Monday, February 27, 2012

Attempted doggycide in Pembroke Pines, Florida [updated]

| »
Baxter (6-year-old Australian Shepherd), injured
Baxter, injured

Hey, whaddaya know? This here’s my 50th doggycide post. Maybe the celebration is that, unlike so many of his kind, the furry victim in this story is going to be all right:

A Pembroke Pines family believes a police officer overreacted when he opened fire on their dog.

The 6-year-old Australian Shepherd was shot at least three times Friday night inside the gated Lido Isle neighborhood.

Someone called police to report the dog, named Baxter, was loose in front of the owner's house.

The dog's owner, Frank Jones, said when police arrived, Baxter was already back inside the house but the front door was open. Jones said when police went to the door to talk to the family, Baxter ran outside.

Cameron Jones, 13, came outside to talk to police. He said Baxter was barking at the officers, but police officials said the dog bit an officer's shoe.

At least one police officer opened fire. Cameron Jones witnessed the shooting, saying he was only standing about 20 feet away from his dog at the time.

Baxter survived and is being treated at a Cooper City animal clinic.

A Pembroke Pines police spokesman said the shooting is under investigation but at this point it appears the officer was justified in opening fire.

"The officer was being attacked," said Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. Chris Chacon-Chang.

Yes, god knows police needs to be afraid of ankle-biters. Seriously – that’s just what shepherd breeds do. In all likelihood, the dog wasn’t even displaying any signs of aggression; shepherds nip at everyone’s feet. It’s their instincts; it’s what they were bred for. Leave it to the cops to interpret a nip at their shoes as a life-threatening situation with the most appropriate response being gunfire.

The article also features a (non-embeddable) video that includes a few more morsels of information, such as how the officers told young Cameron Jones to get his dog just seconds before opening fire on the animal, and how police spokesman Sgt. Chacon-Chang is defending the event as “a good shoot”. Well, that certainly inspires confidence about the department’s investigation being unbiased, doesn’t it?

UPDATE (04/14/12 8:10 PM ET) – Baxter died three weeks later. Doggycide Bingo below unchanged.

Doggycide Bingo card
[full size (514×625)]

Doggycide Bingo Index

Confirmed hits:

  • Attempted doggycide (injured dog)
  • Firearm as first reaction
  • Dog was most likely being harmless
  • No apology
  • Official excuses/defends shooting
  • No disciplinary action expected
  • Investigation critically biased
  • 13yo boy nearby
  • Three rounds for one ankle-biting dog
  • Pathetic excuses by official (see above)
  • Total: 10/25
    Slightly more than average. Four-in-a-row, but no bingo.

    (via The Agitator)