Dog lovers have been pushing for the measure in light of recent fatal pet shootings by law enforcement officers, some of which were widely viewed as questionable and might have been preventable if officers had more knowledge of dogs and were better able to determine when they posed a true threat.
During debate on the bill, lawmakers said 37 dogs have been shot by officers in Colorado over the last five years.
“The idea here is to keep officers and animals safe,” Hickenlooper said. The governor brought his dog, Skye — a shelter mutt who is part Akita, part bulldog, part chow chow – along for the bill signing.
Also on Monday, the Colorado legislature proclaimed shelter dogs and cats as the official state pets, approving a proposal presented by schoolchildren as part of a program to teach them about the legislative process.
The training legislation mandates that sheriffs’ offices and police departments offer three hours of online training on recognizing dog behaviors and employing non-lethal control methods, according to the Associated Press. The law also directs authorities to give dog owners the option to control or remove their dogs when officers respond to a call concerning a nonviolent crime. The training must be in place by Sept. 1, 2014.
The bill — believed to be the first of its kind – was unanimously approved.
(Photo: Brittany Moore with Ava, her German shepherd, who was shot and killed by an Erie, Colo., police officer in May 2011)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ava, bill, colorado, dog, dogs, governor, killings, law, law enforcement, mandated, officers, online, pets, police, requirement, shootings, signed, three hours, training
Anyone who follows dog news knows that (A) police departments are turning to dogs more than ever to help fight crime; and that (B) local police officers are shooting dogs more than ever; and that (C) those two trends don’t seem to add up.
You’d think that, as police departments become more dog savvy, reports of officers shooting dogs they feel threatened by would be declining.
Instead, nearly weekly, there’s news of another family pet being gunned down — often pit bulls, sometimes breeds not known for provoking fear, like retrievers.
It’s Arvada. All Arvada police officers are getting dog behavior training, ABC 7 in Denver reports — and they don’t have to go far to get it, considering the experts are often right in the same building.
Officers in the department’s K-9 unit are working with those who patrol the streets in an attempt to give them a better understanding of dog behavior.
“We can be a good resource for them and offer a different perspective,” said Jennie Whittle.
By working with and learning from the department’s K-9s and handlers, the program hopes to better equip officers on the street to deal with dogs, so that fear isn’t the first, and the dominant, reaction.
Often, all a dog that might appear aggressive needs is some time and space.
“Fido just came out here and he isn’t necessarily trying to attack me and if I just give that dog some space then we don’t have any further issue with that dog,” Ron Avila explained.
“Even our patrol officers are, I don’t want to say scared, but intimated at times when we go around our own canine police dogs,” said Arvada police officer Jason Ammons.
Ammons was on bike patrol when a pit bull ran after him and attempted to bite his leg. He used his Taser on the dog instead of his gun, which Arvada officers are being taught is the preferred option.
In light of recent shootings of dogs by officers in other towns, state Sen. David Balmer plans to introduce a bill that would make dog training mandatory for all police officers.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adams county, animals, arvada, behavior, canine, colorado, commerce city, david balmer, dog, dogs, K-9, k9, law, law enforcement, legislation, officer, patrol, pets, police, prevention, program, senator, shooting, shootings, training
The dog was shot when deputies responding to a burglary call went to the wrong address.
Deputy Wilfred Europe III has been reassigned to administrative duties, according to the Denver Post.
CBS 4 in Denver reported last week that it was the second time Europe had shot a dog during his five years with the sheriff’s office. The first shooting wasn’t fatal.
In a news conference Friday, Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said the case is still under investigation, but that certain details “need to be set straight.”
According to Darr, two deputies were dispatched to a burglar alarm call Monday at Thoutt Bros. Concrete at 5384 Tennyson St. The address of the business wasn’t clearly marked and, upon seeing an open door at 5460 Tennyson Street they approached it.
When the occupant of the building opened the door, Ziggy, his 8-year-old blue heeler/border collie mix, ran outside.
Darr said Ziggy was “barking and growling” and that the deputy retreated about 25 feet before kicking him. Ziggy continued toward the deputy, who fired two shots, one of which hit and killed the dog.
Jeff Fisher, the dog’s owner, says the officers told him to calm down when he reacted to the dog’s shooting, and that he could “get another dog.” Darr confirmed the deputy made those comments.
Fisher is being represented by an attorney from the Animal Law Center, Jay Swearingen, who says the sheriff’s account differs from that of Fisher. Fisher says Ziggy was running away from the deputy, not charging toward him, when he was shot, and that three shots were fired.
Fisher said he asked the officers after Ziggy was shot why they couldn’t have used a taser, and was told “It is what it is.”
Many citizens have expressed outrage over the shooting — much of it on the sheriff department’s own Facebook page:
“We’re really pleased that the public is concerned,” Swearingen said. “Our client can’t get his dog back, but what happened with Ziggy can … prevent this from occurring again to another family with their dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adams county, alarm, animals, burglary, colorado, deputies, deputy, dogs, doug darr, get another one, it is what it is, jeff fisher, killed, law enforcement, pets, police, reassigned, reassignment, sheriff, shootings, shot, Wilfred Europe, wrong address, ziggy
Channel 2 Action News took a look at how often police officers in the Atlanta metropolitan area shot dogs in the course of their duties, and counted nearly 100 cases in the past two years.
Individual department records show sthat, since 2010, dogs were shot 25 times in Atlanta, 32 times in DeKalb county, 19 times in Gwinnett County, 10 times in Clayton County and eight times in Cobb County, including the most recent shooting this past September.
In that case, Cobb County officers responding to an alarm call shot and killed Luke, a chocolate lab when he ran out of the home barking.
In that case — in fact, in each of the more than 100 cases — the officer or officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.
“There isn’t an officer out there I know that wants to shoot a dog, any animal!” said Kliff Grimes a national representative for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. Officers often only have a “split-second” to make the decision to fire their guns, he added.
Channel 2 found only one metro area department, Cobb County, that requires officers to have specific training on how to respond to dogs, and that just started this year.
“With training there would be some accountability,” said Elizabeth Cullifer, whose dog Basil was shot two years ago. “There is no accountability in the situation with us. It was like he felt threatened, he shot your dog. That’s it,” she said.
Cullifer had left the fmaily’s 45-pound dog outside when marshals arrived to serve papers in a civil lawsuit. Cullifer heard gunshots and found Basil dead. The papers were for someone who had not lived there in eight years.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, area, atlanta, clayton, cobb, counties, county, dekalb, dog, dogs, fulton, gwinnett, law enforcement, metro, metropolitian, officers, pets, police, shootings, shot
That’s whats been going on in Clark County in Washington state, where two dogs have been killed in the town of La Center.
Fox 12 reports that, on the heels of a similar shooting last month, a second dog — a 2-year-old American Eskimo named Roger — was killed by shots from a passing car Sunday as he sat in his own front yard.
There were also reports Sunday of another dog in the area being shot at from a car.
James Wilson was working on his car, with Roger sitting just a few feet away, when he heard a gunshot, followed by the cries of his dog.
He got in his own car and chased the dark-colored SUV the shots had been fired from but couldn’t get close enough to get a license plate number, authorities said.
Back home, he learned his dog had died in his wife’s arms.
Clark County sheriff’s deputies say last month another pet owner found his dog on a gravel pile, dead from a gunshot wound. That dog, like Roger, was shot with a small caliber bullet, authorities said.
Deputies are investigating whether the shootings are linked.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american eskimo, animal cruelty, animals, cars, clark county, crime, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, drive by, drive by shootings, fired, killed, la center, pets, roger, shooting, shootings, shot, shots, two dogs, washington
Of the 139 police dogs killed by guns in the line of duty in the last 40 years, 29 of those deaths were – euphemism alert! — due to “friendly fire.”
The figures weren’t broken down into how many of those ”friendly fire” deaths were a result of dogs being caught up in the middle of a gunfight, as opposed to cases of mistaken identity — like the one that led to a Baltimore police dog being shot by an officer he jumped on during a pursuit this week.
But either way, even without adding in the number of injuries, the figures show society could be doing a better job of protecting its police dogs.
On top of the nationwide toll of friendly-fire deaths, and far more common, are police dogs being killed by suspects — as has happened 110 times (with guns) and 25 times (with knives).
So there are really two issues here. One, as evidenced by the case of Baltimore police dog Blade, is whether all police dogs should be distinctly marked as such, by virtue of a vest, collar or other means.
The other, larger one is whether police dogs (and the dogs of the FBI) should be outfitted — like their human counterparts — in bullet-proof vests, something that hasn’t been a priority with municipal officials in Baltimore and lots of other financially-strapped cities.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: association, baltimore, blade, bullet-proof, bulletproof, campaign, canine, collars, deaths, drive, fatalities, friendly fire, identification, identify, K-9, killed, officers, police dogs, shootings, shot, statistics, suspects, vest, vests