During a police raid, many officers will enter a home unannouced, weapons drawn and with great force. Their objective is to catch their suspects ”in the act”, of some criminal activity. Although this ritual can be effective for surprising anybody who may be in the dwelling, there are often dogs that become innocent victims, in these situations. In Santa Cruz County, officers are more than willing, to shoot and kill someones pet, as a FIRST resort, even when the animal is obviously, of NO threat to them. Whether these animals are simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time or following their instincts to protect their home from intruders, these fatalities are cruel and unnecessary! If law enforcement were required to have animal control officers at the scene upon entry, the animal could be detained or,at worse, tranquilized, until the situation is over. The deaths of these animals is unacceptable. There were two fairly recent cases in this county, in which, a pet dog was shot in the head by police, while the person they were apprehending was, indeed, cooperating with them and the animal was of NO threat. One was a 6 month old puppy! Another dog narrowly escaped the same, but the owner, ignored his own safety, threw himself between his dog and the drawn guns of the officers, and begged for them not to shoot his dog. This abuse of animals must end! Animal Services needs to be present in situations where animals may be put in danger(especially in their own homes)
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