Or maybe even a life-saver, which is how his partner, Officer Jeff Dorn, referred to him while recuperating in a hospital from two gunshot wounds fired by the same burglary suspect who fatally gunned down Mick.
But according, at least, to an Oregon Court of Appeals decision — issued the very same day Mick died while trying to apprehend the fleeing, gun-firing suspect – Mick, being a dog, was merely “property.”
The court ruling wasn’t about Mick — instead it stemmed from an abuse case — but the timing and juxtaposition of the two stories serve to make a point that society, and lawmakers, and law enforcers, and courts, ought to start heeding.
Dogs aren’t toasters.
Mick joined the Portland Police Bureau K-9 Unit in March. After only a few days on the job, police, he captured three suspects within a 10-hour period. On Wednesday, he was with Dorn, chasing down a fleeing burglary suspect, when he was shot.
“Officer Dorn would like the community to know that ‘Mick saved my life,’ ” Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said in a press release.
“The dog was doing its job. He was out there protecting our community, and it’s tragic that we lost the dog,” said Portland Police Chief Mike Reese.
After Mick’s body was recovered, a procession of police cars followed him to a veterinarian’s office, according to a report in Wednesday’s Oregonian, but it was too late.
On the same day Mick died, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a ruling declaring — in line with what all the law books say — that dogs are “property.”
As such, the three-judge panel ruled, dogs can’t be seized and examined without a warrant, even if the purpose is to save a dog’s life.
The legal view of dogs as — above all else — property both degrades and endangers man’s best friend, and can make it difficult for animal-cruelty investigators to provide help to beaten, starved or neglected pets.
Changing that age-old view would require throwing away a lot of law books, and it would require judges to finally start showing half the backbone Mick did.
It’s time to make a legal distinction between inanimate ”property” that has no soul, and “property” (if we must call them that) that does have a soul.
The Court of Appeals Wednesday did the opposite, throwing out the conviction of a 28-year-old woman who, based on evidence from a veterinarian who tested and treated the animal without a warrant, was found guilty of starving her dog, the Oregonian reported.
After an informant told the Oregon Humane Society that Amanda L. Newcomb was beating her dog and failing to properly feed it, an animal-cruelty investigator went to Newcomb’s apartment in December 2010 and saw the dog in the yard “in a near emaciated condition.”
Newcomb told the investigator she was out of dog food and that she was going to get some more, but the investigator determined the dog likely needed medical care and brought the dog to a Humane Society vet for an examination.
That exam, according to the appeals court ruling, constituted unreasonable search and seizure of property — namely, Newcomb’s dog.
While the investigator had probable cause to seize the dog without a warrant, the court said, the “search” — i.e. medical exam — of the dog violated Newcomb’s privacy rights because the authorities hadn’t obtained a warrant.
The ruling effectively overturns her conviction on charges of second-degree animal neglect, and the original judge’s orders for her to serve one year of probation and not possess animals for five years.
It could also serve to hamper animal cruelty investigations across the state.
Maybe worst of all, it confirms the foolish concept that dogs — despite their heroics, despite their loyalty, despite their having character traits that we humans can only envy — are, first and foremost, property, a wrongful designation that legally, if not in reality, seems to trump all else.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 18th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, burglary, chasing, court, courts, dog, dogs, jeff dorn, K-9, k9, killed, law, law enforcement, lawmakers, legal, mick, officer, oregon, pets, police, police dog, portland, property, ruling, suspect
If you think dogs don’t play a role in politics, consider Hooch.
Shot and killed by a police officer in February in the tiny town of Filer, Idaho, the seven-year-old black Lab is the force behind a petition to recall the town’s mayor and all four members of its city council.
Residents — and more than a few outsiders — are still angry over Officer Tarek Hassani’s shooting of the dog, recorded by his patrol car’s dashboard cam and since seen, thanks to the Internet, around the world.
In the video, he can be seen arriving to investigate a report of a dog on the loose, yelling and kicking at the barking animal, shooting it, and then confronting the dog’s owner in a belligerent (and that’s putting it nicely) manner.
An “outside” investigation found no wrongdoing on his part, and Hassani, on paid leave pending the results of the investigation, returned to regular duty this past Saturday.
On Tuesday, the effort to recall the mayor and council started, the Twin Falls Times-News reported.
After the shooting, there were demonstrations, and officials in the city of just over 2,500 people held public hearings that led to some changes, including scheduling training sessions for officers on how to deal with dogs.
“I think they’re going to do their best to make the recall work,” said Mayor Rick Dunn. “They only needed 20 (signatures) to start the process, and they’ve gotten that far.”
Gathering 20 signatures for each city leader’s recall petition is only a first step. Organizers now have 75 days to gather 201 signatures for each official — 10 percent of the number of voters registered in the last city election – to bring about a recall election.
An investigation by the Nampa Police Department, about 150 miles northwest of Filer, found the shooting was justified, but it did question why the officer didn’t stay in his vehicle, call the owner of the dogs or call for backup.
Town officials have scheduled a mandatory eight-hour training session on how to deal with aggressive dogs for Filer’s police officers on May 3.
Mayor Dunn said fallout from the shooting has placed the town in a bad light.
“I hate to see that,” he said. “Filer is a nice town: We have good staff, good people here. Give Filer a little more credit than this.”
(Photos: Top, Mike Preston and his wife, Brenda, sign a recall petition, by Ashley Smith / Times-News; bottom, citizens who, because of the size of the crowd, couldn’t get into a town hearing on the case in February, by Drew Nash / Times-News)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 10th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, black, cam, city council, dashboard, dog, dogs, drive, filer, hooch, idaho, killed, lab, labrador, mayor, officer, petitions, pets, police, recall, retriever, rick dunn, shooting, shot, tarek hassani, video
An animal control officer who struck a dog with his baton, leading to a cracked skull and the loss of an eye, did not use excessive force, authorities in Oregon have concluded.
The officer, Hoyt Stepp, was defending himself against two dogs when he struck Dojie, a river rescue dog who was running loose when the Washington County animal control officer encountered her.
After an investigation by Hillsboro police, the district attorney’s office said there was not enough evidence to pursue animal cruelty charges against the officer.
Protesters gathered outside a news conference yesterday, where the decision not to prosecute the officer was explained, KOIN reported.
“I am convinced that the responding officer followed a reasonable course of action,” said Deborah Wood of Washington County Animal Control.
Animal Services Field Supervisor Randall Covey said the officer followed his training: “…He created a barrier between himself and the dogs, backing up, yelling at the dogs to go home. That did not deter the dogs. Officer Stepp got to the point the dogs were right on him in full, aggressive attack, and at that point Officer Stepp struck Dojie one time to avoid being bitten.”
Marlin Starr, Dojie’s owner, reported the incident to police after witnesses told him the officer struck his dog, who had escaped from his yard.
While authorities say the dog was struck once, Starr questions how one blow could cause a cracked skull, injured shoulder and complications that led to the loss of one of Dojie’s eyes.
“I am outraged for Dojie and I am outraged for every animal in Washington County. No animal is safe from Animal Control at this point,” Starr said.
Dojie is an experienced river rescue dog trained to help people who fall out of rafts, according to KATU.
She will no longer be able to do that job, Starr said.
Starr said witnesses told him his dog ran into his backyard, followed by an animal control officer, who pulled out a collapsible baton known as a bite stick, and hit Dojie.
The police investigation concluded that the case “did not contain the necessary elements of the crime of animal abuse.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 27th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, animals, baton, bite stick, charges, cracked, crushed, dioje, district attorney, dog, dogs, dojie, excessive, eye, force, hillsboro, hoyt stepp, investigation, lost, no charges, officer, oregon, pets, police, prosecution, rescue, river rescue, skull, washington county
For the second time in less than a year, someone is scattering what are suspected to be poisoned meatballs in a San Francisco neighborhood in an apparent attempt to murder dogs.
A San Francisco animal control officer Saturday found 34 meatballs scattered around the Twin Peaks neighborhood, where a similar incident occurred last year.
The meatballs were placed along curbs and in hedges and bushes, where they’re more likely to be sniffed out by dogs and less likely to be spotted by humans.
“These were incredibly well-hidden,” Lt. Denise BonGiovanni said.
An animal control officer was sent to search the area near Crestline Drive and Parkridge Drive Saturday after a resident called Friday to report finding fragments of suspicious meatballs.
The officer found 34 pieces of raw meat containing something solid. A 35th ball of meat was turned over to the officer by a resident who picked it up before her dog could eat it, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The meatballs have been turned over to the San Francisco Police Department for testing.
“They look very similar to the ones found last year,” BonGiovanni said.
Last July, a 7-year-old dachshund died and another dog was sickened after eating meatballs the police believe were filled with strychnine.
No arrest was made in the case.
Since last week’s incident, the city’s Animal Care and Control staff have posted more than 50 warning signs in the neighborhood. Residents of the neighborhood are being advised to keep their pets inside, or keep them on a short leash when walking.
“If your dog picks up anything and starts to eat it, I wouldn’t waste time, I would take it to a vet,” BonGiovanni said. “We haven’t confirmed it’s poison but it’s not worth taking chances.”
San Francisco police are asking anyone with information that could help the investigation to call their anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.
(Photo: Provided by San Francisco Police Department)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 25th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: analysis, animal control, animals, crestline, dogs, health, hidden, investigation, meatballs, neighborhood, officer, parkridge, pets, poison, safety, san francisco, scattered, strychnine, tests, twin peaks, warning
A 300-pound probation officer in Southwest Georgia, saying he feared for his life, fatally shot a woman’s 12-pound dog last week while on a routine visit to check on her son.
Cherrie Shelton’s two-year-old dog Patches approached officer Antoine Jones as he arrived at her home, she told FOX 31 in Albany.
As she was explaining to the officer that the dog wouldn’t bite, he pulled out his gun and shot the dog, she said.
Patches died 30 minutes later.
Shelton said the officer told her he feared for his life.
“He stated that he gave the dog verbal commands to get back but the dog continued to come towards him in an aggressive manner so he fired one shot at the dog using his duty weapon,” a police report on the incident said. The report noted that the probation officer is 6 feet tall and weighs nearly 300 pounds.
The Georgia Dept. of Corrections said in a statement that the officer’s force was justified, and that the officer was “required to use of force against an aggressive canine during a field visit. An incident report was filed and it was determined that the Probation Officer responded appropriately.”
Shelton told FOX 31 she can’t understand why a such a large man would react that way to such a little dog, or why he couldn’t just scare off the dog by kicking his foot or stomping.
The bullet hit Patches on the left side. The dog then walked to the side of the house, where she died 30 minutes later.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: albany, animals, dogs, georgia, jack russell, killed, law enforcement, officer, patches, pets, probation officer, robation, shot, terrier
Police in Fayetteville, N.C., say they are still investigating an officer’s fatal shooting of a pit bull during a drug raid in July, but the owner — who had left the dog in the care of friends — thinks she is owed some answers.
“The police are supposed to protect and serve, not kill and destroy,” Victoria Thompson told the Fayetteville Observer. “I want the officer responsible for maliciously murdering my baby held accountable.”
Thompson has been waiting since July 17 to find out why Queen, her 4-year-old pit bull, was shot to death as officers executed a search warrant at a friend’s house.
Thompson was a friend of one of the house’s two occupants, and had left Queen with him while she was moving from Fayetteville to Atlanta.
The home’s occupants, Justin Bernard Harris and Taurean Forte, were charged with drug-related violations after the search, according to Fayetteville police.
Queen was in a bedroom asleep when police burst into the room, according to Thompson.
Assistant Chief Brad Chandler said one of the suspects was hiding in the bedroom closet. When officers entered the room, the dog came toward them in an aggressive manner, Chandler said.
The officer who shot the dog has not been identified.
Fayetteville police shot seven animals in 2011 and 12 in 2012, according to a report compiled by the Office of Professional Standards and Inspections.
Asked why non-lethal means weren’t used to control the dog, Chandler said, “If we’re using a Taser, we can’t defend ourselves. You’re going into a drug house and in a split second, you have a huge pit bull coming at you. There’s no way you have got that time. Do you want to risk that?”
Thompson said police offered her compensation for Queen’s death.
“That’s like asking how much is your daughter’s or son’s life worth,” she said. “I want a proper burial for my baby and an apology from the officer responsible, because he unjustly murdered her. But more than anything I want justice for my Queen.”
Posted by John Woestendiek September 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, answers, dog, dogs, drug, executed, fayetteville, killed, law enforcement, north carolina, officer, owner, pets, pit bull, pitbull, police, queen, raid, search warrant, seeks, shooting, shot, visiting
A sheriff’s deputy in Park County, Colorado, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations that, while off duty, he shot and killed a neighbor’s 16-year-old German shepherd.
The Park County Sheriff’s Office said it has started an internal investigation and has also asked the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting of the dog, named Shiva.
The dog was in the family’s driveway in Bailey, an hour southwest of Denver, when she was shot.
Shiva’s owners were attending a wedding in Denver on Saturday when neighbors said they saw Deputy Matthew Jackmon — who lived next door to the family — shoot their dog.
According to ABC 7 News in Denver, neighbors in the Friendship Ranch subdivision told the family they saw the deputy poke the elderly dog with a stick a few times, walk back to his house, return with a gun and shoot the dog in the head. They said he then picked up the dog’s body and dumped it in a nearby ditch.
Once the family came home, they were approached by Jackmon who said the blood in their driveway was from a coyote he shot while they were away.
After a search, the dog’s body was found in a ditch.
“She was in pain, I mean she’s old and we weren’t ready to put her down yet,” owner Laura Brown told Fox News in Denver.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bailey, colorado, deputy, dog, dogs, driveway, german shepherd, investigation, killed, law enforcement, officer, old dog, park county, pets, police, sheriff, shiva, shooting, shot
Figo wasn’t with his partner when the 33-year-old police officer was shot and killed alongside the road, but the German shepherd attended the funeral and paid his respects.
Jason Ellis, a K-9 officer with the Bardstown Police Department in Kentucky, was shot and killed last Saturday when he stopped to remove some debris from the road, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Police said he was shot multiple times with a shotgun by an unknown assailant.
Ellis was buried Thursday after a funeral service held on the seventh anniversary of his taking the oath as a police officer in Bardstown, a town of about 12,000 people, located 40 miles southeast of Louisville.
The funeral at Parkway Baptist Church, just off Blue Grass Parkway in Bardstown, drew law enforcement officers from Chicago, Pennsylvania, Ohio and across Kentucky, many of them K-9 officers who brought their dogs.
Attendees filled the sanctuary’s 1,000 seats, 500 more seats in a fellowship hall, and were lined up along the walls. After service in the church, there was a 20-mile procession to the rural cemetery in Chaplin where Ellis was buried.
At the funeral, Ellis was remembered as a family man, friend and a hero. Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said Ellis “paid the ultimate sacrifice doing what he loved: being a police officer.”
(Photo by Jonathan Palmer / Lexington Herald-Leader)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambush, animals, bardstown, dogs, figo, funeral, jason ellis, K-9, killed, law enforcement, officer, pets, photo, police, police department, police dogs, shot
An animal control officer in South Carolina responded to a call about a barking dog behind a Home Depot, and was touched when she discovered what all the noise was about.
“This is one example of why I love my job,” officer Michelle Smith said in her report.
On Monday, a caller to animal control reported a dog had been barking in the area along the creek since Saturday, Fox Carolina reported
Smith followed the noise and found the dog and kitten at the bottom of a steep embankment.
She took them both to Anderson County P.A.W.S.
Smith said the dog is taking care of the kitten, cleaning and feeding it.
Animal control is hoping either the dog’s owner or whoever adopts her will agree to bring the cat home, too.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: anderson, animal control, animals, barking, cat, creek, dog, dog and cat, dog nurses cat, dogs, embankment, friends, friendship, guarding, kitten, loyalty, michelle smith, nursing, officer, pets, south carolina, stray, unlikely friends, video
The grieving owner of Baby Girl, the 2-year-old pit bull killed by police on Staten Island earlier this month, is suing the city and the officer who fired the shots.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, was being filed in Brooklyn Federal Court on Monday, the New York Daily News reported.
Baby Girl’s owner, Patricia Ratz, took her and two other pit bulls for walk at Schmul Park on April 6. When the two other dogs — Bo and Missy — began snapping at each other, Ratz intervened and was bitten.
Police say she was screaming for help when an officer arrived.
The lawsuit says more than 10 shots were fired at the dogs, one of which hit Baby Girl, who was running away from the ruckus, in the back. She died five days later. Police say the officer, who is still on active duty, fired seven times when the dog charged her.
“We are seeking to fundamentally change the way the NYPD deals with pets,” he said. “When a dog is fleeing the scene, it’s because the doggie is afraid, not because the dog is concerned about getting arrested. That’s the reason people flee, not doggies.”
(Photos: A photo of Baby Girl posted at a memorial for her at Schmul Park in Staten Island; Patricia Ratz and fiancé Pat Guglielmo, along with their dog Bo; by Mark Bonifacio / New York Daily News)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 30th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby girl, courts, dogs, killed, lawsuit, new york, officer, patricia ratz, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, schmul park, shot, staten island, suit