Saturday, June 19, 2010

La Grange Police Kill Restrained, Non Aggressive Dog, VIDEO

And thankfully (not for the dog) it is all caught on video. This is why video should always be made public in these types of situations. They generally show dogs who are not dangerous enough to warrant such violent reaction from authorities. Video here and here. These are 5-10 minutes of a 68-minute long video. The longer video includes footage of police chaining the dog to a mobile home as well.

On March 31st, a mixed breed dog got loose.

A woman calls police after she claims the dog growls at her daughter. The dog is so dangerous that the same woman who called police leashes the dog and chains her to a mobile home. Talk about fearing for her life!

La Grange, Missouri police arrive in all their glory. Two full grown men with guns drawn are ready to take on this stoic, non-aggressive dog. The dog is so incredibly frightening that she is easily rechained to the truck.

When the first attempt to loop a catch pole over the dog's head fails, officers back off.

You see once again how violent this dog is - she sits down, and then in a final act of pre-mauling behavior, she lies down. A few minutes pass and the officers try to catch pole the dog again.

The dog is scared. She rears up and nips briefly at the catch pole. The officer shows how inept he is at dragging a dog over to a confined area by letting the dog run around him in circles. La Grange doesn't have an animal control department, and no one appears to have taught the police how to use a catch pole or what to do with a dog once caught.

Because instead of loading the dog up into a crate or the back of a confined truck, the officer drags the dog over to a grassy area, pauses while the dog just stands there, and shoots her in the chest.

The dog drops down. In a last-ditch effort to appease the officer, she wags her tail. For several seconds, she is down, wagging her tail, while the officer holds tightly onto the catch pole.

Finally, he shoots her in the head, killing her.

This is outrageous. The dog exhibited absolutely NO behavior that warranted two bullets. None. Nada. Zilch. According to officers, she was "violent"and "vicious" prior to the shooting. None of the video footage supports that. Growling and barking does not a vicious, violent dog make. Being able to leash and chain a dog up indicates a low-level threat.

Both officers had tasers. But instead of utilizing a less lethal weapon, they decided to mercilessly shoot down and kill a dog who, in her final seconds of life, wagged her tail at her killer.

There are a few petitions going around about this issue. This one has about 1,300 signatures. Feel free to sign it. Caveat: I think petitions are meaningful when they are from locals and accompanied by follow-up contact, but I have qualms about their efficacy as avenues of change.

Rest in peace, Cammie. You deserved a lot more - from your owner, from your breeder, and certainly from the La Grange police department.

The video is not gory. It is heart-wrenching and graphically tragic.


Michelle said...

I watched one of the videos, couldn't watch the other one after that. I can't even find the words to express my anger and sadness about this.

As far as those two officers (and I use the term loosely), one adjective for them comes to mind, and it rhymes with wussies. Seriously.

Seeing this kind of ignorant behavior physically hurts me right in my heart.

Jennie Bailey said...

The tail wagging kills me. Seriously. People like this should NOT carry guns. If they aren't smart enough to figure out the difference between a real threat and a non threatening situation, they are in no shape to carry guns. I can't even tell you how sad and angry I am. I signed the petition and passed it on.

Anonymous said...

There was a follow up article today that someone shared on my Facebook Wall that said the police officers will face no disciplinary action, however the owner of the dog was fined $130 for not having her registered.

Apparently the Missouri Humane Society is investigating. I'm not going to hold my breath.

Maybe public outrage will force some justice. Not going to hold my breath there either.

Michelle said...

"They had a difficult situation"

riiight... so killing an obviously non-attacking animal is the most logical course of action. Give me a break. Hope the Humane Society at least finds them guilty of cruelty or cruel and unusual punishment, or something!

Rinalia said...

@Michelle: What I don't get is this: If a dog is showing aggression, THAT is when action should be taken* not when the dog is acting non-aggressive and non-dangerous. That just does not make sense and is a poor argument in favor of what they did...which was essentially murder a non-aggressive pet.

@Jennie: The tail-wagging, even if it might have been some neuro-physical response, broke my heart. There was no reason to kill that dog, not at that exact moment, when she was just standing there.

@DoggyBytes: I'm not surprised but disappointed. I can't imagine anyone watching that video, even the longer one, and coming to the conclusion that, in that moment, that dog was a threat. She was just standing there, for crying out loud. I hope public outrage continues to put pressure on the LaGrange police department. This is a disgrace.

*I'm not saying shoot the dog.

Michelle said...

I know, I mean the whole thing is absolutely horrific.

And I forgot, also in the article (the link I posted before), it mentions the police chief called the officers animal lovers. No way, sorry but if you're an animal lover you don't shoot a dog that's just standing there looking at you. For crying out loud.

Not to mention a dog that was clearly not being aggressive but was scared -- as you mentioned in the first place. Jesus, the way they were going at the poor dog with that dog-catcher's pole it's no wonder he was frightened!

Michelle said...

Sorry... no wonder she was frightened!