Why bother sharing stories about police shooting our pets? I hear: Aren’t these just a few isolated incidents from a few bad eggs? Shouldn’t people learn to keep their pets safe – it’s the owners’ fault. It’s just incompetence and paranoia… Officers need more training to handle dogs! Pass a law for training! They shoot people too, of course they would shoot dogs… By highlighting these acts of terror you are further propagating fear…
What prompted those concepts?
Did it ever occur to the folks above that the very problem lies in the training? Although I only suspected, but could never provide concrete evidence for, the idea that officers are specifically trained and encouraged to shoot or kill pets (outside of SWAT raids where they are unfortunately always the first casualty) – a few incidents point in that direction.
First, do you remember the officer who was shot and killed after he tried to shoot a homeowner’s dogs? He was instructed to do so by the police chief (see the Daily Mail link therein)/
Secondly, former policeman Jim Osorio is featured in this extended trailer for the upcoming Puppycide documentary. He consults with departments on handling canines and propagates the “blame the owner” theory. But, he reveals the police perspective at 2 minutes, 14 seconds that officers need “to eliminate the threat as soon as possible.” I would ask him if chained dogs, little kittens, chihuahuas, pet chickens and pet parakeets qualify as threats.
“If they hesitate it could be their own lives,” he says. To date, no officers have been killed by dogs. But one recently coaxed a friendly dog over to him in order to kill it. The kicker – later, he says that police don’t want to shoot the dog, but “have no other choice because they aren’t trained, nobody’s told them anything different, other than just to shoot the dog.“
And finally, a story featured in a travel blog called “A Cop Tried to Kill My Dog Last Night” leaves a lot to ponder.
Basically, following a hipster-esque biker gathering, two men retreated to their tents; after which, in the middle of the night, four officers start scavenging the place. Even this didn’t prompt the dogs into high alert or on-guard viciousness.
Wes Siler writes,
The deputies must have seen us leave and followed us back to our tents. No sooner had we sat down and cracked a beer (totally legal), we saw flashlights approaching and, when they were 20 or 30 feet out, heard a man shout, “Who’s dogs are these? Get them under control or I’ll shoot them!”
In a moment of gloating, an officer reveals why they feel free to shoot dogs.
Two cops, in uniform, were standing in the center of the campground’s drive, one had his weapon out of its holster, pointed at the dogs. Two other men, who we assumed to be cops were also present. They wore black jackets and were clearly with the police, but did not identify themselves as such. One remained behind the two uniformed deputies, hovering back in the shadows, while the other circled around our little campsite to approach it from the other side. The dogs were taking turns sniffing each other’s butts and peeing on a bush.
The cop with the gun then approached me and explained in great detail how he was authorized to shoot any dogs he felt were a threat. “I can shoot any dog that approaches me,” he said holding his gun, in a gloating manner. “All I have to say is that I feel they’re a threat.”
“They wanted to show us their gun, show us they were in charge and revel in our submission,” Wes writes, noting the helplessness of the situation unless he were willing to venture into going-to-jail territory.
He might feel helpless, but by sharing his story and the story of his dog’s near-death encounter he is pointing out the menacing spirit the vast majority of people are unaware of. It’s not incompetence; it’s not a lack of training problem for the “big dogs.” The debilitating, demoralizing effect of blasting away furry family members is an act of war in an occupied country where full subjugation is required for completion.
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