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Thread: Shooting the family dog. Is it necessary?

  1. #1
    Sapere Aude Jack's Avatar
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    Shooting the family dog. Is it necessary?

    The Indianapolis Star reported that between 2000 and 2002, police in that city shot 44 dogs. A recent lawsuit filed by the Milwaukee owner of a dog killed by police found police in that city killed 434 dogs over a nine-year period, or about one every seven-and-a-half days. It's impossible to say how many of those were pets (versus strays), or in how many of those shootings the dog may have actually presented a serious threat to the officer or someone else. But in too many reported accounts of dog shootings, it seems doubtful that lethal force was necessary.

    It is easy to imagine that some breeds of dog might legitimately pose a threat to police officers in volatile situations. But that Calvo’s two black labs posed any serious risk to an armored, heavily armed SWAT team stretches the bounds of credulity. The same can be said of a host of recent dog shootings in which a police officer said he felt “threatened” and had no choice but to use lethal force, including the killing of a Dalmatian (more than once), a yellow Lab , a springer spaniel, a chocolate Lab, a boxer, an Australian cattle dog, a Wheaten terrier, an Akita, and even a Jack Russell terrier. Not small enough for you? How about a 12-pound miniature dachshund? Or a five-pound chihuahua?

    "We're definitely hearing about these stories more often," says Adam Goldfarb, who directs the Pets at Risk program for the Humane Society of the United States. "It's hard to say if that's because it's happening more often, or because it's just getting more coverage when it does."

    Last year, for example, a local news station in Oklahoma aired security-camera footage of a police officer pulling into driveway of dog owner Tammy Christopher—just to ask for directions. In the video, Christopher's Wheaten terrier runs out from the house, and it's difficult to tell whether the dog is charging the officer or bounding out to greet him. But the officer was on the dog's property. And instead of merely getting back into his car, he pulled out his gun and shot the dog dead. The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.

    Police have recently killed pets while merely questioning neighbors about a crime in the area, cutting across private property while in pursuit of a suspect, and after responding to a false burglar alarm. It doesn't matter if your dog is loose or leashed, or if you've posted "Beware of Dog Warnings." Last August in Colorado Springs, police entered a woman's house after her children let them in to look for a fugitive. The children locked the family dog in the bathroom with their mother, who was showering, and warned the police that the dog was defensive. The police opened the bathroom door anyway, the dog bit one of them, and they shot and killed it, inches from where the woman was showering. The fugitive wasn't in the home, and the owner said she's never heard of him.

    Even during highly charged police raids on houses guarded by aggressive dogs, it's hard to see how shooting them is the best option. A grazing shot will only make the dog angrier. A miss imperils other officers and innocent bystanders. During a terribly tragic drug raid in Lima, Ohio, last year, an officer shot and killed the suspect's two pit bulls shortly after the drug team entered the house. Another officer mistook the shots for hostile fire, and sprayed bullets into a bedroom, where a 26-year-old unarmed woman named Tarika Wilson had dropped to her knees, as ordered, while holding her 1-year-old son. Wilson died, the infant lost a hand.

    "Putting aside the humanitarian concerns, shooting the dog just doesn't seem tactically expeditious," says Pentangelo. "Something like a tranquilizer dart would get the dog out of the way quickly without risking any collateral damage. I guess part of the problem is that pets just aren't viewed as real important."

    There's no question that in some circumstances, a police officer may have no choice but to shoot an aggressive animal. The problem is that in too many of these cases, the use of lethal force isn't the last option taken, but the first.
    Dogs in a Deadly Crossfire - The Daily Beast

    This appears to be a situation that's getting out of hand. While there's a reasonable solution (training) it doesn't seem many departments want to avail themselves of it.

    Should the city and police department be held liable when an officer kills a family pet? Is the city and the department (both of whom would be subject to that liability) the best judge of whether or not the killing is justified?


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  2. #2
    New member Qooo's Avatar
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    A police officer that would shoot a dog, a family dog, in a house, a FAMILY's house, should not be trusted with a gun. That's carelessness. I've been bitten by dogs before. I don't shoot them. If I did I'd expect everyone around me to be worried for my sanity. And least of all hand me a gun to uphold the law.

    Police officers need self control. That one doesn't have it.

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    Amused Maryjane's Avatar
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    Happend here recently too~
    Ex-Danville officer said to appeal firing in killing of dog | Richmond Times-Dispatch

    So when jogging, mace and a big (hockey) stick aren't good enough methods of protection...One should carry a gun?

    Side note: I once called animal control on a neighbor's dog because it was forever roaming at large and in violation of our leash laws. (The owner is a cop) I was told that I should have caught it when I found it in my yard and tied it up for him. My tax dollars at work~
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    Emperor The Black Ghost's Avatar
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    Absolutely unneccessary, but dwarfed next to the thousands of dogs simply put down because they dont have owners. It seems to be the ultimate epitome of "your very existance is an inconvenience to society" Thats the real problem. Dogs, like other animals, are just a "commodity/property"...and to police in a raid, property that gets in the way of police action can be destroyed to complete the mission.
    If evil is my enemy, then I will fight against it. If evil is on my side, then evil is my friend. If it is simply the way of all human nature, are we then all evil?

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    In-Ya-Face-Subtlety The Sexorcist's Avatar
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    I smell anti-social behavior.

    Personality disorders are a growing problem in America. Actions like this can be indicative of anti-social behavior.

    Landmark Survey Reports the Prevalence of Personality Disorders in the United States
    Soobaaroo

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    Lobotomized Angry Citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: The Sexorcist View Post
    I smell anti-social behavior.

    Personality disorders are a growing problem in America. Actions like this can be indicative of anti-social behavior.

    Landmark Survey Reports the Prevalence of Personality Disorders in the United States
    Disregard for animal life is not indicative of 'anti-social behaviour' - it's indicative of today's culture. Pets are not regarded with a high degree of value unless it's YOUR pet (in other words, your 'commodity'). Noone cares if someone ELSE gets their thousand dollar plasma television shot to shreds in a police raid, but if it's THEIR plasma television, then of course they'll get upset.

    The highest degree of empathy for animals exists more as an empathetic reaction towards the owner than towards the pet itself. Most of the individuals feeling sorry for the murdered dogs are likely feeling more sorry for the owner's pain than for the lives of the pets.

    What the officers do is wrong, but the officers themselves are likely perfectly normal human beings. They simply don't place high value on the lives of pets. This is wrong, and the consequences should be very severe for this kind of behaviour.

  7. #7
    Emperor The Black Ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: The Sexorcist View Post
    I smell anti-social behavior.

    Personality disorders are a growing problem in America. Actions like this can be indicative of anti-social behavior.

    Landmark Survey Reports the Prevalence of Personality Disorders in the United States
    Possibly. I dont see what the link is being being anti-social and killing dogs though.

    I would say it is indictive of lesser regard for life--human and otherwise.
    If evil is my enemy, then I will fight against it. If evil is on my side, then evil is my friend. If it is simply the way of all human nature, are we then all evil?

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    The Voice of Reason. viper's Avatar
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    Hmm maybe I'm biased due to the recent loss of my own dog (not from some cop lol) but I certainly wouldn't be doing much talking if someone visiting me (sort of like the situation of the cop asking for directions.) decided to shoot my dog for acting defensively, which it most certainly has a right to do in it's own yard and house toward a stranger. So no, most often it is not necessary.

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    blasphemer grandpa's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: viper View Post
    Hmm maybe I'm biased due to the recent loss of
    my own dog (not from some cop lol) but I
    certainly wouldn't be doing much talking if someone visiting me
    (sort of like the situation of the cop asking for
    directions.)
    decided to shoot my dog for acting defensively, which it
    most certainly has a right to do in it's own
    yard and house toward a stranger.
    True, the animal is acting out of self-preservation. It might also matter if it was an unprovoked attack, either by the dog or by the officer, or whoever and whatever else might be involved.

    Grandpa h.
    Post by post, building his arguments by smashing a couple of theirs -- for America.

  10. #10
    Male Lesbian ruksak's Avatar
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    Its easy to cast judgment after the fact. But when you have a large, angry dog fast approaching you with menace and you have a side arm, shooting the mutt is an acceptable action.

    My friend shoot a Rottweiler just last year. He owns a rental property and was contacted to come to the residence to maintenance the AC unit. He warned the owners to secure their animal as he would be their at exactly 1 pm.

    He entered the home and within seconds the beast was barreling toward him. He drew and fired his licensed handgun, killing the animal in the doorway. He called the police. They did a report and had the carcass hauled off by animal control. The owners talked of filing a civil suit but never followed through.

    Police are often called out to handle viscous dog calls. Their first priority is to protect the general public from harm. When confronted with a menacing animal, they cannot sit in their patrol cars and wait for animal control, hoping a child doesn't get mauled before hand.

    If people cannot control and secure their pets, pets that outweigh human children, pets that pose a lethal threat when roaming, than they, THE OWNERS, are responsible for the subsequent execution of their animal. They should be held responsible for the cost of the bullet that took down their menacing beast.
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    blasphemer grandpa's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: ruksak View Post
    Its easy to cast judgment after the fact.
    But when you have a large, angry dog fast approaching
    you with menace and you have a side arm, shooting
    the mutt is an acceptable action.
    That may be true, but perhaps the aim should not be to see the dog die, but injured in
    the police action (or the self-defense action).

    Grandpa h.
    Post by post, building his arguments by smashing a couple of theirs -- for America.

  12. #12
    Abolitionist Primum non nocere's Avatar
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    Since when do humans care about what isn't nessacery in regards to animals? Haha we don't like to open that door do we?
    As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

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