Report: HALF of Police Gunfire involves Cops Shooting Dogs

Report: HALF of Police Gunfire involves Cops Shooting Dogs

Shocking research by the ASPCA shows that 50% or more of all police firearm discharges involve cops shooting dogs. In far too many of these cases, the dogs posed no actual threat — the officers had little to no animal training, and made a split-second decision that ended a dog’s life forever.

Many of these shootings happen when police officers arrive at the wrong address, killing innocent dogs when the cops should have never been there in the first place.

In 2015, Cindy Boling was devastated by the loss of her dog, Lilly. According to Boling a police officer entered her backyard and shot her beloved dog for no reason. The officer had mistakenly showed up to the wrong home. Boling told INSIDE EDITION “we found our Lilly dying in the backyard…You hold her and you scream and you ask ‘God why?”

What happened to Lilly is becoming more and more common. According to the documentary Puppycide, a dog is shot an average of every 98 minutes by a member of law enforcement.

In 2015, a Florida City police officer came to a household to notify the owners that their car door was open. When the family opened the front door their excited two-year-old dog Dutchess ran out to greet the officer. Before the family even knew why the officer was there, they watched as their beloved Dutchess was shot in the head three times, slowly bleeding to death by their front door.

With 37% of American households including dogs as members of the family, police officers are bound to encounter the animals frequently. The Animal Legal Defense Fund states that “when a police officer kills someone’s companion animal, it deeply affects the animal’s human family, as well as the officer, the neighborhood, and the community.”

This makes it crucial for law enforcement officers to undergo animal training that teaches them how to understand dog behavior, as well as safe ways to manage aggressive or unpredictable dogs. In crisis situations there can be little time for the officer to properly analyze the situation. Misunderstandings lead to numerous dog killings that could have easily been prevented.

Some police departments — like the one in New Haven, Connecticut — are enlisting the help of dog behavior experts to teach officers how to deal with aggressive animals and defuse situations without using lethal force. Dog behavior expert Brian Kilcommons told INSIDE EDITION, “we are trying to help people, especially police officers, so their day doesn’t have to be ruined, the dog doesn’t have to die and owners don’t have to be heartbroken.”

Animal lovers are creating organizations to track these shootings, as well. Groups run by activists and researchers, such as the Puppycide Database Project, collect news articles, court documents and police reports in order to produce a comprehensive database.

Although animal training still remains grossly inadequate in most precincts, the growing awareness and increased efforts by law enforcement bring some hope that the number of tragic dog shootings will start to decline. Let’s hope change happens swiftly.

Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

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  1. Rose M. Coveney

    The real problem is that the cowboys that are attracted to police work are vicious, narcissistic, psychopaths who enjoy the killing. When they don’t have a reason to beat up or kill a person, then they settle their lust for blood on killing helpless animals. And, they wonder why the general public has lost respect for them, and quite frankly they don’t even give a crap whether they are respected or not. Unfortunately the few who actually take on that kind of work with the purpose of service to others, and I have known some that I respect greatly, is getting few and far between.

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    • Sue Marston

      You are absolutely correct. I worked in it, and although there are exceptions, the RULE is as you describe. Most people are not aware of how they torture their own K9’s behind the scenes. They sure do a great job of pulling the wool over the public’s eyes regarding the treatment of their canine “partners.” The dogs are routinely hanged to unconsciousness, kicked, helicoptered, slammed to the ground, etc. Once in a while one will die on the “training” field, but they usually die of accumulated injuries inflicted on them by their handlers over a period of time. There is so much more, including how they put the dogs in solitary confinement when they are using or abusing them. They jokingly nicknamed our department’s K9 unit “The Hang ‘Em High Club.” I have a website about it, if anyone is interested.

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      • Sylvia Voss

        Sue Marston, what you’ve just described is appalling on every level. I’ve heard of army personal abusing all types of animals, pigs,goats and dogs.. and it’s legal and in part, aimed to desensitize persons from the suffering inflicted but in reality it removes empathy.. how can these mongrels claim to want to serve others like law enforcement when they have no empathy or respect for life? I’d like to see the same recent law changes in US re (animal abuse up graded felony type 1 )applied to these legal animal abusers as to the public. You are so right they are narcissistic pyschopaths they should be shot

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      • DG

        Why are the officers not monitored? Animal abuse is illegal is it not? I am shocked that an officer would shoot a dog wagging its tail and one running out to greet the officer. and why would an officer climb a fence when they have not rung the doorbell or checked around the home?
        Maybe psychological testing and vetting is needed periodically for officers to not kill innocent animals.

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  2. Linda Powell

    Better training? Shoot first ask questions later? Trigger happy? What is wrong with the police? Get it together or stand aside and let those who take the carrying of a gun seriously.

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  3. Basabi Banerjee

    How can the police of the most advanced country of the world indulge in such barbaric practice? With a gun even the most cowardly person go into a shooting spree. While the police department condones their K9 staff , how can another section be such trigger happy monsters? It shows their moral and ethical bankruptcy.

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