“In Oklahoma, killing a K9 is classified as a misdemeanor charge. That means whoever’s responsible could face up to a year in jail and $1,000 worth of fines” 5Newsonline.com reports. Following the shooting death of a police narcotics dog, ‘Creed,’ Sooner State cops have decided to take action. “We’re going to change the law in the state of Oklahoma to make the killing of any police K9 a felony with mandatory jail time,” Capt. Travis Yates with Tulsa Police said. “It’s just a shame that there’s an instance where it could just be a misdemeanor. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. So that needs to change.” Wow. Just like that, the cops can change a law? On what basis? Especially as “Investigators believe [emphasis added] Creed was targeted because of his service with the police department, but have not released any other information about how he died.” Wouldn’t it be funny if Creed died from a negligent discharge of some sort? (Note: not funny ha-ha.)

48 Responses to OK K9 Law: Some Dogs Are More Equal Than Others

  1. In many places, a K9 is given the same legal classification as a police officer. Assaulting a K9 is the same as assaulting a police officer, and they receive burials with full police honors if they die in the line of duty.

    Should police kill dogs? If the dog is a threat, yes. Should they kill dogs indiscriminately? Of course not. However, any criminal who assaults, injures, or kills a K9 should have the holy shit beaten out of him.

      • Then you will get the holy shit beaten out of you, just as if you “defended” yourself against a police officer.

        Some criminals deserve to be bitten. That’s the dog’s reward.

        The anti-police bent of this website returns again, I see.

        • Do you remember a few weeks back when a police dog “got away from its handler” and bit a few innocent people in a crowd? If one of them had popped the dog in self-defense would they, in your opinion, deserve a beating from the police? Or ventilation?

        • It’s not an “anti-police bent” at least not on my part and painting with a broad brush never brings out the truth. With that said I do not expect my city to empower “peace officers” with the privilege of handing out unnecessary brutality just because they are cops. They are not special citizens, they are citizens with special jobs. They are not entitled to circumvent due process by handing out pre-punishment. I expect the police to display a higher order of self control while enforcing self control on others. The least amount of force needed. Nothing more. Quite honestly Mike the above sounds like it was written by a gang banger talking about someone touching “one of ours”.

        • I’m sorry that if offends you to see your masters corruption pointed out. Maybe if the police spent more time enforcing the law and less time trying to screw over anyone who doesn’t work for the government, people would be a little more friendly towards them?

    • In many places, a K9 is given the same legal classification as a police officer. Assaulting a K9 is the same as assaulting a police officer, …

      Unless, of course, a policeman is responsible for the death of the K9. Then it’s just a sad, sad thing that happened.

      • That’s happened too many times here in Phoenix. I’ve had dogs all my life, they drive everywhere with me and I can’t ever imagine leaving one of them in a vehicle like that.

        What’s most disgusting and despicable is the amount of family dogs shot by the cops these days. Seems its SOP to just shoot the dog straight away. Absolutely shameful. My dog is family. Anybody that shoots my Bubba needs to sleep with one eye open.

  2. dogs should only be shot as a last resort. i don’t care who they belong to. in defense of self or others. i have a softer spot for dogs than i do bad guys.

  3. As much as I love my dog I realize he’s simply a living piece of property in the eyes of the law and should always remain so. So should police dogs. They should not be “more equal” than my dog under the law. Police dogs are a tool.

    • I think you presented a bad argument. Aren’t some tools so expensive that it is a felony to destroy them? Police dogs are expensive to train.

      I echo jwm’s sentiments.

  4. I love dogs and can’t bear to hear about any of them being killed — but are you sh!tt!ng me? How many times has TTAG reported on cops shooting dogs for no damn good reason? Were there any consequences? Oh, yeah, two weeks off with pay so the brave officers could recover from their phoney “trauma.” And now they want to get all excited about a police dog getting shot.

    If the arrogance of police know any bounds, I haven’t seen it yet.

    • C’mon, Ralph, we’re not all overwhelmingly arrogant. I believe shooting a police dog, acting properly in the course of its…uh…employment should be a serious crime. They are expensive to train, and expensive to replace. At additional taxpayer expense. If a dog goes berserk, it should be put down if necessary. If a police dog is in use, it’s likely due to a felony crime anyway, at least in my neck of the woods.

      • Well, the problem being that even if you are in the right to be trying to harm a criminal, a large (and growing) portion of the population believes in the words of a great man – “If someone tries to kill you, you try and kill ’em right back!”

        • I hear you. I’m about dog responsibility as well as police responsibility. The canine handler is responsible for the K9 (or at least should be – some of these stories are disheartening), and a dog owner is responsible for their dog.

          In fact, I’ll give you a story about three pieces of advice that a police canine handler gave us during a training day:

          1. You always want to either be close to the canine handler, so the dog doesn’t confuse you for the bad guy, or far enough away that the dog isn’t searching your location (although that isn’t always possible given the situation)

          2. Whenever possible, stay behind a dog searching forward (again, not always possible)

          3. If bitten by a police dog, remain calm and don’t move – the dog is trained to bite the forearm, and not release until commanded by the handler (and I’d probably shoot or stab a police canine if it bit me – unless the handler immediately responded and corrected the dog).

          Even given the above, K9’s still bite cops. In one training class I took, a SWAT / Sniper instructor referred to them as “furry, unguided missiles.” not a half bad description, really.

      • Accur81, all cops are not overwhelmingly arrogant. You aren’t. The local LEOs that I’ve met are good and decent people. But can you really deny that many cops do reek of arrogance and privilege?

        On top of that, too many cops lie, cheat and steal. Too many fabricate evidence and beat the hell out of people just because they can get away with it. There are many thousands of cases where cops have fabricated evidence and then perjured themselves on the witness stand to send people to prison, and those cases have been well documented in every city in America.

        Well, cops are people, I know. Therefore, I could write off the abuses of power by bad cops, except that they’re routinely protected by the so-called good ones. And that makes them all complicit.

        I’ll have more respect for officers when they work for me and not their union.

        • Then it sounds like we’re after the same thing, and it bothers me deeply that so many bad cops are still out there. I train new officers to be able to resolve conflicts. I tell them that when they make a judgement call, they better be able to explain to a supervisor, KCAL 9, or a jury.

  5. The average cost of a trained police dog is north of $10,000, and yes, they are considered LEOs in many states, including California. It should be a felony, as it is here. I don’t have a problem with that.
    I do have a problem with LEOs shooting dogs, though, but that is not the subject of this thread.

    • My wife trains dogs in Schutzhund. Breeders involved in the sport often sell their less-promising dogs to police forces, because the police aren’t willing to shell out the kind of money that real enthusiasts of the sport would spend. The point being that ‘civilian’ dogs can be and often are a whole lot more expensive than what the police have, so I’m not sure I buy the “police dogs cost more” argument.

    • The vehicles the police drive are tens of thousands of dollars. Doesn’t seem to stop them from doing horrible things to them regularly, mostly without cause.

  6. http://www.theagitator.com/2011/11/28/police-dogs-benefit-from-double-standards-too/

    Police Dogs Benefit From Double Standards, Too
    Monday, November 28th, 2011

    We know what can happen if your dog so much as growls at a cop. But what happens when a police dog attacks a kid? Well, we get to hear about the dog’s exemplary service record.

    Police say the Friday attack of the department’s police dog, Storm, on an 8-year-old boy was an unfortunate accident, but Storm has done much more good than bad during his time with the department.

    The boy, Patrick Assion, was visiting his grandmother’s house in Campbell and playing hide-and-seek with his cousin in the backyard when Storm took hold of Patrick’s arm and dragged him to the ground.

    • http://www.theagitator.com/2007/10/15/puppycide-the-rules/

      Puppycide: The Rules
      Monday, October 15th, 2007

      Just so we’re all clear, here…

      * The police can kill the family pet with near impunity. But threaten a police dog that startles you, and you’ll find yourself in jail with a $100,000 bond.

      * If the police invade your home, even on a mistake, they can kill your dog with impunity. But if an escaped police dog wanders on to your property and threatens your family, you have to just let it continue to threaten them. Shoot it, and you’re looking at a third-degree felony.

      • http://www.toledoblade.com/frontpage/2006/12/22/Jackson-Township-man-indicted-in-fatal-shooting-of-Findlay-police-dog.html

        Published: 12/22/2006
        Jackson Township Man Indicted In Fatal Shooting Of Findlay Police Dog

        FINDLAY- A Jackson Township man who shot and killed a Findlay police dog after it came onto his property insists he didn’t know the dog worked for police, but a Hancock County grand jury apparently saw things differently.

        Steven E. Vanderhoff, 41, was indicted this week for assaulting a police dog and cruelty to animals. The assault charge, a third-degree felony, alleges that while Flip was not assisting police at the time he was killed Nov. 18, the shooter had actual knowledge that Flip was a police dog.
        .
        .
        Mr. Whitman said Mr. Vanderhoff feared for his son’s safety. The youngster was still in his car seat and “he didn’t think he could get his son and get into the garage without the dog coming at him.”

        No charges have been filed against Officer Deeter for failing to confine the dog, and Findlay Police Chief Bill Spraw said yesterday that Officer Deeter had not been disciplined for violating any departmental policy.

        “I think there’s other factors involved in this I don’t know that Bryon was completely culpable,” the chief said. The officer’s son had let Flip out of the house, then failed to let him back in before the family left to go to a relative’s house.
        .
        .
        Mr. Vanderhoff, who is to be arraigned Wednesday in Hancock County Common Pleas Court, faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of the assault charge. Cruelty to animals, a second-degree misdemeanor, carries a maximum sentence of 90 days.

        City law director Dave Hackenberg said shortly after Flip was killed, he sent a bill to Mr. Whitman for more than $11,000 that the city paid for the dog. He said that under Ohio law, a person who shoots and kills a dog is responsible to pay for it.

      • FWIW, I don’t believe in that. I don’t want to see pups shot unnecessarily. Ive got dogs that growl and bark also. Our new home will have a few “beware of dog” signs.

  7. Doesn’t really surprise me that the disgusting blue wall that shields crooked and murderous cops would also extend to make their animals more important than people. Go on, LEOs, keep endearing us to you by doing stupid, reprehensible shit like this. I look forward to seeing how many “civilian” dogs you kill this week.

  8. If they really believe a higher penalty is needed, so be it. However, it should apply equally to all dogs, and equally to anyone doing the killing regardless of if they are an officer or not.

  9. I’ve known a lot of dogs. I’ve known a lot of people. Most of the people were good people. Most of the dogs were good dogs.
    Some of each species should have been shot.

  10. Wow, as a new reader of TTAG with some time in law enforcement, it’s a shame to see this anti police bias on this otherwise great site. In fact, I had referred someone to this site today.

    I can take the digs at the lousy shots cops are, it’s the truth. But the other BS, I do not receive so kindly. If I want to read about law enforcement complaints, I’ll go read the comment section of my local media outlets.

    • Please, show me some “bias” against the police? If you mean pointing out actual instances of criminal behavior by the police or the police believing that they’re superior to the “peasants” such as this article, sorry, but that’s just rock solid facts.

      I think the issue is your bias in thinking that since you were / are a cop, cops can do no wrong and anyone who criticizes them is bad.

      • I am against a bunch of the caps I see LE do, in person or on TV. I know that dirty cops exist, and they should be hit harder when they F up. But they are human, and we all make mistakes also. I am a big civil rights supporter, and disagree with so many powers given to law enforcement over the past twenty years. But I also see so much misguided hate for LE, when the powers given/abused by LE come from the legislative branch. Reign those idiots in, and the police would not as much of the issue, in my opinion.

        Oh yeah, the bias? How the article turns the comment about changing the law. They can not themselves change the law. They are going to lobby the legislative branch to change the law. But thats not how the article paints the picture. To me it’s aimed to say that the cops are going to write the law and enforce it, checks and balance begone. To me, a disparaging way to paint law enforcement, not to mention that this is common across the USA, that injury to police K9s are all held to a higher standard. Making much ado over nothing, and slanting it anti police while he’s at it.

        • when the powers given/abused by LE come from the legislative branch.

          While it may be corrupt politicians granting them those power, it’s the LEO’s who choose to use / abuse it. It’s like jury nullification of a bad law or how the Illinois county prosecutors have said they won’t prosecute FOID holders for concealed carry – the people upholding the law can either openly refuse to uphold an unjust law or quietly look the other way and refuse to uphold a law they feel is unjust.

          In regards to the “change the law” bit from this post? I didn’t bother to read the original story, but unless it’s specifically stated in the actual interview that they’re going to lobby for a change, how do we know that they didn’t actually say that they’re going to change the law? Again, it might be in the post that they linked to (I don’t find it worthwhile enough to go read it).

          not to mention that this is common across the USA, that injury to police K9s are all held to a higher standard. Making much ado over nothing, and slanting it anti police while he’s at it.

          So you think it’s no big deal that citizens are held to a higher standard of conduct than the police and that citizens lives, who the police are paid to (supposedly) protect, are considered less valuable and less important than the lives of cops or even a cop’s dog?

      • I am against a bunch of the caps I see LE do, in person or on TV. I know that dirty cops exist, and they should be hit harder when they screw up. But they are human, and we all make mistakes also. I am a big civil rights supporter, and disagree with so many powers given to law enforcement over the past twenty years. But I also see so much misguided hate for LE, when the powers given/abused by LE come from the legislative branch. Reign those idiots in, and the police would not as much of the issue, in my opinion.

        Oh yeah, the bias? How the article turns the comment about changing the law. They can not themselves change the law. They are going to lobby the legislative branch to change the law. But thats not how the article paints the picture. To me it’s aimed to say that the cops are going to write the law and enforce it, checks and balance begone. To me, a disparaging way to paint law enforcement, not to mention that this is common across the USA, that injury to police K9s are all held to a higher standard. Making much ado over nothing, and slanting it anti police while he’s at it.

      • I am against a bunch of the crap I see LE do. I know that dirty cops exist, and they should be hit harder when they screw up. But they are human, and we all make mistakes also. I am a big civil rights supporter, and disagree with so many powers given to law enforcement over the past twenty years. But I also see so much misguided hate for LE, when the powers given/abused by LE come from the legislative branch. Reign those guys in, and the police would not as much of the issue, in my opinion. I tell the pro-weed crowd the same thing.

        Oh yeah, the bias? How the article turns the comment about changing the law. They can not themselves change the law. They are going to lobby the legislative branch to change the law. But thats not how the article paints the picture. To me it’s aimed to say that the cops are going to write the law and enforce it, checks and balance begone. To me, a disparaging way to paint law enforcement, not to mention that this is common across the USA, that injury to police K9s are all held to a higher standard. Making much ado over nothing, and slanting it anti police while he’s at it.

        • Doh. Posting on my phone. Kept telling me that it wasn’t accepting my post. Sorry for the triple post.

    • Five Oh,

      The main writers on TTAG are generally pro-LEO. Some posters are blatantly anti LEO, anti-gun, racist, etc. Some will attack you personally, but they are only words on a keyboard that got through the flame / spam filter. It’s a mixed bag, and most of the comments are reasonable and intelligent, although stories where cops do a good job are typically ignored or glossed over in favor of stories where cops made mistakes, shot holes in the roofs of their cruisers, shot dogs, etc.

      I come here mostly for the intelligent reviews and commentary. TTAG does very well on gun reviews. Some folks may despise me, but that happens on the job as well. I appreciate cops who do their jobs well. Hope that helps.

      • RF,

        Not sure if the website malfunctioned, but I got the duplicate posts detected comment that should have gone to Five oh.

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