Police shooting and killing dogs... Where do you stand?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Vinny - Therapy Dog

If U can't- destroy it then- get help
Barked: Sat Jun 22, '13 8:32pm PST 
The border collie that was shot was Lily her people are the ones responsible for starting Lily's law that just failed in the house....
They have not given up they will be back and hopefully Lily's lw will be passed
We all need to support this.
Vinny - Therapy Dog

If U can't- destroy it then- get help
Barked: Sat Jun 22, '13 8:34pm PST 
We have a personal interest in this as our boy Vinny was just shot in our fenced yard by an officer delivering a warrant to the wrong house.

Please come by and support Vinny at:


What does "calm"- mean, mommy?
Barked: Sat Jul 20, '13 4:10am PST 
I absolutely worry about a cops reaction to my dogs. I got pulled over one time with my Lab in the back seat. Naturally, she started barking at a stranger walking up to my window, and the first thing that came to my mind was "Please don't shoot my dog, please don't shoot my dog.." The next words out of my mouth were "She just likes to bark, I promise she won't so anything but that". Which I'm sure they hear a lot, but I was genuinely worried the cop would interpret it as something else and shoot her dead in my backseat.

IMO, I don't believe that my dog barking near a cop should immediately make me fear for my dogs life. Cops should learn basic dog behavior and dog body language. Like someone else said, it's something they regularly come into contact with during their jobs, therefore basic training should be done. This whole shoot first read body language later has got to stop.


I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
Barked: Sat Jul 20, '13 6:05pm PST 
That very thing is on my mind every time I leave the house with one or both of my dogs in the car. I worry about being stopped by a cop while driving (I've been stopped before because they were looking for someone who had a car just like mine). Koby's very reactive in the car, I'm working on that. I make sure he's secure in the back. I've heard stories where the cops have shot peoples dogs that were in their car because they were stopped and the dog was barking and growling. I work in a place where cops are our customers. There are good ones, bad ones, smart ones, very stupid ones, arrogant ones and down to earth ones, excuse my wording. Unfortunately, it's the stupid ones that shoot with out thinking. I know that if cops came in my house uninvited, (I hear stories where they have the wrong house), both my dogs would go crazy and based on the recent stories, they would probably be shot. I'm pretty sure Koby would charge at them. I do have a command, "Go to Bed", I use to get them out of the room right away, but you never know how your dog will react until they are put in that specific situation. Most of the cops we have as customers are dog lovers. But, I really do think that since there are millions of dog owners out there that they should be required to go through some kind of training relating to peoples pets. thinking

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Sun Jul 21, '13 10:22am PST 
I agree that officers need some kind of training on dog behavior and body language. I understand that financially the training would be minimal at best, but some is better than none. You would think it would be since they encounter them so frequently.

I also believe that even though we're told we shouldn't be concerned about protecting our dogs from police officers... we should be. All it takes is the wrong place and the wrong time and an officer who is pumped up and maybe not a dog fan to begin with or just not educated in dog body language for a disaster to happen.

I think back to the 4 month old pit bull puppy shot 8 times, cause one of the kids left the gate open. It was a mere accident, but the dog paid in the worst way. Could have been prevented. Even though I think everyone can agree that in that situation the cop was in the wrong, or at the least overreacted.

I don't want to believe that officers are out to get my dogs, I've read the good stories too. And I am grateful for the service the police provide. But we all know that there are plenty who are for whatever reason less understanding than others, and I don't want to give them a reason to feel like they have to respond in such a way.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Sun Jul 21, '13 1:25pm PST 
This is a growing concern for me, for sure. It was very unsettling for me to watch the video of Max the Rottweiler in Hawthorne, CA for that visual account and a dog just essentially barking.

That is a huge concern level to me. I do have the German dogs for protection. One was PPD, the others have been more natural guards. I depend on them, and society is ok with that. I do expect them not to bite anyone, and they don't. I think this is all very common, it is one of the reasons why we have dogs, and having officers going around popping dogs for barking when it is so natural and expectable is not consistent with the society in which they live. Certainly, they are trained for expectable high stress situations. They should be trained for this better than they are.

I am not a child on this issue. I think if a dog is complicating the police getting control of a potentially dangerous subject, or if a loose dog is a community risk, then I can see the need for lethal force. There are so many instances, however, of a detained subject, arriving to serve a minor warrant, or to ask a civilian a question. Owner in attendance and all of a sudden the dog is dead....and you have to ask yourself how sane that is? It seems extraordinarily out of proportion to me when you have dogs doing what we expect them to, cops doing something that may get a dog reasonably upset, and not having better ways to deal with this.

I grew up with a dangerous dog in my childhood and do have memories of police getting involved, but I certainly never feared for my dog's life. This is newer, incidences on the increase. I think in part due to publicized dog attacks and BSL perhaps. I don't know what, but when I was a kid a cop dealing with a dog was just part of a job. I don't necessarily think you need training....plenty of pizza delivery guys out there will tell you that. But more that THESE people need training, as there are just too many incidences over reacting and it just ends up with this mind boggling conclusion.

I know with Charlie the Pit Bull and the police horse, that officer was very rational and never did overreact. I don't put this on all cops. I think with the Max the Rottweiler episode the arresting officers were level headed, while the assisting officer did something really stupid. And then you had that case with a Pit Bull at an adoption event, where a minor scuffle between dogs ending up with the dog getting hurled down the stairs and then gunned to death. With the people right to handle their dogs? I mean.....really?
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Sun Jul 21, '13 6:07pm PST 
I also think about the video captured on the homeowner's security camera of the Oklahoma sheriff who gets out of his car and shoots her dog that's running up to him. He only stopped there to ask directions--it's a fairly rural looking setting.

Anyone who's been to a farm in the country ought to know they are bound to be greeted and or run up to in some fashion by resident dogs. He could have easily gotten back in his car, but he seemingly quite calmly pulled his gun and shot the dog and then lied about it--until the owner told the department she had it on video.

How much bad P.R will it take to get departments to address their policies I wonder, is it just going to be one heavily publicized needless dog shooting at a time?

Better watch- yourself!
Barked: Sun Jul 21, '13 6:37pm PST 
I was really and truly upset with the Max the Rott video. Got in a very heated argument about it. Argue to death about whether they were justified or not, as he did jump at them, however what really upset me was his death. Not only was there the possibility of some other defense, ie taser maybe even a club as he wasn't all that aggressive. But after the first shot, he RUNS AWAY and then is shot 3 more times! The threat was neutralized! He did not have to continue shooting until the dog was writhing on the ground.

I also saw the news on a pit mix getting shot in the street, or the raid to the WRONG house with a pit bull TIED UP inside that was shot. Guy comes home to his dog dead on his floor frown

I am a military police in the army and I like to think actually killing these dogs would be my very last action. In Afghanistan you have hundreds upon hundreds of stray, feral and chained up untrained dogs that you come across. You have to learn to cope, make things work and still get the mission done. While respecting all life forms, whether it's someone's beloved pet or not. I think that is the most disturbing thing here, as someone said before me. These people get a gun and badge and don't give a damn about a living creature. Obviously I understand if it's truly a need, the mission and the welfare of people comes first. However most of these we're arguing were outrageous and not called for whatsoever. Yes there is a lot of good done by law enforcement as well, but when there is an obvious rise in a disturbing new trend, it needs to be protested, people made to understand it is NOT acceptable, and find out what we can do to fix it. Those classes are a phenomenal idea, when I get back to California I will be looking into offering those for any law enforcement agency that is interested.

Also this all got really personal for me last week. The house next door to me was raided and they shot and killed his young female mastiff. She was a barker but very timid and very sweet. Also have never seen her leave the backyard ever. So that means they went into the backyard and shot her there, for attempting to defend her territory. Oh and left her dead there in a trash bag. My dogs alerted me to something initially going on, enough so that I went outside in my backyard ready to grab my gun. Now our fence is shared between the two houses, luckily privacy fence. Anyway I didn't see anything so we came back inside. Not 5 minutes later.. 1 very loud shot, followed by 3 more. Again with the excessive. I knew someone had killed something I just thought maybe deer poaching. Had no idea they actually killed his poor dog. Thank god I brought my two inside!! They would immediately have tried defending the house and I feel like the cops would have shot them had they even seen a nose coming through the fence.

Needless to say this is all very close to home for me now. I fear for my dogs' lives now, and I don't believe that is ever something we should fear in the safety of our own home. Fellow officers need to have some respect for living beings
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Sun Jul 21, '13 7:55pm PST 

Here's an interesting case on Animal Legal Defense Fund's site regarding officers who shot a pet dog were trying to appeal for qualified immunity and and their appeal was denied.

It seems many of these cases are being brought up under 4th Amendment grounds in that shooting of companion animals in instances especially where the owner is available to take control and the dog in not an imminent threat constitutes an illegal seizure.
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