Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doggycide in Dalhart, Texas

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Smokey (Australian Shepherd & Blue Heeler mix)

Not enough doggycide yet? Here’s another dog killed by police in suspicious circumstances:

A Dalhart police officer shoots and kills a family dog after responding to an animal control call.


[Crystal] Woods says she came home to find her children playing with this Australian Shepherd and Blue Healer mix.

She says she wanted to find the owner and called animal control, only to find out the officer was on vacation.

Dalhart PD is considered the next responder in the absence of animal control.

"We probably take an average of 25 animal control complaints a week," Dalhart Police Chief Gary Sinclair said.

However, this call ended in the death of a beloved family pet named Smokey.

Naturally, the two sides disagree on what happened:

"An officer responded to the call and took custody of the animal," Sinclair said. "While attempting to place the dog in the officers vehicle, the dog resisted and bit the officer on the hand resulting in the unfortunate and immediate destruction of the dog by the officer."

Woods tells a different story.

"The officer had the dog in the car because he went around and told other neighbors to put their dogs up and came back to tell me to put my dog up," she said. "The only thing I can say is that I did see the dog in his patrol car."

Woods suggests the officer drove off with the dog and shot him minutes later in an alley.

Dalhart PD denies those allegations, saying the officer fired three rounds after being bitten while trying to lift the dog into the patrol car.

The department even showed us incident statements regarding injuries to the officers hand.

Even if the officer’s account holds true, I can’t imagine that a single bite, as mentioned in the report, should be just grounds for outright slaughtering the animal. It seems that only with dogs is the slightest (alleged) misbehavior regularly used as justification for ending an animal’s life without first attempting to control it.

At any rate, the article notes that an “internal and external” investigation is underway, for whatever it’s worth.

(via @radleybalko)

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

Doggycide Bingo Index

Confirmed hits:

  • Dead Smokey
  • Cop shot rather than try to restrain
  • Cop unpunished
  • Disagreement about the story
  • Total: 4/25
    No bingo.