Freckles, an Australian shepherd, was killed after being hit by a Las Vegas police cruiser in May when an officer thought the dog was an impending threat to a group of children. Freckles isn't alone: State animal activists believe that 30 dogs have been needlessly killed by police in the past five years, although the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department disputes that number.
So now, Parks, armed with activist support, is looking to introduce legislation during the next legislative session to help solve the problem. While the bill is still in its infancy, the idea is to help train police officers to handle dogs without resorting to violence. "In many instances, a dog is being territorial, not vicious," Parks told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It would help if police knew what category of dog they were dealing with."
Police violence against dogs isn't just peculiar to Nevada. On Sunday, dog owners in Commerce City, Colo., marked the anniversary of the shooting death of a dog named Chloe by police. Parks is looking at the fallout from that shooting as a guide for his state. After that death, Colorado passed the Dog Protection Act, which was signed into law this May.