Thursday, August 21, 2008

Omaha and dog shootings

The Omaha Humane Society is going to train police officers on how to handle dogs they encounter on calls.

Other stuff on this subject:

In November of 2007, an activist took out an ad in the newspaper warning residents their dog may get shot by police. Also in that article, it noted that there were only five dog deaths by police gunshot in 2005 (when Colleen's 2 year old Lab mix was shot to death). Five. Fast-forward to 2007-2008 and there are, what, 39?

Some of the more egregious Omaha Police Shootings (b/c I'll grant that, sometimes, the only recourse is to use lethal force on a highly dangerous animal). This doesn't include the Lab mix or the German Shepherd mix being shot to death (I couldn't fine news articles on them). I could only find news articles on a few of the cases, and those were the ones where dogs were erroneously identified as pit bulls. The damage is done when only one out of fifty news sources correctly identifies the dog (with pictures, to boot).

August, 2008: A dog incorrectly identified as a pit bull mix who was shot and killed by police. The dog, a Heeler/Boxer/mutt with vaccinations and apparently licensed acted aggressively when police entered the home w or w/o invitation (that part is disputed). The dog caused a minor laceration to one officer. The response? The six-year-old pet was shot to death. You can see clearly from the video, especially when they show a side angle of the dog, that he is a mutt - pure and simple.

June, 2008: A dog incorrectly identified as a pit bull was shot and killed by Omaha police on the dog's property. The police officer noticed that a Jeep on the dogs' property was not up to date. So, he unlocked and opened the gate and entered the property. Two dogs, a Boxer mix (Chewy) and a pit bull ran out toward him. The officer claims the dogs were acting aggressive, the owner disagrees. Regardless, the Boxer mix was shot twice and later euthanized b/c of the injuries. The pit bull was not harmed. Interestingly, the humane society actually issues citations for allowing dogs to run loose, even though the dogs were in a fully enclosed yard...on their owner's property. Mind-boggling.

November, 2007: A mixed breed (no, not a pit bull mix) was shot at three times, one of the bullets actually hit him in the head. One bullet lodged into the owner's vehicle, another into the neighbor's home. The officer entered the property without permission to investigate a stolen vehicle. Neighbors all claim the dog was friendly. The dog survived.

October, 2007: An off-duty Omaha police officer shoots a Husky three times until the dog died. The dog was running loose but was not actually acting aggressively. The shooter was safe inside his home when his wife called stating she was frightened of a dog outside of her car (i.e. she was safe in her car). Instead of contacting animal control, the man immediately grabbed his gun and shot the dog three times.

I'm glad Omaha police are receiving training on how to handle dogs. I'm sorry it has taken 39 dead and wounded dogs to do just that.

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