a tough time differentiating that it's OK to jump on dad, but not OK to jump on grandma (hence why we teach our dogs not to jump on anyone - right? RIGHT?)

  • John||

    It is the breeding too. They keep breeding them to be more and more aggressive. German Shepherds and Mallinois were originally herding dogs. The easiest way for a farm dog to get himself shot in the head is to start attacking the livestock and being too aggressive. These breeds were never supposed to be this aggressive.

  • WTF||

    That being said, GSDs are extremely intelligent and extremely trainable. So this dog either had a brain tumor or his handler was a grade-A jackass.

  • amelia||

    Dogs do have a predisposition for hierarchy. But basic behavioral principles assert that punishment-based learning can have numerous unnecessary and counterproductive side effects. It's very likely this guy subverted the dog's training with punishment of some kind.

  • amelia||

    hence why we teach our dogs not to jump on anyone - right? RIGHT?)

    We wish these asshole who fetishize their aggressive dogs could follow your reasoning.

  • Zeb||

    I'm not one to defend a cop, generally, but I don't see any reason here to believe that the cop did any thing wrong, except possibly firing his gun in such a way to endanger people.

  • sloopyinca||

    Will his bitch and kids get his $85,000/year pension + full bennies for life?

  • fried wylie||

    yes, but, the dollars/year and "for life" are all calculated using dog-years.

  • Translucent Chum||

    I liked this story when I posted it in the A.M. Links today. ;D

  • CE||

    Maybe Gunner had been reading reason, and he found out what cops have been doing to dogs all over the country.

  • amelia||

    Either something was seriously, physiologically wrong with that dog, or it was an issue of the cop. This I believe.

    Also, there's a veterinarian who will never look at police officers the same way again.

  • db||

    RRRROP RRRERRRISRRRING!

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