Detroit Police Shot a Woman's Dog and Allegedly Dumped It in Garbage Can

Tiffany Lindsay wants answers and an apology after her neighbors discovered her dead dog, shot the night before by Detroit police, in their garbage can.


A Detroit woman is demanding answers and an apology after police shot her dog and allegedly dumped it in a neighbor's garbage can—the latest in a string of dog shootings by Detroit police that have outraged owners and led to many costly lawsuit settlements.

According to WDIV Local 4, which first reported the story, Detroit police were searching for a carjacking suspect Sunday night when an officer entered the backyard of Tiffany Lindsay. The officer peeked into a doghouse and, unsurprisingly, found Lindsay's dog Jack. The dog reportedly lunged at the officer, and it was shot and killed.

Dog shootings like this are sadly common across the United States. Just browse the "puppycide" tag on Reason's website. Some are justified and some are the result of poor training or maliciousness, but what happened next isn't in any police training manual.

The next morning, Lindsay's neighbors informed her that her pet had been dumped in their trash can.

Lindsay told the news station that officers never told her why her dog had been shot or why it was thrown away. "They didn't knock on my door and say nothing," she said.

A 2016 Reason investigation found Detroit police had a nasty habit of shooting dogs during drug raids, which had led to a series of costly lawsuits. Public records obtained by Reason showed that one officer on the department's narcotics unit had shot more than 80 dogs over the course of his career.

In 2015, the city approved a $100,000 settlement to a man after police shot his dog while it was securely chained to a fence.

In 2018, Detroit paid $225,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Kenneth Savage and Ashley Franklin, who claimed Detroit police officers shot their three dogs while the animals were enclosed behind an 8-foot-tall fence—all so the officers could confiscate several potted marijuana plants in their backyard.

In 2019, Detroit agreed to pay $60,000 to Nikita Smith, whose three dogs were shot by a Detroit narcotics unit during a marijuana raid in 2016. That same year, Detroit police shot a family dog in front of a 9-year-old boy, and a woman filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging Detroit police yanked open her door and then shot her two dogs when they ran outside.

In 2020, the city doled out another $75,000 to settle a lawsuit over a dog shooting that the Detroit Police Department (DPD) determined was unjustified and violated department policy. Body camera footage contradicted the officer's claims that two dogs were lunging at him and barking when he shot them during a drug raid.

As for Lindsay, video shows that DPD officers returned on Monday and loaded the animal's body into a police car, but she still doesn't have answers or an apology.

"Certainly, anytime we have to put a dog down, it's not a good day for the department or for the citizen who owns it, but I just don't have enough information to give you an intelligent response," Detroit Police Chief James White told Local 4.

Many of the stories Reason reported involved allegations of Detroit police being callous, even mocking, toward people whose dogs they have shot.

"You were trying to hide it," Lindsay told the news station. "You were trying to hide it."

When asked what she had to say about that, Lindsay shrugged. "That's Detroit."

The Detroit Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment.