POLICE SHOOT PET DOGS
The rash of irrational dog shootings by law enforcement officers indicates statistical disregard for the law and for private and personal property.
May 2015 | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
PASCO COUNTY FL: Sheriff’s deputy ignores guard dog warning signs, climbs over fence to enter legally posted property and subsequently shoots Ms. Gloger’s guard dogs.
Gloger shows her obedience trained Rottweilers and depends on them for protection. Her posted property is securely fenced with numerous signs warning against entering the property protected by “Guard Dogs”. (film clip Fox News)
Note: The bodycam video that showed the officer shooting a tailed Rottweiler dog has been removed from the internet. His body camera showed the dog circling him at a safe distance and also recorded the contentious conversation with the owner which followed the shootings.
So why did the deputy make a surreptitious entry onto private property? We’re told he was responding to a silent burglar alarm but the record shows the sheriff’s department knew the alarm had accidently tripped several times prior to this event. Clearly there was no imminent threat to life or property. There was no suspected criminal activity which might have warranted a surprise visit. In fact, there was no warrant.
The officer’s defense skirts the issue of why there was no attempt to call the owner, why he failed to open the gate and drive to the house, why he ignored legally mandated warning signs, and the biggest question, why the police officer chose to shoot the dog instead of using mace or his taser, i.e. stun gun?
The U.K.'s Daily Mail reports that officers used stun guns (a 50,000 volt weapon) against "80 animals in three years" including a cow, a rampaging ram, and 75 dogs, most of which were "pit bulls or mastiffs."
Would that Florida law officer’s response have been the same if it had been a person he thought was attacking him? Perhaps. There have been several questionable police shootings of people this year. We depend on law enforcement to keep us safe so is the media picking on police or are officers not given proper training (and psychological testing) and are they fully versed in the U.S. Constitution and every state's laws as regard search and seizure?
The answer to that is unclear but Wikipedia.org says "The annual average number of justifiable homicides alone was previously estimated to be near 400. Updated estimates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics released in 2015 estimate the number to be around 930 per year, or 1240 if assuming that non-reporting local agencies kill people at the same rate as reporting agencies."
One things seems obvious: your beloved dogs are not safe. Ozymandias Media, an independent research group frequently cited by the media, says an unofficial count of dog shootings shows “a dog is shot by law enforcement every 98 minutes.”
Before we discuss other dog shootings by police, let’s settle this Florida case from a legal standpoint. The property was clearly posted with numerous guard dog warning signs. TheDogPress.com has secured a copy of Florida Statute Title XLV > TORTS > DAMAGE BY DOGS for your ii instant information. The law has been in effect for over fifty years and any law officer in the state of Florida should at least know this oft-quoted excerpt from the law:
“…the owner is not liable, except as to a person under the age of 6, or unless the damages are proximately caused by a negligent act or omission of the owner, if at the time of any such injury the owner had displayed in a prominent place on his or her premises a sign easily readable including the words “Bad Dog.”
PALM BEACH FL: This headline “Palm Beach Sheriffs Kill 3 Dogs on Private Property” details two Great Danes and a “pit bull” shot and killed by deputies in Loxahatchee, Florida. Owner Cathy Thomas said “deputies were there serving papers to her friend” and when they came onto her property, her dogs “simply ran forward to greet them.” Their intention can never be proven because the deputy immediately shot and killed her dogs. The owner stated that her dogs “have never been in trouble with Animal Care and Control and have never tried to bite anyone.” Score another one against pit bulls and apparently, any large breed dog.
The sheriff’s office said “the deputies feared for their lives after the dogs charged them” and they had no choice but to shoot the dogs. Residents say they could have chosen not to enter private property without notice but that in fact they did so knowing the dogs were there.
Google and Youtube are full of documented accounts of police officers shooting dogs “without probable cause.”
BURLINGTON, IA: "Cop shoots innocent mother and the family dog." January 2015, an officer was overseeing a family breakup. As the father was strapping his 4 year old son in the car, the wife started arguing again. Her dog was by her side when one of several eyewitnesses said “The dog startled the officer. The officer began shooting at the dog. The officer was still shooting when he fell down in the snow.”
Tragically, as the police officer was shooting at the dog he slipped and fell, accidentally shooting the mother through the chest, killing her in front of her husband and children. He was cleared of any charges.
One of the most viewed youtube videos of law enforcement officers shooting the dog is so gruesome that we are compelled to warn that you will be offended and emotionally distressed if you open the link. The introduction is short. The videos show excessive force, bad judgment, and public endangerment as State troopers, police officers, and sheriff’s deputies open fire on pet dogs.
Humans instinctively fear being bitten by a dog. Officers are human. That said, in scene after scene on this video, you will cringe as police officers, without provocation, shoot the dog which is, in every instance, a beloved family member. One man, reduced to tears over his little dog being shot to death before his eyes is told by the officer to calm down “You can get a new dog.”
Police are supposed to be well trained before they are turned loose with deadly weapons. In the last video wherein 3 police officers shoot and kill a man's dog in his home, TheDogPress.com asks would they have shot to kill if it had been a burglar?
Go to VIDEO Theater for three different videos of Police Officers shooting people's dogs (WARNING: The videos contain graphic footage which may be very disturbing to some viewers.)