Dog Shooting Spurs Lawsuit

 |  Dec 3rd 2008  |   5 Contributions


When I first noticed this story I thought it was about the story posted yesterday, the pit bull shooting in Ohio. However, it turns out it was about a shooting of an 11-year-old German Shepard that happened on November 20th in Marion County, Indianapolis.

The police went to Brian Ohler's mother's house on Nov. 20th to serve an arrest warrant for him. The yard is enclosed by a chain-link fence about 3 feet tall with posted beware-of-dog signs, according to a police report.

The deputies rattled the fence and searched for a dog. When they didn't see one, they entered the yard. They went to the front door and then to the garage on the south side of the yard, near Deoge's dog house.

The police report said Deoge charged the deputies as they were leaving the yard, and one extended his left arm to keep the dog away. Deoge bit Deputy Roger Neitzel's left hand, puncturing his heavy suede work glove. Deoge continued to charge before the deputies fired nine times and hit him with about five shots, Tingle said.

The dog's family is bringing suit against the Sheriff's Department, who allows officers to decide on a case by case basis how to handle potentially threatening dogs, in hopes that a department wide protocol will be developed.

The family wants the protocol put into place so the department would have specific rules as to when it's acceptable to use deadly force, versus other forms of non-deadly protection.

This scenario is playing out across the country, it is not an isolated incident. Law enforcement departments need to train their officers so they are properly prepared for these types of situations. "These cops are going into situations not knowing if their lives are put in danger by a dog," deputy manager of animal cruelty issues for the HSUS Dale Bartlett said. "That's the crux of the problem."

Better police policy needs to be adopted nationwide, local advocacy groups such as Move to ACT are helping bring national attention to this issue.

* The picture above is courtesy Danese Kenon/The Star

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