Monday, September 12, 2011

Doggycide in Miami, Florida

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Dog chalk outline

It seems that police officers in Florida are told not to venture into a residence’s back yard if they’re warned that a dog is present there. Naturally, the cops in this story ignored the rule, with all too predictable results:

A mother and daughter are livid after a Miami-Dade police officer shot and killed their pet dog despite warnings not to go on the property.

Police were responding to a burglar alarm at the home near Hialeah when the incident occurred, Det. Edna Del Castillo said.

Ozzy, a 140-pound Rottweiler, was in the backyard of the house.

"He wouldn't hurt anyone. He just looks big," said Laura Samuelson, who has owned Ozzy for three years. "All he would do is lick you to death. They were laughing about it."

Del Castillo said the dog charged the officers, who entered the backyard to investigate the house. Then the dog was shot, she said.

The shooting is being looked into but officers are instructed not to go into a backyard if they are warned about a dog, she said.

"If there is a dog, they are not going to enter," Del Castillo said.

But Samuelson's neighbor, Fernando Perez, said he told the cops several times that Ozzy was roaming in the back.

When the security alarm system at the home went off, Samuelson called Perez to check it out while she made the 20-minute drive to her house, he said. Perez said he knew not to go into the backyard because of the dog and when officers arrived, he warned them.

"'Be careful. It’s a big dog,' I told them. They told me to go back to my house," said Perez, who repeated the warning several more times. "Before I get to my driveway, I hear the two shots. They walked into the backyard with the guns in their hand. Then they ran from the backyard like they were scared or something."

I’m starting to think these stories must all come from some sort of metaphysical template or something. It’s always the same: Cops arrive at wrong domicile, ignore warnings, and slaughter a family pet before claiming it was an aggressive werewolf out to drink from their jugulars or something, despite testimonials from both victims and neighbors asserting that the mutt was perfectly harmless, or even cowering defenselessly as it was being murdered.

It’s hard to say which police departments need most: Better training to help officers cope with encounters with household pets, or more firings to get trigger-happy cops back in line. Not that one has any reason to believe that either will ever be implemented, of course

(via The Agitator)