A sheriff's deputy in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, killed a family's dog last month. The clop claims the dog charged at him aggressively three times before he felt the need to shoot it. The family denies this—and says the officer killed the dog in front of the children.
The deputy was responding to a harassment call next door. The dog's owner, Kelli Sullivan, told KATC that the dog was "ankle height" and weighed 12 pounds.
"My daughter was running around trying to catch her," she said to the station. "I thought we were going to go back in the house. I walked back to the house opened the door, turned around, boom, he shot her. It was a horrific event. He shot the dog up close and blew her skull apart in front of my children. Like her eyeballs were out of her head."
According to Sullivan, the deputy told her that if the dog had bit him he'd have sued them, and that shooting the dog was better than that. He then allegedly said it was a "shame" he "had to waste that bullet because it's a really expensive bullet."
The sheriff's office did not respond to KATC's request for comment.
Puppycide has been a persistent problem for police around the U.S. (even though mail carriers, who interact with America's millions of dogs on a daily basis, don't have a similar problem). Last year Reason's C.J. Ciaramella investigated how widespread unchecked police violence against dogs is in Detroit.
Unnecessary violence against animals can be a useful indicator to identify problem cops before they kill human beings. Unfortunately, state laws and contract-guaranteed job rules often make it difficult to enforce the zero tolerance policy for police misbehavior that could remove violence-prone cops from their positions.