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“If the U.S. were overrun by dangerous dogs, you would think we’d hear a lot more about a biting epidemic. Yet postal workers, meter readers and pizza deliverymen—among others—all manage to do their jobs without either getting maimed by pets or killing them. It seems awfully curious that police officers seem to be the only ones who face such a stark either/or.” – A. Barton Hinkle, It’s Time for Cops to Stop Shooting Dogs [via[h/t Pascal]

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  1. They do happen fairly often, it’s just not news worthy.

    As a Paramedic I ran several bad ones last year… One made the news and only because cops shot the dogs in the act of attacking the pedestrian.

    But yes, they do shoot some that could have easily been avoided.

  2. Probably should get rid of the tazer and put doggie treats in that pouch instead….

  3. There are times when a dog needs to be shot, and there are times when it does not. The problem is that the Police don’t seem to know the difference. Their first response is: shoot.

    • There seems to be a growing trend among police to go immediately to DEFCON 1 without assessing whether the situation warrants it.

    • Their first response is: shoot

      …and the consequences for shooting the dog first and asking questions later are…..?

      It would seem to me it is a zero thinking policy. If you have to do the math, shooting the dog gets you in trouble how? The worse that will happen is somebody gets mad at you and since you are the law and the courts have your back, what is the down side of shooting the dog? You have reduced your risk to zero.

      Not even the pro-animal rights group seem to care. You cannot put in a road that will relieve congested traffic because of some obscure beetle, but shooting a dog does not seem to get a rise out of those same people.

      There is no consequences, so shooting the dog seems pretty easy zero risk, zero tolerance way of going about things.

      • It’s not like PETA would care.
        They kill off all the animals at the pound to free them from human enslavement -.-

        • No, not only PETA. You forgot the Humane Society of the US. HSUS is the outfit that was in the news earlier this year. But they do run convincing commercials with sad-eyed puppies and kittens on the way to being gassed.

    • Look at it from the cops’ perspective.

      – They shoot a dog. Or dogs. Or a person, or people (plural).
      – They get a mandated paid leave while the “investigation” runs its course.
      – The investigation always returns a “…was following procedure…” ruling, which tells us that the written procedure to which they’re training is to shoot dogs on sight.
      – They get back on the job with no consequences. Donuts for all!

      With that sort of reward system, it is very easy to see why we have an explosion in the numbers of dogs shot. They’re shooting their way into paid vacations – perhaps several times a year.

      • And don’t forget that those vacays with full pay and benefits count toward their cushy retirements that we’re paying for. Or maybe not, as in Detroit.

  4. Postal workers, meter readers and such don’t get called to go where dangerous animals are….. Cops do.

    Citizens usually won’t call 911 for a loose dog unless they feel the animal poses a threat. Sometimes, that threat is real. Cops have to deal with it.

    • thats a stupid statement…the mailman and meter reader go to EVERY SINGLE HOUSE…dangerous animals or not.

    • Joe… That’s a complete load. Most meters are accessible only through the back yard. Simple fact is that cops break and enter all the time and feel justified in shooting a dog that’s just defending their home.

    • When I was a paper boy I had to deal with dogs on a continual basis. So your statement is pretty much a load of BS. As a paper boy, I dealt quite well with dogs using OC spray. Not to mention that it is dangerous to be shooting animals in a populated area. Unless you know exactly where the round is going after it exits the dog then don’t start shooting. It is called using your head for something other than a hat rack. I am not saying that there are not times when a dog needs to be put down, but for the most part all it requires is for the Officer to use the non lethal devices issued to him or her. Just because you are in a uniform doesn’t mean it isn’t reckless discharge of a firearm.

    • When I was a kid, I had a couple paper routes. Had to deal with dogs all the time.

      The only dogs that really attacked me were set on me by a drug dealer who wouldn’t pay his newspaper bill. After the second episode, I made a complaint which ended up eventually causing the arrest of said “customer.” SOB never paid me, over 10 weeks of unpaid bill, down the drain.

      The rest of the dogs? Pfah. By the time I’d had the routes for a couple of weeks, the dogs were waiting for me to arrive, tails wagging. Why? They knew that I was bringing treats. A little sack of dog kibble, distributed one piece at a time, with some knowledge of dog behavior, makes a guy very popular with dogs of all sizes. The only “weapon” I had was a sawed-down hickory axe handle. Tap a dog on the snout with that and they settle right down.

      The real issue here is that law enforcement agencies are hiring a lot of people who clearly know jack-all about animals, animal behavior or much of anything else. From the rash of incidents where cops are raiding the wrong house, it is increasingly clear to me that law enforcement agencies have made literacy an optional issue in their hiring as well.

    • When I did repo I dealt with dogs daily, when I had a vicious dog I had ways of dealing with it , if yelling or a swing from my flashlight or clip board didn’t work, i typically maced them, and if they wanted to attack past that(They never did) I would shoot them, the point is I used a multitude of options and had an escalation of force.

    • When was the last time you heard of Animal Control just showing up unannounced and summarily blowing Fido away for no reason other than existing?

      Try harder to think before you type.

    • What world do you live in? The meter reader in our are carries dog treats with her.
      Another group that have to go in with dogs all the time is Land Surveyors. Also with the big, bad bulls, if that’s what’s there. You think a pit can concentrate your attention, try a 1500# Brahma cros

  5. Cops used to leave a business card on the door … now they just shoot your dog to let you know they were there.

    • Which goes to show Cops lack Fiscal Responsibility, as well. Business cards cost fractions of a Penny, while bullets cost much, much more…and if several bullets are discharged to kill a Dog(s), costs over the Fiscal Year mount rapidly.

  6. Ahh, it’s because only the police are worried about making it home safely at the end of the shift. Remember, it’s all about officer safety.

  7. Unfortunately, some cops have moved on to humans, and just shoot them too. Why are we so willing to let only cops carry guns….? They are humans, and are under a lot more stress than your average joe.

  8. OC spray works really well on dogs of all sizes. I have encountered numerous dogs who were more than willing to bite and never even considered shooting the animal. Not to mention when the round goes through the dog, bounces off the concrete and hits little Johnny in the neck. I have seen too many times when a cop chooses his gun over other devices available to him/her. I blame it on the lack of training.

  9. It’s definitely important to recognize that there is a strong reporting bias at work here, because when a cop shoots a dog, it’s news. Since your mail carrier isn’t carrying, it’s unlikely that if they get attacked that it will be “newsworthy”. With that in mind, the question is still a fair one. When you have cops slitting dogs throats, you don’t have a dog problem, you have a cop problem. Too many people go into law enforcement to get their power jollies, and the system isn’t weeding them out like it should. More to the point, the union and the force in general protects these individuals far too much. If anyone else did some of the things we see cops doing, they would be in jail on animal cruelty charges, but cops walk most of the time. When you give people that kind of immunity to do whatever they want with essentially no chance of repercussions, bad stuff is going to happen. And I guarantee you it doesn’t stop with shooting dogs.

  10. “thats a stupid statement…the mailman and meter reader go to EVERY SINGLE HOUSE…dangerous animals or not.”

    Though I agree that they do go to every door….. I don’t think that they will risk their hide to make a delivery. However, I’m certain that many do get surprised by an agressive dog. Same can be said of a cop who answers an alarm call and faces a dog on the properly. Dog is only protecting his territory.

    I’d like for a postal worker/ delivery person to chime in on how they deal with this.

    Cops MUST answer the call and deal with the situation. They are individuals and their tolerance with risk will differ from one officer to the next.

    • Well as a former USPS carrier I can tell you that I dealt with mean dogs just about every day. We received training on how to deal with dogs. Bitten once- by a poodle. A few others, including one that crashed through a screen door to get me, got sprayed with the nasty orange-dyed repellant they supplied to us. (the dye was to ID the dog later, if needed) That stuff worked amazingly well. I don’t think I would have felt compelled to shoot any of the dogs I dealt with, even though some surprised me half to death. Most were just putting on a show of force. Their tail will tell you true intentions.

      • We just choose to ignore that and go on pretending cops to all these marvelous things they never had, currently do not, and never will do.

        It’s just easier that way. Feeling safe and all.

    • Problem is, cops are not just shooting aggressive Rottweilers. They’re shooting Fifi because the lil’ yapper dared to bare her teeth. They’re shooting dogs big and small regardless if they need to or not.

      Those dogs are not just animals to the family, but members of the family. They have an emotional attachment to their pets.

      I’m a lot less attached to my dog than most as I see it as an animal and not a family member. Still, that is my pet. I feed her, I care for her, I hurt to see her getting older and not being able to understand in her doggie brain why she can’t play like she used to. She is also fiercely defensive around my younger son. I would be outraged if a cop burst in my house, shot my dog because she dared to growl and bare her teeth. Especially if the cop had no reason to be in there. A circumstance that has become all too common.

      Police are ROUTINELY barging onto private property without so much as reasonable suspicion, damaging property, and killing pets. Then without so much as a “So sorry about all the damage and your dead terrier” they justify their actions with “Well, we want to go home safely at night.”

      Want to be safe? Take up a job as a cashier in a grocery store. Go bus tables. Do something where it isn’t dangerous if you don’t want to be in danger. What happened to the cops as Public SERVANTS?

      • My understanding is that it is SOP for “entry teams” to pretty much shoot any dog immediately, big or small, whatever attitude. The reasoning being that if another (human) threat pops up, they want to be free to deal with it without any interference of any kind from Fido–or even FiFi, who could tangle up Officer Operator’s feet. Maybe some of the cops here could correct me on that. And of course, that only applies to the bustin’ in the doors scenarios.

        • And my SOP is shoot the first entry team member that barges in unidentified so that I can deal with the remaining entry team members undistracted. We have a Castle Doctrine here.

  11. But but but cops go to dangerous houses….. Oh wait, unless the dangerous houses are occupied by isolationists then the mail men have to encounter that house on a regular basis.

  12. Isn’t reason a libertarian/left leaning bunch? Sure got this one right. And Joe thousands of mail people, delivery and meter readers get attacked by dogs every year. My regular mailman carries 2 very large canisters of pepper spray. And yes he’s been bitten. Meter readers probably have it the worst going in backyards and inaccessible areas. But those poor POlice get sympathy from you? We’ve had Tom in Oregon and 81cop weigh in. They know what they’re doing.

    • Usually I hear Reason referred to as extremist righties.

      The confusion probably means they’re doing something right.

    • I often wonder how/why libertarianism is so often related to “leftism.” Have you ever examined libertarian philosophy? It more closely resembles modern “conservatism” with an individualist bent than anything else out there on the American political scale.

      It’s funnier than shit though. The left largely considers libertarians part of the “fringe right” while the right considers them part of the “radical left.” As stated above, when you’re ruffling everybody’s feathers, you know you’re on to something.

      • Actually, it’s not too hard to understand. The Libertarian philosophy has close ties to what today is called classical liberalism – as does modern conservatism. Unlike modern conservatism or modern liberalism, it does not believe in legislating morality where it does not infringe upon another’s liberty.

      • The reason why libertarianism gets under both the “right” and “left’s” skin is that libertarians believe in leaving people the hell alone.

        The “right” and “left” both love meddling in other people’s lives – just about different things. They can’t stand the idea of a philosophy that disputes and denigrates their damp dreams of meddling in other people’s lives.

      • @Raul and DG

        Guys… Rhetoric and sarcasm…

        I’ll add quotes and sarcasm tags next time

      • It’s because there’s such a thing as left libertarian (which is distinct from your regular hardcore capitalist minarchist types), and there are even libertarian communists.

        Libertarian means that your freedom ends where my nose begins, period. Beyond that, there are variations. A capitalist libertarian, for example, believes in things such as private property, which generally require state or some other entity with delegated power to enforce (try enforcing your property right to something in a different state on your own!). A communist libertarian doesn’t believe in the notion of private property at all, only in the personal kind (i.e. what you occupy/use). Both would still believe in the unlimited right to self-defense, and the right to be left alone.

  13. There is an explanation for this, at least part of the answer; More and more of our police departments are receiving training from the Israelis, and as one Israeli soldier came out publicly and stated, they are training the American police to treat Americans as they do Palestinians.

    • You realize, of course, that those few “Palestinians” in Gaza who actually have jobs work in Israel, right? Their “brothers” in Egypt won’t let them in at all, and their other “brothers in the Kingdom of Jordan–well, they are the ones who kicked them out of their country in the first place. If you want to talk about someone treating the “Palestinians” as dogs, you need to start with their Iraqi, Lebanese, Egyptian, Jordanian, and Saudi “brothers” instead of the Israelis who are actually feeding them.

    • ISIS and the Syrian government have been killing 100s of thousands of Arabs. No one cares because there are no Jews to blame for those massacres.

      • Why is it that stating facts that involve Israel usually results in defensive statements on this board? Lay off the Fox “News” Kool aid.

    • Dead on true! And DHS is paying for it. The first Department to go over was the NYPD around 2002-3.

  14. I was attacked by a dog while riding my bike. It came shooting out of it’s yard and across the street. It tried to bite my legs. I got rid of it by squirting it with my water bottle. I didn’t get bit, it only got a mouthful of water and it immediately stopped.

    This “shoot the dog” trend is wrong. There is no need to just shoot a dog inside a car or that is barking at you from inside the fence. They should at least wait to see if the owner can control it. Police officers that do that are nothing more than bullies with a badge.

    Some dogs need to be put down but not all, they need more training or to be fired if demonstrated that they overreacted (dog inside car/fence)

  15. There are certainly police officers that should seek employment elsewhere, as in all fields.

    And yes there are certainly a category of calls that Cops have got to answer, by priority. People in danger being on top ( not fetching doughnuts lol).

    I did say that they have to deal with a situation. Never said the only way to do that is using a firearm. Gotta use common sense and “common sense is not so common” .

  16. Many if not most PDs provide their officers with tools of varying levels of violence. Not only do they carry firearms, but they carry chemicals and tazers, so the question is-why do they refuse to utilize the non lethal options?……….after all the idea is supposed to be safety…… repercussions.

  17. Police officers do have different weapons. If you only have pepper spray, then that’s what you use.

    If faced with a charging miniature poodle … Yup, use the spray. Charging German Sheppard? Maybe something more lethal?

    As a side note : many types of pepper spray are greatly affected by even a mild breeze. Better wait ’till fido is close.

    I don’t see any reasons to shoot a dog that is contained in a fenced area or a car. whoever had his dog killed like this ought to seek legal recourse.

    • The problem is that in most of these cases, police are the ones who are provoking the attack – breaking into homes while raiding, or trespassing into private yards to “investigate” etc.

  18. This pretty much says it all . . .

    From Ardmore, Oklahoma. “Officer” Brice Wooly obviously acting with the highest level of professionalism was defended by his department which claimed he was following department policy. Yeah, right. I really want a clown like this on my town’s police force. Even worse, just think what kind of people would work around a guy like this, let alone defend what he did? It’s all about officer safety, don’t you know.

    “Officer Brice Woolly determined Cali had to be put down. According to the report, he used a shotgun to shoot the dog in the neck. Cali died shortly after.

    In a subsequent interview, a neighbor told police he did not witness the killing but did hear Woolly tell the animal control officer, “Did you see the way it’s collar flew up into the air when I blew it’s head off? It was awesome!”

    • fww, you’re just upset because you really have no credible response. If it wasn’t for ad hominem, you wouldn’t have anything to contribute.

      • Who said I was upset? You make anti_semetic remarks without a shred of proof. The Fox News thing shows me who you really are. Israel is the only country in the Middle east worth a damn. Gaza would be peaceful with no one dying if they didn’t fire thousands of rockets at Israel. The so-called Palestinians have a country-it’s called Jordan. And I saw thousands of palestinians cheering after 911. Feel free to cheer them on. I give props to RF for allowing all the anti Israel and anti Jewish claptrap that posts here. BTW the mobile reply glitched on my phone & I can’t figure out who replied to you above about thousands of Palestinians being employed in Israel. GOOGE IT

  19. Interesting article from the Ritherford Institute:

    “If ever there were a time to de-militarize and de-weaponize police forces, it’s now, starting at the local level, with local governments and citizens reining in local police. The same goes for scaling back on the mindset adopted by cops that they are the law and should be revered, feared and obeyed.”

    The full article is here:

    • Unfortunately that can’t be done. Because the police have black suits, actual machine guns, grenade launchers and MRAPs. And they will never give them up willingly.

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