Scenario: Your dog gets loose from its leash and chases down a neighbor's child. This news is bad enough for the pet owner, but continue on. The dog doesn't hurt anyone, but neither does it make it easy for police called to the scene to capture it. What do you do?
Apparently, for the LaGrange, Missouri Police Department, instead of waiting on animal control officers to arrive on the scene, or even being just a little more patient with steering the dog into a dog kennel once the catch-pole had been secured around its neck; you simply shoot it, in the head, TWICE!
This story was reported by WGEM after video captured by the police cruiser went viral on YouTube. People everywhere are outraged at the unnecessary force by the officer in the video. It clearly shows the dog secured by the catch-pole, held down on the grass. All that needed to happen then was for the second officer to place the dog cage in front of the animal, hold it steady, while the first officer pushed the dog, head-first, into the cage. This isn't rocket science.
Instead, the officer simply pulled his gun, which he kept reaching for during the entire length of the video (seems a little trigger-happy to an observer), and fired. The first shot didn't kill the dog. Injured, the pooch wagged its tail as if signaling, "please don't hurt me". The officer then fired a second time, ending the dog's life.
The dog's owner, Marcus Mays, is left grieving, and having now to deal with a citation of owning a "vicious" animal, for which he plead "not guilty". The case went to trial today, June 17, 2010.
The mother of the little girl, Mary Coleman, even feels bad about the outcome, saying she didn't wish harm to the dog.
Police chief Dale McNelly told WGEM, "You know, I'm not saying it's a perfect scenario because we don't ever want to go around shooting people's pets and that's not what we're about," (more of this interview here)
The Humane Society is conducting an investigation into the shooting and says that the police department will be undergoing re-training to better handle similar situations in the future.
Perhaps the Humane Society could require such training be mandatory annually for ALL police departments. This might take new legislation, but wouldn't it be worth saving animals from unnecessary death at the hands of officers unsure how to deal with an uncooperative dog? Just think how many human lives it might save, too. Who wants a trigger-happy officer loose in the field? At the very least, a reprimand is in order so this officer doesn't walk away thinking his behavior is appropriate and acceptable. A reprimand for the other officer, too, who stood by and did nothing to save the dog's life.
This was so heartless, cruel and cold-blooded and completely unnecessary. The dog was restrained, subdued, placid and quiet but there was no one to save her. This is similar to a police officer handcuffing a suspect, having him lie on his belly and then, with his hands cuffed and completely helpless, shooting him in the back while he begs for his life.
Let this case be an example of what NOT to do. Let something good come out of something bad, or else the dog's life, its tail-thumping last words, had no meaning at all.
(columnist Michele Gwynn)
Click above link for video of this heartless crime. (Graphic)