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August 21, 2011

The War On Dogs – 8/21/2011

They go by many different names.  “Animal Companion.” “Man’s Best Friend.” “Beloved Family Pet.” But police aren’t so easily fooled. They know those are all just common street names for dogs. 

“The War on Dogs” is a periodic series chronicling the tireless efforts of the nation’s law enforcement officers to rid our society of the scourge of dogs.

June 20, 2011, Shelbyville, Kentucky: A sheriff’s deputy, responding to a burglar alarm came across a dog named Daisey in the back yard. Not knowing whether or not the Labrador Retriever, a notoriously vicious breed, had accomplices, and perhaps mistaking her dog collar for a Glock 9mm, the deputy pulled out his service weapon and shot her to death.

As it turns out, Daisey was not burgling the home, but lived there.

When asked why the deputy didn’t use pepper spray or his taser instead, Sheriff Mike Armstrong noted that, "Yes, there are options that he had available on his belt but, it takes longer to retrieve those pieces of equipment."

You know what’s quicker? Shooting the dog to death. Look, when you take that oath and pin that badge to your chest, you have taken on a sacred obligation to preserve and protect your own neck. Yes, sometimes that means you kill a little girl’s dog and make her cry, but that’s a price these public servants are willing to pay.

While tragic, Sheriff Armstrong thinks some good can come out of the situation by reviewing training, guidance and procedures.

Of civilians.

And so the sheriff suggests it would be helpful if dog owners posted a sign that a dog is present, or perhaps let the alarm company know.

It was not clear if the police would use the information to send a SWAT team or perhaps call in an air strike.

July 25, 2011, Dayton, Texas: Fred, a black Labrador Retriever popular in his neighborhood and known as a friendly, loving dog snapped one Sunday morning and in what can only be described as a murderous, bloodthirsty rage, “nipped at the heels” of an off-duty sheriff’s deputy riding his bicycle.  Naturally, the sheriff feared for his life, and so shot the dog dead. Now before you start accusing the deputy of overreacting, an internal investigation concluded that, “Marks on the officer’s shoes seem to match up with his story.”

You can say whatever you want, you can even point out the 13-year-old girl who will miss him “being there when I’m alone,” but it’s clear that dog was scuffing the deputy’s shoes, and scuffing them bad.

August 3, 2011, Birminghan, Michigan: While on patrol, two officers came upon a loose dog, “Buddy,” a Labrador mix. When approached, Buddy menacingly ran home, lunging for his front porch where he sat aggressively.  Realizing that there is nothing more dangerous than a dog sitting on his front porch, and going by the 100% credible observation from a neighbor “not to trust that dog,” the officers decided to defuse the situation. As any trained law enforcement officer knows, the best way to calm a dog down is to have two complete strangers approach it on its own property with noose poles.  To their surprise, Buddy did not react well to this, leaving the officers with no choice but to shoot him twice.

The officers’ supervisor was called to the scene, and drawing upon the zero years he had spent studying veterinary medicine, determined that the dog’s wounds were fatal and shot him to death on the ground, thus ending what can only be described as this vicious dog’s reign of front porch terror.

August 16, 2011, St. Petersburg, Florida: Fearful for the safety of himself and others, St. Petersburg resident Albert J. Proctor shot and killed his wife’s dog which he said had been acting aggressively and had gone after a neighbor.  Upon determining that Mr. Proctor was not a law enforcement officer, he was charged with animal cruelty.

August 19, 2011, Chicago Heights, Ill: Responding to a noise complaint, a police officer pulled into the driveway of Michael Ambriz’s home. His dog, Bella, ran to see who was there and “lunged” at the officer. Given the inherent dangers involved in any noise complaint, and the very real possibility that more noise was imminent, the officer shot and killed her. The owner’s father, Juan Esparza, who had been grilling hot dogs for himself and Bella, came out to see what was going on, and said the officer pointed his gun at him, cursed, and left.

Police Chief Michael Camilli helpfully pointed out that, “These guys don’t get paid to get bit.” He did not address directly whether they get paid to drive to people's homes, shoot their pets, and drive away.

The incident is being 100% investigated in a completely fair and impartial matter, which you can tell by the fact that Police Chief Camilli noted that there was “no evidence” that the police officer pointed his gun at Juan Esparza. 

Other than Juan Esparza’s eyewitness account, that is.

Before we conclude, special mention goes to the Durham, North Carolina SWAT team for quick thinking and a display of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

After having detained suspects they had been seeking at a Dunston Avenue home, SWAT team members went to enter the house to ensure no one else was there. However, a black lab named Sheba was sitting on the porch off to the side at the top of the stairs.  As the SWAT team approached, heavily clad in Kevlar, pads, helmets, and visors, Sheba sat motionless as can be seen in the video below. The closer they came, the more motionless she became until her motionlessness simply presented too great a danger.  Not wanting the situation to escalate into violence, or risk the well-being of people sitting outside nearby, the lead officer opened fire with an automatic rifle with people sitting outside nearby.

A happy ending? Sure. This time. We can only hope SWAT teams nationwide take a lesson from this and incorporate it into their training. As Shakespeare might have put it:

'The first thing we do, let's kill all the dogs”

J.

To help you show your support, be sure to purchase an official "War on Dogs" T-shirt:

The War on Dogs

With your help, and the good marksmanship of the nation's law envorcement officers, we may someday once and for all rid our streets of dogs.

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August 21, 2011 at 07:57 PM in The War on Dogs | Permalink

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Comments

To my mind, and the minds of many I know, the police went from being a necessary evil to just plain evil a long time back. I can't think of the last time I was glad to see a cop.

Posted by: John | Aug 21, 2011 8:43:11 PM

Cops are just people, which is where the trouble starts. I know some good cops, but you can't build a system based on people being good because not only are all people not good, different people are going to have different opinions regarding what "good" is. Add authority, take away accountability, and layer on tens of thousands of petty laws so that we are all, deliberately or not, criminals, and you have, well, The War on Dogs.

Posted by: Planet Moron | Aug 22, 2011 6:31:28 AM

Are you sure that the guy who shot the vicious psycho dog got in trouble only because he wasn't a cop? As I read these stories, that's the only dog that wasn't definitively part black lab.

To re-paraphrase Shakespeare, "who will rid us of these turbulent beasts, with lolling tongues and dopey grins". Black labs are the gingers of the dog world, they have no souls.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 22, 2011 9:57:37 AM

It's partly selection bias on my part. I focus on labs in general because they are understood to be, well, as you described. Except for the soulless part, lol. On the other hand, who hasn't known a chihuahua or two who didn't have it coming...

Posted by: Planet Moron | Aug 22, 2011 10:30:33 AM

This is just one more symptom of the insanity blanketing modern civilization.

That SWAT Team thing: I believe that cities have too much money, and the cops insist on dressing up like those badass TV heroes. Really. The coming financial implosion cannot come too soon!

Posted by: heathermc | Aug 22, 2011 4:42:13 PM

As long as the coming financial implosion waits until my CD matures.

Posted by: Planet Moron | Aug 22, 2011 7:55:13 PM

The SWAT teams and the cities get their funding in increasingly large proportion from civil asset forfeitures arising from their dubious raids. With luck, it will be another of the coming Planet Moron memes.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 22, 2011 9:10:14 PM

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