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Deadly Force
Police shoot another dog
It's hard to imagine an old yellow Lab with a reputation for friendliness poses a serious threat to police.

Imagine coming home to a note from the police explaining that while you were away they responded to a false alarm and in the process shot your beloved dog. The Hallock family of Oakland know the terrible truth of it. Three shots from a 40-caliber Glock handgun ended the life of their dog Gloria last Thursday. In addition to dealing with their grief, the family is having a hard time believing that the arthritic, 11-year-old, tail-wagging yellow Labrador Retriever invited deadly force.

 
According to news reports, the officer has not been identified or put on leave—although the department has apologized and says it will review the matter.
 
Meanwhile do we just have to accept that protecting dogs isn’t part of the equation—even if they are hanging out in our backyards not hurting anyone? I hope the police give the incident serious consideration that includes a greater awareness that for many of us, our dogs, cats, and other companion animals are family members and part of what we want to protect with our alarms and our tax dollars.
 
Unfortunately, this shooting isn’t the only recent case of police shooting dogs. In August, an off-duty officer in a Maryland park shot a dog at a private off-leash park. And on Sunday, police shot a dog during a Washington DC street fair.

 

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

iStockphoto.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by SaraG | October 5 2010 |

I've heard that cops basically have a shoot on sight policy when it comes to dogs in these situations. Although they'd never admit it publicly.

Submitted by Anonymous | October 7 2010 |

This is outrageous! I can't imagine the pain this family must be feeling. If it could happen to them, it could happen to any one of us! A friend of mine who is a policewoman and animal lover said police officers receive no training on how to handle domestic situations involving dogs. While researching a recent incident in the Chicago suburbs, I Googled the phrase "dog shot" and found numerous tragic stories: http://thebark.com/content/google-%E2%80%9Cshoot-dog%E2%80%9D Should we ask our local humane societies to help educate police departments on how to handle dogs in homes so that everyone is safe? What else can we do?

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