Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Doggycide in St. Louis, Michigan

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Scout the golden retriever
Scout the golden retriever

Today’s report features a St. Louis, Michigan officer who felt the need to run after a playful dog that didn’t need catching, got scared when the cornered animal inexplicably began to growl, and couldn’t see any other way out of the situation than through multiple bullets to the golden retriever’s head:

Lori Walmsley, a neighbor of the family who lost their pet, says she saw the incident.

Walmsley says she was outside playing with her own dog when her neighbor's golden retriever, Scout, ran over into her yard. She says she called the dog over to play, which Scout did, and then Scout ran back over back into his own yard. That's when Walmsley says a police officer showed up.

Walmsley said the officer asked if the was dog hers. She said "no," but told the officer Scout wasn't dangerous. She says the officer tried to catch the dog, who apparently didn't want to be caught. The dog tried to run away and when cornered by the officer, let out a little growl. Walmsley says she couldn't believe what happened next.

"I heard 'pop pop pop pop pop,' and I thought, 'what is going on,' and I [saw] the St. Louis Police Department standing over my dog," said Scout's owner.

"He just started shooting him, he just kept shooting him in the head," said Walmsley. "I said, 'What are you doing? He's just a puppy!'"

The dog was taken to the vet were it later died.

Updated reports reveal more information, including the shooter’s identity as Matt Vanhall and the fact that he originally tried to catch Scout because he had allegedly nearly hit the dog with his car when the pooch was running around. It’s also disclosed that he threw a few kicks at Scout before ultimately gunning the aging dog down. I suppose this marks the first of my dog-shooting reports where gunfire wasn’t the officer’s very first recourse … not that it makes the outcome and the actions that led to it much better.

And of course, Police Chief Patrick Herblet – who wasn’t there and has only Vanhall’s account to go by – declares that the shooting was “absolutely” justified because Vanhall “felt threatened”. So there, just another dangerous threat heroically quelled by police, rather than an innocent household pet who reacted naturally when chased around by an incompetent cop and paid the ultimate price for it.

(via The Agitator)

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

Doggycide Bingo Index

Confirmed hits:

  • Dead Scout
  • (Half-point) Ofc. Vanhall kicked first, but opened fire unnecessarily
  • Passive breed: Golden retriever
  • Witnesses dispute claims of Scout’s aggression
  • Gratuitous discharge (several shots to the head)
  • Chief Herblet blithely excuses shooting
  • Scout reportedly only “growled” without attacking
  • Total: 6½/25