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« Massachussetts State Legislature Mull BSL | Main | 2007 Canine Legislation Conference »

May 15, 2007



Its a DOG when its not a pit no one else around could have gathered up the dog? Couldn't have used a tazer of pepper spray. This is bullshit...the only reason they had to make a half-assed argument for shooting the dog is it wasn't a pit bull. If it was no one would have questioned its justification.


Sgt. Lionel Colon, KCMO Police Department, said, "We never shoot anyone or anything unless we have to, for our safety or the safety of those around us."
- KCTV 5

Wow, just for looking mean you can get shot by a cop! I bet the dog barked once if anything and was shot. And as we all know, if a dog barks it means it wants to eat you.



KCTV 5 has to be the worst news media in Kansas City. I know from first hand experience(you know like how Alan Hill knows everything about pit bulls). But anyway they are irresponsible. I don't know if anyone reading this remembers that after their sting on sex-offenders in...that's right, Shang-ri-la, not in anyway shape or form a bad place to live because eveyone turns a blind eye to its problems...Independence MO...also see(Meth capital of the Mid-western United States and home to Alan Hill.) I digress, they started to go down hill because the same guy that ran that story also ran a story on how easy it was to purchase feritlizer that could be used as an explosive like the kind used in the OKC bombing. Turns out though that it would have taken millions of dollors to purchase that actual amount needed to make the explosive from the newer type he showed on his story. Hmmmmmm, mistaken identity? Where have I seen this before? And I'd like to note that in a story they covered about a friend of mine, they used contacts who had nothing to do with the family conflict that was brewing. The person had said nothing right about the conflict or family and was on just because she lived across the street from the uncle that was the cause of the conflict and was interviewed because she said she new them, even though no one in the family knew her not even the uncle. But the story ran anyway with a person who wanted to be on t.v.


Ha. Yes Tony. I spend a lot of time criticizing the "news" media, but KCTV easily takes the cake for irresponsiblity of reporting. At least they're consistent.

I think it's pretty much universal in most reporting. Any story that I've known enough about to know what ACTUALLY happened, I've known that the news media has pretty much reported it inaccurately, with hyperbole, or with missing info. And it usually isn't even close.


Yeah, even on the national level. My SEAL friends would tell they would watch CNN just for laughs about things they did that no one will ever know they did. In this day in age I can't believe we still take the media as serious as we do. We all have heard that we should question everything we hear but no one ever does, more so when its something they want to believe.

Cynthia Blue

Ugh, that is awful. Dogs bark, it's what they do, it doesn't mean they will attack.


My APBTs started parking at my mailman the other day and I took one off its outside leash(for when they need to go potty outside, I don't tether(sp) them, I know better, their always with daddy and mom inside)to take them back inside. My boy Zeke ran after the mailman just to say hi because he loves everyone and loves to run around every chance he gets. I thought that he would freak out but then remembered the pack of 4 chiquaqas that go crazy every time they see him or anyone for that matter in the duplex underneth us.
Its very aggitating to know that this is the second time as to my knowledge since the bans went into force that I have heard of innocent dogs getting killed by cops for the way they look or act, which they usually act like other dogs. I live close enough to Sugar Hill where the boxer was shot to be glad I won't be living in Northeast KC anylonger. But after hearing about this it reminds me no where is safe unless I and other owners do something.


Tony, an AB was shot and killed a few months back too. And in Peculiar last summer some Barney Fife opened up on a dog shooting 3 times and never hitting it - where did all the stray bullets land I wonder? All these dogs could have been tazered...

And there have been countless incidents the paper doesn't pick up about cops shooting dogs during raids and such...


During my research, I found there was about one incident per week, where a police officer shot someone's pet dog.

Granted, in most of those cases, the police officers could argue their "need" to shoot the dogs in question. (No reasonable person wants even one police officer to be bitten by a dog while performing his/her duties. And faced with an unknown dog running at them, especially while they're also trying to deal with a possible crime in progress, it is sometimes unfair to 'Monday morning quarterback' the officer's decision.)

There certainly are ample numbers of cases where every witness claimed the dog was not menacing the officer before he/she shot it. Having worked with a few police departments, I encourage them to allow the owner to control the dog, whenever possible, and opt for non-lethal alternatives, again, whenever possible.

Police officers are, after all, only human. They're just as susceptible to myth and hyperbole as anyone else. I know for a fact there are countless acting police officers who are scared of all dogs, and even more who are afraid of those they believe to be of specific breeds. Many police officers also often opt to own these same breeds, ironically. Of the dog-owning police officers I personally know, their dogs are:

Rottweiler (3)
German Shepherd (3)
Great Dane (3)
Doberman (2)
'Pit bull' (1)
Cane Corso (1)
Boxer (1)
Bull Mastiff (1)

There are many, many cases of police officers whose personal pet dogs have bitten someone unprovoked. Police officers don't make better dog owners than the general public, it seems.

The heart of the "blame", in these kinds of shooting cases, most assuredly goes to owners who have failed to both properly socialize their dogs (i.e. none of my dogs would have barked at a police officer, much less charged them, much less attacked them), as well as to supervise and control their dogs. Truly responsible dog owners just aren't involved in these kinds of least not more than one or two I can think of.

(The incident caught on video - where a carload of suspected carjackers were pulled over by police, at gunpoint, and forced to lie in the grass on the side of a busy highway, all the while pleading for officers to shut the car doors so their dog didn't run out into traffic - comes to mind. Caught on video was the terrified dog, having left the vehicle, trotting around in the grass and barking. For that, it was shot dead in front of its devastated owners. The blow was just that much more crushing when it was proved the police were acting on a tip from a mistaken witness. ...There had been no carjacking.)

Funny enough, I found the number of innocent people bitten by police dogs to be about the same. ...About one per week.



I get why police officers are afraid of dogs -- and particularly certain breeds of dogs. Most of the ones they run into are not the same dogs I meet in my day-to-day life - they're usually there with a purpose - to guard something that the police/others are not meant to find.

And I certainly don't have a problem with them truly shooting a dog in self-defense -- they have to be in harm's way enough.

It just seems that more and more times a dog is shot without it ever showing truly aggressive signs. One of my dogs, upon seeing another person, would instantly run up to that person to eventually lay her whole body against their legs and raise a paw in hopes of getting a good rub-down.

I'd hate for her to get shot for "charging at" a police officer when she was just merely happy to see one.

It's just hard to tell whether the police-shooting dogs is an increasing phenomenon, or that the media is just now reporting this more often. Maybe we didn't used to hear about this as often because it wasn't considered "news". Maybe it's happening more often because police are being more conditioned to shoot based on biases. I'm not sure. But it really feel like many police officers could use a little help in their Dog IQ to be able to make better decisions on this.

I'm not sure what the right answer is...


Well, I will say that when I've been contacted by police departments seeking information on dealing with dogs, they usually contact me in the hopes of learning how to distinguish between which dogs are a threat, and which aren't.

Sadly, I have to deflate them a bit. The educational materials I provide notwithstanding, I caution them that learning the incredible subtleties of canine body language takes years. An officer simply can't learn the subtle distinction between a diffident dog that is only posturing a threat, and a confident dog that really means to take care of what it perceives to be a threat, in a 3 hour seminar or from reading a pamphlet. Only very experienced people could confidently know a dog's intentions in these kinds of circumstances.

And without too much argument, these are the kinds of circumstances that we're talking about, in most cases. In all fairness, I don't hear too many stories of police shooting a sleeping dog, or one at-heel next to its owner. Justified or not, the dogs are usually rapidly approaching an officer without any kind of owner control whatsoever.

But you're absolutely right in your worry. I have similar worries, but for slightly different reasons.

If the police mistakenly come to your residence in error and, all smiles, you go to greet them, and your happy little monkeys race towards them, you really could find yourself in a real-life nightmare. (Keep in mind, the officers think they're about to arrest you for some crime.) A reliable recall is one of the most basic tenets of responsible dog ownership. (My own rule is that my dogs never approach anyone who doesn't first request to meet them.)

In my case, I don't let my dogs run up to anyone but I worry about my girl's "grumbling". MANY people don't know about grumbling, dog owners included. Because it sounds so similar to growling (even though it looks nothing like growling, and has the exact opposite intent i.e. extreme happiness), I worry that an inexperienced police officer might feel threatened by my dog's happy greeting upon seeing him/her. And because of her size, I doubt I'd garner much sympathy when I pleaded, "She was only demonstrating how happy she was to see him."

Of course when I think about all the people who vow their dogs weren't doing anything to justify being killed, I go to an emotional place that scares me a bit. I'd hate to be the police officer that shot MY perfectly behaved dog. He/she'd regret...that's all I'll say. ;-)


Sorry, I totally missed one of the points I was trying to make. I was trying to say that because it can take a great deal of expertise to differentiate various kinds of canine body language, it's my view that the BEST policy for police officers is not to have them waste a lot of time trying to become dog experts, but rather to have a policy that first gives the owner an opportunity to control the dog, him/herself, if the situation allows.

Barring that, officers can opt for non-lethal options such as mace, pepper spray and tasers. Police are increasingly choosing these options, with some success.

It is dog owners who are charged with everything concerning their own dogs: from their care and training, to their actions and even how they're perceived. A dog shouldn't interact with someone unless he/she/it invites that interaction first. If dog owners kept that rule in mind, well...hindsight is 20/20... :-(


"A dog shouldn't interact with someone unless he/she/it invites that interaction first. "

Putting a lot of responsibility on a dog here...and teaching a dog not to bark at people? I live in the hood - my dog is supposed to bark at people (watchdog, not guard dog). How is he supposed to know that its a police officer v someone threatening me or breaking into my car? And how do I control people's perceptions of my black pit bull? I named her SweetP (cause she's so sweet ;-), put a pink collar on her, she's well behaved (not perfect), etc. If any of us could control everyone's perception I wouldn't have spent the last year in city council meetings 3 times a week. There is no reality, only perception (what a sweet little doggie V. run, its a baby eating pit bull!! - two people, same dog).

I do wholeheartedly agree that police need to change their policies on dealing with dogs. Especially in a situation where there is no eminent danger like the one in this article. I'm trying to hone by doggie body language skills but it IS VERY tough as the tell tell signs often happen very quickly and are very subtle. If a police officer was using all his attention on the dog something worse could happen...


Because it's so lengthy, I stuck my reply here:

If anyone care's to read it, and consider the ideas contained therein, just follow the link. ;-)

KCPD killed my dog

KCPD also shot and killed my dog this weekend. I am still in the process of trying to get the details and have to supply a written request for the "internal police report for firearm discharge". If anyone has any suggestions for me of how I can proceed to determine the "true" actions of the PO who shot my dog, PLEASE let me know. If necessary, I will set up a new email account for private correspondence.

I feel so bad for the owners of the Independence dog, but am very relieved that it is still alive. This has got to stop!!!!

Bonnie Price

I have been researching this issue, police shooting dogs, for six years now. It is incredibly sad. We are preparing to file a lawsuit against the City of Omaha for one of many such shootings. This is a trend across the country and I would urge people to protest, file lawsuits and leaflet as much as possible. There is a downlable flier at Please download it and adapt it to your town or city and distribute it, especially to owners of german Sheps, boxers, rots, pit bulls and even choc labs as was the case in the lawsuit we are about to file.

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