In any case, when it comes to the seventh dog shot and killed by St. Petersburg police officers this year, the public anger is not subsiding.
Boomer’s death is still echoing — and doing so well beyond Florida.
Between his vocal owner, a Facebook page called “Boomer’s Voice,” and a petition at Change.org that has drawn more than 4,000 signatures, Boomer’s death has already gotten more attention than the previous six dogs that were shot, combined, the St. Petersburg Times reports.
Roy Glass, a prominent personal injury lawyer, says he wants the police to know how much the dog’s violent death hurt his family. He wants the agency to admit the officer was wrong, and he wants police to change how they deal with dogs.
“What I want is for police to not be so trigger-happy in blowing away an obvious family pet,” he said.
Boomer escaped from his fenced yard Oct. 1 after a worker removed some wire that kept the dog from digging his way out. That night, he approached a woman walking her dog. The woman says he growled and snapped at her when she tried to check his tags.
When the woman called police, officers Misty Swanson and Michelle Fotovat responded. According to their police report, the dog was sociable at first, but bared his teeth when Swanson reached for the dog’s tags.
“Officer Swanson was about two feet from the dog when I observed her pull out her gun and fire one shot at the clearly now vicious dog,” Fotovat wrote in the police report.
Glass says — despite the dog’s tags — police never called him. On Oct. 2, he reported his dog missing. On Oct. 3, the SPCA called to tell him what happened to Boomer.
When Glass and his wife, Lauren, started hearing from other residents whose dogs had been shot and killed by police, they started a campaign.
They began a Boomer’s Voice Facebook page, featuring a photo of the dead and bloody Boomer, which already has over 2,500 followers. A California animal activist started a petition on Change.org calling for St. Pete’s officers to be better trained to handle animals.
“When a police officer’s first line of defense in restraining an animal is to reach for a weapon, it is sending the wrong message to the community that they swore to uphold and protect,” the petition says. “The ‘uncooperative animal’ that the police officer may kill could be someone’s senior pet who could be afraid, deaf, or in pain and not able to respond to the officer’s request.”
Boomer’s shooting is under investigation by the Police Department’s internal affairs division, and police aren’t commenting until the investigation is completed.
A police spokesman did point out that, after a September 2010 shooting that killed two leashed dogs, all officers were ordered to go through two hours of training with the SPCA.
Boomer’s owner believes that’s not enough. Glass wants to see officers undergo more extensive training, and lawmakers rewrite existing laws that define pets as property.
“As the law stands, our pets are nothing but chattel,” he said. “They’re personal property, and if somebody violates them, or abuses or maims or kills (them), you’re not entitled to any compensatory damages other than value of the dog. That’s so antiquated these days.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: attorney, boomer, boomers voice, campaign, change.org, death, facebook, florida, golden retriever, killed, laws, lawyer, officers, petition, police, property, roy glass, shot, st. petersburg, training, trigger-happy
When is an animal sanctuary not an animal sanctuary?
When state wildlife officials raid it and begin shooting its fenced-in denizens with shotguns.
Thousands of people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org demanding the North Carolina Wildlife Commission investigate the shooting last month of nine tame deer by its officers on a rehabilitation farm in North Carolina.
The officers shot and killed the deer on Wayne Kinley’s farm in Randolph County, saying they needed to conduct tests on the animals to see if they had Chronic Wasting Disease, an illness that has never been found in North Carolina.
State wildlife officials say the test can’t be conducted on live animals.
According to Fox 8 News, wildlife officials received an anonymous tip in June that Kinley was running a captive deer farm without a license.
They showed up at his farm on September 20, handed him a warrant and proceeded to shoot seven fallow deer and two white-tailed deer with 12-gauge shotguns.
Among those killed were a fawn and a deer that was blind in one eye.
“Deer were running everywhere,” Kinley said. “It was not a sight for anyone to see. They were judge and jury and convicted my deer today within a matter of 30-45 minutes.”
Wildlife officials say state law requires those running captive deer farms to have a license, and that Kinley doesn’t have one.
Kinley said he has been running the rehabilitation farm for 30 years, caring for peacocks, buffalo, kangaroos and, in the past seven years, deer.
“I didn’t know anything was wrong until today. They wouldn’t even give me a chance to plead my case to a court or anyone,” Kinley said.
Kinley received a citation, but said he plans to go to court and fight it.
The petition at Change.org was started by Millie Bowling, a North Carolina resident.
“I’m a great supporter of the wildlife commission,” said Bowling. ”But they are out of control shooting these animals.”
While the wildlife agents who stormed the property claimed to have a warrant, Kinley’s supporters argue that the warrant did not authorize agents to kill the animals, only to seize them.
“Where were our fourth amendment rights in all this?” asked Jo Henderson, a neighbor who initially raised one of the slain deer before placing it on the rehabilitation farm. “It just breaks my heart. There was no reason to kill those animals, and our rights are being trampled. We’re not going to stand for it.”
Henderson has been collecting petition signatures both online and offline and planned to deliver them — 7,000 as of yesterday — at a wildlife commission meeting today.
“People across the country have been moved by this campaign,” said Corinne Ball, Director of Organizing at Change.org. “This may have happened in a small community in North Carolina, but now folks from all over are paying attention.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, asheboro, campaign, captive, cause, change.org, chronic wasting disease, deer, farm, fenced, investigation, killed, massacre, nine, north carolina, penned, petition, pets, randolph county, refuge, sanctuary, shot, tame, tests, wayne kinley, wildlife, wildlife commission
Operated by the animal control department, the county shelter makes little or no effort to adopt out animals, according to critics.
And last month, the dogs it had euthanized and dumped at a landfill near Boonville included one that was still alive.
So they took it back to the shelter — and killed it.
“Shelter” probably isn’t even the right word. It’s more like death row. The shelter’s kill rate is 90 percent, and unless an owner comes to reclaim a pet, or the local humane society pulls one out, most dogs end up being euthanized.
Or, as one TV report innocuously put it in the case of the landfill dog, he was taken back to the shelter and “given more medicine.”
The County Health Department told 14 News it’s common procedure for euthanized dogs to be dumped into landfills, but that discarding a live dog was an unfortunate mistake.
According to Change.org, two people saw animal control officers dumping plastic bags at the landfill. Then they saw one bag start to move, and heard a panting sound come from inside it.
When they brought it to the attention of the animal control employees, one of the officers said, “Guess we’re taking this one back.” Without opening the bag, they tossed it in the back of the truck.
The county says the department’s two animal control officers apparently failed to confirm the dog was dead before taking it to the dump. Both employees have been reprimanded.
Officials say it was an isolated event, but criticism of the county-run shelter is mounting.
Residents voiced numerous concerns to the Warrick County Commission on Monday night, according to another 14 News report.
Said one resident, ”Any time you try to go out there, nobody is there when you call. You leave message after message so you can set up an appointment and it makes it very difficult to adopt animals from there.”
County Commission Board President Don Williams defended the animal control officers saying they had a heavy workload, and blamed residents of Warrick County for neglecting their animals.
A petition demanding changes at the shelter — critics say it makes no effort to place adoptable animals on pet adoption websites, rarely answers its phone, and makes it difficult for visitors to view animals in its care — can be found at Change.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, alive, animal control, animal welfare, animals, change.org, dog, dogs, dumped, dumping, euthanasia, indiana, kill rate, landfill, live, petition, pets, pound, rehoming, rescues, shelter, shelters, trash bag, warrick county, warrick county commission