It’s become far too frequent to hear stories of law enforcement officers using deadly force on dogs – typically with little or no cause to do so.
In Austin, police responded to a call at the wrong address and shot and killed the man’s dog. In California, police shot and killed an 11-year-old lab after responding to a false burglar alarm. In Kentucky, a momma pit bull was shot and killed and her puppies put to death.
These are not isolated incidents.
Sadly, Miami-Dade police officers have also been in the news for similar matters. Tuesday night, officers shot and killed a woman’s dog after it got out of her yard and was reportedly barking. There are few details on the case, and police say the matter is “under investigation”. And a similar incident happened in Miami last September.
Guns are deadly weapons, and should only be fired in the most serious and necessary of circumstances. A barking dog hardly qualifies. While I wholeheartedly respect law enforcement – and appreciate how difficult their jobs are, I also believe that most are not properly trained to deal with animals, and that is a situation that must be remedied.
This behavior is completely unacceptable, and as citizens we cannot tolerate it. Tranquilizers should be used on animals except in the most dangerous of conditions, and officers should be trained on animal behavior – just as they’re trained on human behavior. There’s no excuse for wielding a deadly weapon in response to a bark or growl. It’s excessive force, and demonstrates a serious lack of judgement. We can only hope the Miami-Dade officer who killed this family pet is forced to face SOME sort of disciplinary consequence.