Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cincinnati Dog Shot by Police

What is the criteria for a police officer to use lethal force against a dog? I don't know the answer to this question but having a guess, I'd say something like "Threat of grave bodily harm or death". IOW, an officer trying to subdue a dog would first try some sort of reasonable approach, such as calling animal control, or if circumstances dictate he secure the dog himself, he might try a leash. If peaceful methods failed, I'm guessing some sort of improvised "out of the box" thinking might be employed. Depending on the size of the dog, the officer could possibly don some thick gloves or maybe drop a box over the dog for example. If things escalated to the point of "threat of grave bodily harm or death", I'd guess the officer might use a weapon such as a nightstick, taser or gun - whatever it took to prevent the dog from causing that grave bodily harm the officer believed was imminent.

All this is a long way of saying, I don't get wtf happened here:
A Blue Ash family is outraged after returning home to find their dog had been shot and killed by a police officer.

The dog was a Chihuahua-mix named “Jack” that Scott and Sharon Bullock had given to their 12-year-old son for his birthday a few years ago.

When the Bullocks returned home from a family member's funeral on Friday, they found blood and three bullets on their front porch – along with a note to call the Blue Ash Police Department about their dog.

The Bullocks were shocked to learn that Jack had gotten out of the backyard and two officers who tried to catch him, ended up shooting and killing him right on the family's front porch.

"He was cornered on the porch and scared," said Sharon Bullock. "The officer bent down bare-handed to pick up Jack, and Jack bit him."



The way the article reads, it sounds as if the gun was the first option once the officer deemed the dog was potentially deadly. I can't help but think that any number of alternate, non-lethal methods would have successfully subdued this dog. But here's my question, was the dog still a potentially deadly threat after the first bullet? And after the second? Cos that is truly hard for me to imagine.

I would suggest this officer take some lessons from his local shelter volunteers and staff who likely handle biting Chihuahua mixes regularly. I own one myself - a shelter dog - and I can't imagine the profound loss and outrage I'd feel if a public servant put three bullets in her because she bit a stranger trying to pick her up on her own porch.


LynnO said...

What, did they MISS with the first two bullets, aren't Chihuahua's kinda small?
I suppose we should be grateful they left a note.
Can anybody follow up on this?
Odd that they were coming home from a funeral...only to discover this.

mb. said...

the whole story is confusing: the family is gone & they leave the dog in the yard? Or did the dog first get out of the house & then the yard? Chihuahuas are not outside-living dogs, even way down south.

& then the police are wandering by & decide to shoot the dog? Or were they responding to a call?

It is hard to imagine under what circumstance a chihuahua posed a threat to anyone on its own porch but this story has all the warning bells of an owner dropping the ball early on & then things getting out of control.

Whipple said...

This is a very confusing, very disturbing article. Any idea if the police officer in question got reprimanded?