Friday, August 21, 2009

Why video is helpful, dog tasered

The video depicts an animal control officer tasering a dog. Watch it. It's a bit disturbing.

In the video, we have an animal control officer talking on the phone while trying to taser a dog. Let me repeat, the guy is talking on his cell phone in the midst of a tense situation where accuracy is pretty important.

Maybe I'm sensitive to dog behavior and signals. But, to me, this dog is clearly saying "hey, I'm freaking scared, I'm just going to yell at you and back away every time you approach" and not saying "I WILL KILL YOU AND DRINK YOUR BLOOD MUHAHAH!!!" The dog is hunched over. His tail is between his legs, a confident dog isn't going to cover his privates. The dog continues to turn his back on the officer, swing around and bark in that high-pitched barking that you hear from fearful dogs. The dog backs away from the officer and never once exhibits any behavior that would indicate a charge or attempt at a bite. You can see the whites of his eyes. Every time the officer moves even an inch towards him, the dog backs up.

When the dog is inaccurately tasered in his rear leg, it appears both prongs fail to hit the dog. The dog starts to scream and bite at his leg. He does not charge. He just tries to run away on to the safety of the porch.

Yes, fearful dogs are dangerous. This dog, though, with a little bit of common sense could have been rounded up without tasering him. At the very least, the guy with the taser should have put down his phone (and not just down by his side) and handled the taser in an appropriate manner, respecting the fact that he's sending out a painful, potentially lethal pair of prongs into another living being. That seems like common sense.

And, by the poll results, it looks like most people agree that what they are seeing on video is the use of excessive force.

I have to wonder if all dog shootings and taserings were caught on video, would we start to see a trend in tougher rules regarding how officers deal with loose dogs? Every time I read stories, I'm getting two sides, often with two conflicting viewpoints. But certainly in at least two cases, because of video, this one and the one involving a boxer in Lakewood, OH, the public seems to find using a taser on a barking dog to be excessive and cruel.


lostmagic said...

Rinalia , I live in this town and the fallout is huge. Everybody on another site i post on is furious at this officer's action. The news station that originally aired this video has even posted the raw video. It is over 17 mins long and at no time does it appear the dog tried to attack. The mayor and city council had a special 1 hour meeting and the officer has been put on administrative leave with pay. The officer claims that the dog tried to bite his ankle but the raw video does now show that. The rav video starts as the news crew is driving and arrive just before the officer does. The officer even tries to call the dog and the dog does approach in a friendly manner. Here is the link to the raw video. Please watch and post your voice in this manner. It needs to be brought to the attention of the proper authorities because I know, from living all my life in this town, this will be swept under the rug. Thank you... Raw video link here

PoochesForPeace said...

I started to watch the video but couldnt let it play to get to the part where the dog gets tasered. First I thought, I'll just watch it with the volume off, but after seeing the beginning where it's very obvious right away that the dog is scared, I just couldnt see him get treated unfairly. But I thank you for posting the information and I'll take your word for it that it was excessive force!

Kembree said...

This is getting passed along here since we are so close. I can't watch, I don't understand people at all...Thanks for spreading the word...