At least half of all shooting incidents involve a police officer shooting a dog, according to the ASPCA.
Dogs like Lilly, who was gunned down in her own backyard after a cop showed up at the wrong address. Her devastated owner came home to find Lilly dying in the yard, and all she could do was hold her beloved dog and scream, “Why?”
Dogs like Spike, the pit bull who was still wagging his tail when an officer shot him dead in an apartment building hallway.
And Dutchess, who ran outside to greet an officer who’d come to warn her owners that their car door was open. The officer shot Dutchess three times, and the shocked family watched her slowly bleed to death by the front door.
Police officers are turning to guns as the first line of defense against dogs, even when the animals pose no danger to them whatsoever. Department policies typically allow cops to shoot an animal simply because they "feel" threatened. But with little or no training on how to deal with dogs, the officers are incapable of determining whether a threat is real or imagined.
In the majority of police dog shootings, the officers never face animal cruelty charges or other consequences, even though they have shattered the lives of both the dogs and their human families.
It’s time to end the rampant police violence against dogs. I urge you to pass legislation to require all law enforcement agents to undergo animal training that teaches them how to deal with dogs without lethal force. I also urge enactment of harsher penalties for officers who shoot dogs and other animals.