Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Doggycide in Elkhart County, Alabama

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Charlie (Red Heeler/Labrador mix)

Isn’t it curious how many of these playful dogs suddenly turn into vicious attacking machines at the mere sight of a police officer?

Police went to the house in the 14000 block of County Road 36 to investigate a minor traffic incident that occurred earlier in the day. But before the officer got to the door, he shot and killed the family pet.


The aftermath was caught on a cellphone video. You can hear a friend of the dog owner asking why the dog was shot and the police officer replying that the dog had attacked him. The officer then asks if he should leave and the homeowner tells him yes.

"It's a family member and to just see something like that is something you're just not going to forget," said the owner of the dog, Josh Bender, "My dog's name was Charlie. He was a red heeler lab mix dog. He was a pretty cool little guy. He loved to play fetch. He was always playing fetch, always."

Bender watched as Charlie died from a gunshot. Only minutes earlier he was sitting down to eat lunch when he heard his two dogs barking in his driveway. His wife told him a police officer was pulling up. But before Josh could walk outside, Charlie had been shot.

"I was just getting ready to come out the door and I heard a pop," Bender said, "I looked out the door and saw my dog flailing around here with blood everywhere and a police officer standing there with a look on his face like 'what did I do?'"

The Benders live about a quarter mile off of CR 36 and the officer, Mike Daly, had to drive the entire way down their driveway to their house. According to the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department, Daly had first observed the dogs to be friendly, but shortly after they became aggressive. As he tried to back up to his car, he claims one of the dogs charged – that's when he shot it.

It may be a piteous silver lining, but it is somewhat refreshing to see a cop described as actually recognizing the gravity of what he’s done in such a case, at least when compared to the countless other dog-slayings that occur in cold blood. In addition, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department has announced it will investigate the incident and “is taking it very seriously”, which is also a welcome change (though whether or not the investigation will lead to the usual whitewashing remains to be seen).

(via @radleybalko)

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

Doggycide Bingo Index

Confirmed hits:

  • Dead Charlie
  • Ofc. Daly shot first
  • Charlie was most likely being playful
  • Police and owner disagree on Charlie’s aggression
  • Total: 4/25
    No bingo.