Monday, December 20, 2010

Doggycide and a dumb reaction

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Puppy looking sad
Sad puppy is sad about doggycide

It’s the same story as ever: Cop happens to be in the neighborhood on unrelated business, dog starts barking, cop immediately shoots and kills pooch in its own yard:

A Clayton County mother of six said the family dog did what he always did when he saw someone. He barked.

But when "Boomer" started barking and running toward a police officer Saturday morning, the officer shot the dog and killed it, Lawrene King told the AJC Sunday night.

“He’s a golden retriever," King said. "He barks, but he’s never bitten anyone.”

A Clayton County police officer was on foot patrol on North Shore Drive when the dog jumped off a porch and started barking and running toward the officer, Capt. Tina Daniel said. The officer ordered the dog to stop and when it didn't, the officer shot and killed the animal in its yard, Daniel said.

The officer, whose name was not released, was responding to a call reporting a suspicious person, police said.

Meanwhile, tweep Todays Politics (@todayspolitics) had this common yet stupid reaction:

Cop shoots, kills family dog. Is it time we tell cops to stop being such pussies and take a bite from a dog. #politics” | Twitter

Reacting with anger towards this sort of blithe slaughtering of innocent animals is one thing, but spouting this nonsense is another. Cops shouldn’t have to fear dog attacks, which can be not only painful and dangerous in themselves, but doubly hazardous should the animal be carrying some transmittable illness. We don’t need cops to get injured by dogs, but nor is it right for cops to start shooting as soon as they feel even the least bit threatened. What we need is better training for dealing with animals, a wider variety of non-lethal weapons at the officers’ disposal, and especially, teaching the cops to reach for those alternatives before grabbing their firearm.

Cops generally don’t shoot people down the moment they start in their direction with any aggressive display; they’re trained to dodge and subdue the aggressor(s). The same should be implemented for dogs and any other potentially dangerous animals cops may have to confront on a regular basis.

(via @todayspolitics)