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Cop Shot, Killed Dog Recovering From Back Surgery

A few months ago, I blogged about a suburban Chicago cop who shot and killed a pit bull named Sugar when he entered her home without the owner or roommate present. He claimed he did it in self-defense, because she "lunged" at him. According to all who knew her, Sugar was a sweetheart and friendly with everyone. My guess is that she zoomed over to greet him, much like my own pit bull mix would do, and because of her breed, the cop assumed she was on the attack. So had that trigger-happy cop broken into my home, all five of my dogs would likely be dead, too. The thought is absolutely unbearable, as was the photo in the paper showing the grief-stricken look on Sugar's owner's face when he learned the news.

Tragically, it has happened again, this time in Lakeview, my former neighborhood in New Orleans. On Monday, April 14, police officers responded to a burglar alarm at Dr. Patrick Coleman's house when one of them shot and killed Jax, a 4-year-old Doberman who was recuperating from back surgery. Jax was shot eight times at close range. Jax's sister, a Doberman named Scarlet, was cowering in a corner of the yard when Coleman arrived at the scene. According to Coleman, Jax was in no condition to pose a threat to anyone and his dogs had never been perceived as a threat in the past when officers responded to alarms at the house. The cop's excuse? The dogs had "lunged" at him. The controversy has attracted attention nationwide ... and for good reason.

If you google the words "cop," "shot" and "dog," you'll find similar stories around the country in which a dog was killed by a police officer. Clearly, police departments need to train their officers to respond to dogs in ways that are more humane, such as pepper spray. Jeff Dorson, of the Humane Society of Louisiana, says there are free training programs available upon request. Even though the New Orleans Police Department says the officer did nothing wrong, it would be an excellent good-will gesture toward the public to train officers how to handle companion animals with compassion, not bullets.

Julia Kamysz Lane

April 18, 2008 in Current Affairs, Humane, Legislation, media | Permalink

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Comments

This is what happens when you mix frightened men with guns. And don't even get me started on dogs and cops in New Orleans.

http://www.pasadosafehaven.org/KATRINA/STREETSHOOTINGS.htm

[Warning: Not for the squeamish.]

Posted by: Marius | May 6, 2008 1:51:17 PM

Your right you know, I did google it, there was even one story of a policeman shooting a guide dog...

Posted by: abbey | Apr 29, 2008 8:48:18 AM

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