I was having a really lovely day today—my friend Miss Heather and her friend Caitlin were in town from New York, and we’d had a great day doing brunch and visiting the American History Museum. On my way home, I checked my Twitter feed and saw from a local blog that cops shot a dog at a neighborhood festival. I won’t link to the article, because reading it absolutely ruined my day. If any of you want to read the gory details, it’s Googleable.
The short version of the eyewitness reports is that two dogs (a pit bull mix from Lucky Dog Rescue—a great local rescue group out here) and a poodle got into a tiff. Police reported to the scene, and something transpired, which ended in a cop throwing the pit bull over into a stairwell (approximately 10ft below) then walking down and shooting him from only several feet away.
I’m absolutely shocked, horrified, livid, saddened, and disgusted. I knew of the dog—Lucky Dog was at a pet festival in my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and I went looking to see who they had on their website and saw him (he had a distinctive name-- Parrot). Even if I didn’t, that is absolutely no way to treat any living creature, especially when it sounds like there was absolutely no reason for the cop to act in such a way. You do not physically throw someone or something to injure them, and then go down and kill them.
I feel awful for the dog—I can’t imagine what horror and pain his last moments were like. I can’t imagine how traumatized the onlookers must feel—and there were many. I can’t imagine that many rescued dogs wouldn’t try to defend themselves if they were feeling threatened—I know Alice absolutely would. I can’t imagine what kind of mental state the cop would have to be in to make this decision. I’m not a fan of guns by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe in tasers. If an animal’s really out of control, subdue it. Don’t freaking throw it down into a stairwell and then shoot it. Enough damage was probably done when it fell 10ft.
On top of this, there’s the fact that cops are shooting dogs is becoming increasingly more prevalent. It’s happening all over the country. Some of the stories even include cops raiding the wrong home and shooting the dog when it reacted.
And I think it needs to be noted that it’s always a “pit bull” early on in these situations. In many cases, it’s found out later that the dog was a lab, a boxer, a mutt, a bulldog, what have you.
Needless to say, this story has hit way too close to home for me. I’ve already cried for the dog and for Lucky Dog, and I’m scared to death right now of taking Alice to a festival—like we’ve done many, many times before—for fear that she may look at a cop wrong or bark at something and face a horrible, needless death. I’m even scared that our apartment will get accidentally raided and she’ll do her natural thing and defend us. And honestly, I fear for my reaction if that did happen—I can 1,000% guarantee I would not act like anything remotely resembling a lady. And I wouldn’t feel even remotely remorseful for whatever I did. You don’t mess with my dog.
I understand that cops have tough jobs—I would never want to be one. And I also understand the majority of cops aren’t dirty. But this has got to stop. Because you have a gun and the power to use it doesn’t mean that using it to neutralize a situation should be the first reaction.
And honestly, the early reports are saying that the poodle was biting the pit bull’s face. What dog wouldn’t react to that? We have got to stop vilifying pit bulls and assuming that they’re always the aggressors. Any dog can be the aggressor or the victim.
If there are any calls for an investigation, protests, moves for legislation, fundraisers, what have you involving this situation, I’ll be involved. As a dog owner and lover, I cannot sit idly by and allow this to keep happening.
My heart goes out to the poor sweetheart, Lucky Dog, to the witnesses, to pit bull owners, and to every dog owner. I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone.
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