Police Shoot Dog
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It seems almost every week, we see a headline that says, “Police Shoot Dog”. In many of these cases, the shooting appears to be outrageously wrong. In other cases, there is a justification of self defense that seems reasonable.
“Police Shoot Dog”: A couple of weeks ago, I read of a story where a couple of dogs were roaming the streets acting threateningly. The police were called. Once the police arrived, they called animal control to pick up the dogs, but because animal control is a government agency, everyone went home at 5 pm. So… the police shot the dogs dead. I think that’s an example of an outrageous killing. Why wasn’t the police force trained and given resources to contact a reputable rescue group instead? It makes the police look brain dead, and no citizen feels good about it.
“Police Shoot Dog”: Then there was the case where the police were being watched by a bystander with a dog. The police didn’t like that the guy was filming what was going on, so the police told him to put away his dog, which he did in his car. They then manhandled the man, the dog jumped out the window of the car and ran towards the police officers and man, and the police shot the dog dead. It made national news. Another outrageous killing.
And a quick search of the internet will find many, many similar stories.
It’s time to change the laws, and time to change the training, for police officers. We also need to do a better job of networking with rescue groups who are better equipped to deal with these situations. The fundamental role of government is law and order, not animal welfare. The police, and politicians, should have enough sense to know that. They aren’t about animal welfare. And there needs to be severe penalties for an unjustified shooting of a dog, such as a large financial penalty and the firing of the police officers involved. In some cases, the police officers should go to prison, having the same laws applied to them as to citizens, if shooting a dog in the same circumstances would be a crime for you or me.
I’m tired of seeing those “Police Shoot Dog” stories. It’s time for change.
Sam Basso is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area. He’s known for being fun, kind, intelligent, and humane. Sam Basso has a unique personal touch. He has appeared on his own TV show, been a guest radio expert, gives seminars, publishes a dog related blog, does rescue volunteering, and is active in promoting animal welfare and fair dog laws.