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”


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.

August 21, 2011 at 07:57 PM in The War on Dogs | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 10, 2011

The War On Dogs – 5/10/2011

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.

April 19, 2011, Camden, New Jersey: It was a chaotic scene: A bustling neighborhood. Children playing. A Pit Bull prancing down the street. The officers of the Camden Police Department knew what had to be done, as three of them opened fire at the dog, ultimately firing 33 shots and sending residents and children diving to the ground. 

Despite the crowd, the shooting was clearly warranted. After all, the dog had already attacked no one.  How many more does he have to not attack before the police are allowed to take action?  Risky?  You bet. A bullet could have easily ricocheted off a child and stuck a police officer, but those kinds of risks come with the territory.

An investigation has begun, presumably to establish whether the one officer who suggested to the others that they not open fire on a dog that hadn't done anything in the midst of a crowded street should be disciplined in some manner.

April 20, 2011, Salt Lake City, Utah: It all started with a no-knock drug warrant (these are warrants in which police have no choice but to burst into people’s homes without warning and with guns drawn based on the suspicion that those inside might be sitting at home posing no immediate danger to anyone). 

That’s when it happened: Police were confronted by two vicious Pit Bulls that had already assumed the standard pre-attack Pit Bull stance, which in this case involved sleeping on the couch.  Police acted swiftly, dispatching both animals.  Fortunately, two young children were present making the whole incident a teachable moment.

May 1, 2011, Terra Haute, Indiana: It was a day like any other day, until a police officer responding to a call that a dog was loose was confronted by the dreaded Labrador Chow mix. When arriving at the home, the 40-pound dog approached the officer who immediately shot her.

As Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse said, “It’s unfortunate that the dog was out and was shot. We don’t like that to happen, but we don’t want our officers or someone else getting bitten by a dog either.”

That’s why it’s best to just shoot them.

May 2, 2011, Elyria, Ohio: A Labrador Pit Bull mix named Sika refused officers command to “get back.”  The officer considered this clear disobedience to be a provocation, given that “get back” is an extremely common dog command, right up there with “sit,” “stay,” and “make me an omelet” and these are highly trained police officers.  Rather than “get back,” the dog instead barked.  So the officer shot the dog three times.

May 9, 2011, Kearney, Nebraska: A police officer shot a mountain lion that had been found wandering though a residential neighborhood.  It is believed she will not receive disciplinary action since from a distance, it’s easy to confuse a mountain lion with a Yellow Lab.


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

The War on Dogs

Be careful, however. An alert reader pointed out that this shirt could easily cause confusion.  Should you confront a police officer while wearing this shirt, do NOT take any dog-like actions, such as retrieving a thrown ball or licking yourself.  Simply put your hands up in the air and say in a loud voice to the approaching officer, "I am not a dog, this is only a T-shirt."  Once he or she sees that you are fully behind law enforcement efforts in the War on Dogs, it is 50% less likely you'll be asked for ID and thrown in jail.

May 10, 2011 at 03:28 PM in The War on Dogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 07, 2011

The War On Dogs – 4/7/2011

They go by many different names on the street.  “Animal Companion.” “Man’s Best Friend.” “Beloved Family Pet.” But police aren’t fooled. They know those are all just other 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.

March 22, 2011, Gulfport, Mississippi: While investigating a possible break-in, a Gulfport Mississippi police officer came across a dog chained to a pole in a neighbor’s yard. There is really only one thing you can do when you come across a restrained dog in a yard that has nothing to do with your investigation:

Pump it full of bullets.

The distraught owner (They’re always distraught, aren’t they?  Same old story with these people.) noted that “She was just in her yard doing her job and just being a dog."

That was the problem, sir; that was the problem.

April 2, 2011, Berkeley California: Police were called to a residence on reports that several young men were in their backyard brandishing a handgun.  Upon the arrival of four squad cars and five police officers armed with M-16s, it was determined that the perps were using a toy Airsoft pistol, which propels soft rubber balls using compressed air, suggesting the very real possibility that they could put someone’s eye out.

It was at this point that one of the perps pointed out to the police that he had a dog and to please let him put a leash on him.  The officers cuffed him and walked him out of the apartment during which he once again asked if he could put a leash on the dog.  Once outside, he and his friends pleaded with the police not to hurt the dog.

It was at this point, drawing upon his academy training in advanced observational techniques, that one of the officers realized that this man had a dog. Wasting no time, the police officer took out his gunpowderhard gun, which propels hard lead bullets using compressed gunpowder, and shot the dog in the head.

April 4, 2011, Marble Hill, Missouri: A police officer responding to a domestic violence call received permission from a homeowner to search his residence.  She didn’t realize it was probably a set-up as she encountered what every law enforcement officer prepares for but never really expects to have to face:

An aggressive Chihuahua.

Believing her life, and the well-being of the community at large, to be in danger, Deputy Kelly Barks (yes, her real name) shot the dangerous four-pound animal and fearing for her life went outside to examine her injuries.  Discovering she had none, and giving no thought whatsoever to her own personal safety, she re-entered the house and shot the dog again.  When the dog ran into its kennel Deputy Barks did what anyone would do after having shot a Chihuahua twice that had not actually attacked anyone, and shot it a third time.

Understandably having come face to face with a Chihuahua not once, but three times armed only with a high-capacity pistol, Deputy Barks felt she had probably cheated death one too many times and resigned from the Sheriff’s department. 

No doubt the people of Marble Hill feel just a little less safe tonight.

April 6, 2011, Louisville, Kentucky: A suspect believed to have been involved in a home invasion was confronted by police and began to flee.  The police gave desperate chase through the neighborhood until the suspect came into Michelle Damron’s backyard.  There, Damron’s Doberman quickly subdued the surprised suspect bringing the chase to an end and was rewarded for his heroics by being shot to death. 

Hey, we think we just found a storyline for the next Pixar movie!

We should probably point out that police officers do have sympathy for pet owners, despite the fact that they insist on dealing dogs.  In one heart-touching incident last fall, police officers responding to a false burglar alarm shot and killed a woman’s 11-year-old arthritic yellow Labrador Retriever (a breed notorious for aggressively sleeping 14 hours a day). Sure, they were just carrying out their duty and yet were thoughtful enough to leave a note explaining to the woman what had happened:  That they had just shot her 11-year-old arthritic yellow Labrador Retriever.

Forget Pixar, this has Disney written all over it: A heroic Doberman and an old yellow Lab.  Who, working together, both get shot to death. 

We’re thinking a holiday release.


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

The War on Dogs

Wear it with pride.

April 7, 2011 at 10:41 PM in Current Affairs, The War on Dogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 22, 2011

The War On Dogs – 03/22/2011

The first of an ongoing series chronicling the tireless efforts of the nation’s law enforcement officers to rid our society of the scourge of dogs.

Atlanta, Georgia, December 21, 2010: While walking through the yard of an Atlanta residence unannounced, a police officer found himself facing a barking Golden Retriever, a breed notorious for barking a lot.  Falling back on training as much as instinct, the police officer shot the dog dead. A police spokesperson noted that the dog had “ignored commands to stop.”

Raceland, Louisiana, February 10, 2011: While responding to an unrelated complaint from a neighbor, Deputy Brody Thibodeaux came across a dog owned by Dwain Matherne.  The dog, which was on a leash attached to a cable in the yard, was said to be acting like a dog who was being approached by a total stranger, giving the deputy little choice but to shoot him.  The Sherriff’s office noted that “There were no signs indicating a dog’s presence,” other than the presence of the dog. The dog lived. There was no word on whether the deputy will be reprimanded.

Phoenix, Arizona, February 11, 2011: Police Officer Richard Chrisman, responding to a routine domestic violence call, observed that the suspect had inadvertently left a dog out in plain view.  Upon ascertaining that the dog was sitting in a corner barking, Officer Chrisman proved all that time at the shooting range had paid off, hitting the large motionless target just a few feet a way.

Memphis, Tennessee, February 23, 2011: While on a drug raid (which resulted in what was easily a full marijuana joint being found) police officers, suspicious that this might also be a dog den of some kind, asked who was there. One of the miscreants immediately confessed that he was in possession of a dog, asleep in a back room behind a closed door. The police wasted no time in finding the alleged dog, and shot him.

February 24, 2011, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: While raiding the wrong house, police officers came across a dog that acted the way a dog would, if you were to raid its house resulting in the officers shooting the dog four times. So at least the raid wasn’t a complete waste.

March 2, 2011, The Bronx, New York: Responding to a domestic disturbance call, a dog standing in the doorway of the house where he lived greeted the officers by barking.  Big mistake, dog, big mistake.

March 21, 2011, Ripley, Missippi: In a sign of the increasing fury of the war on dogs, two police officers opened fire on a Chow, the ricochet injuring a young boy nearby. Just more collateral damage resulting from our seeming intractable dog problem.

Sometimes, it must seem like no matter how many dogs they shoot, there are always more to shoot the next day. And yet, despite the Sisyphean nature of their work, our men and women in blue soldier on whether it’s pulling over completely innocent people and killing their family pet with a shotgun, or engaging in risky undercover work with a decoy dog, and shooting a dog who comes up to play, they never seem to grow discouraged or tired with the task at hand.

And for you kids out there, remember, when it comes to dogs, “just say no.” Or “stay.” Or maybe “sit.”


March 22, 2011 at 09:44 PM in Current Affairs, The War on Dogs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack