|Barked: Tue Aug 13, '13 8:30am PST |
|Tasers. They look like bright yellow guns and the officers shoot the stun gun prongs at the target from a distance. Some of them can reach hundreds of feet. They could easily avert a dog attack, since the dog is not injured in the process and many dogs who want to fight will give up after the powerful shock if they think they will get killed if the fight continues.
Police also carry pepper spray infused with tear gas. It causes not only irritation of the eyes but also extreme irritation of the respiratory system to the point where the "victim" feels like they can't breathe and is physically unable to run or fight. It can incapacitate virtually any human, even ones that are mentally unsound and bent on getting to the sprayer no matter what. With how sensitive dogs' respiratory systems are, they would be even more strongly affected by the spray. It could injure the dog, but is unlikely to be lethal unless it's a tiny dog, very brachycephalic, or already sick/weak. The same stuff in an even higher concentration is used as bear deterrent spray. I keep one by my side whenever I go camping.
Both items are designed for humans as large as the biggest of dogs and are not meant to be lethal. Could they kill a dog with these items? Yes, but it isn't likely. And both these items would send most dogs running and hiding.
Police have options, but many just pull out the gun way too soon.
Most of the downright absurd killings seem to be at the hands of city police versus rural police. The city people may not have much experience with dogs and are likely mildly phobic whereas the rural officers had to deal with dogs running loose as kids and therefore understand some dog behavior. I know even among non-officers, my inner-city friends are terrified of pitbulls and other "scary" breeds while my more rural friends and I (who grew up in a semi-rural/suburban patchwork of a town) are more dog-saavy and therefore only fear dogs with suspicious behavior. Notice how none of the offending officers seem to have a pet dog at home, either.
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