Every day, at least 25 dogs are shot dead by a police officer. The bloodshed is so rampant that a shocking 50 percent or more of all police shooting incidents involve a dog. Often, the dog is shot multiple times and suffers a slow, painful death.

Many of these innocent dogs pose no threat whatsoever to the officers who gun them down. Take the case in  July 2017 when a Minneapolis cop shot Ciroc and Rocko, two service dogs, in their own backyard. As video surveillance revealed, the dogs just calmly took a few steps towards the officer before they were shot.

While these two dogs thankfully survived, thousands of others have not been so lucky. Like when police shot and killed a dog named Lilly in her backyard, devastating her owners. Or when a cop killed a dog named Dutchess who had simply walked up to the officer to greet him. Her owners watched in her horror as the officer shot Dutchess three times.

Police officers are simply not given adequate training in how to deal with animals. Many departments allow an officer to shoot a dog if they simply “feel threatened.”

Police violence against dogs tears families apart and results in the suffering and death of far too many pets. I urge Congress to pass legislation requiring animal training for all police officers, and to enact harsher penalties to officers who needlessly shoot dogs and other animals.