Wednesday, September 22, 2010

D.C. Dog Shooting and the Need for a Canine Force Continuum

I seem to have fallen off the wagon when it comes to posting here on my blog.  I went on vacation and apparently never returned.  Anyway, I have recommitted myself to keeping Satchmo's blog updated regularly and in that vein I am posting an article about a dog shooting in D.C.. 


As a pet owner, I am offended by the unnecessary use of guns by police when dealing with stray or loose dogs.  Most dogs are pets.  Most dogs have a family that loves them.  Most dogs respond to verbal commands.  In those incidents where verbal commands don't work, either due to excitement or fear, then I believe that officers need to really have to be critical in determining threat.  I believe that a dog should not be shot unless that is the absolute last resort--like the dog in lunging in the air at the officer.  Shooting first and figuring out the situation last is totally unacceptable.  In most of these incidents, there are people around and the very real possibility of secondary damage to them is present.  Just because you have a gun doesn't mean you can use it whenever you want to.

Here is the article from Change.org:


by Ledy VanKavage  
September 16, 2010  
06:28 AM
 

Last weekend, at the Adams Morgan festival in Washington, D.C., a dog named Parrot got into an altercation with a poodle. The caretakers had broken up the fight when police arrived on the scene. According to witnesses and photographs, the officer pinned Parrot to the ground with his knee, then hurled him down a concrete stairwell, and finally pulled out his weapon and shot him. Given that photographs showed he had the dog contained, isn't this a likely case of excessive force?
And it's far from being the only one. Thousands of dogs are gunned down each year by police officers. Canine shootings have to stop. We have a force continuum that sets guidelines for how much force may be used in situations involving humans, so why not one for canines?
It's not always just the dogs who are in danger. In early September, for example, a Michigan animal anti-cruelty officer was shot by a Detroit police officer while responding to a complaint of dogs running loose. The officer shot and killed a pit-bull-type dog whose only offense had been running at large; the anti-cruelty officer was wounded in the process.  [...read more here...]
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