Confirmed victory

When a police officer's first line of defense in restraining an animal is to reach for a weapon, it is sending the wrong message to the community that they swore to uphold and protect. If the police officer is the first responder involving an animal, then the police officers should be trained in animal control techniques. The "uncooperative animal" that the police officer may kill could be someone's senior pet who could be afraid, deaf, or in pain and not able to respond to the officer's request. 

Boomer, the 12-year-old arthritic Golden Retriever shown in this photo, was shot and killed by St. Petersburg Police in October. His death is tragic enough on its own, but the fact that he was the 7th dog killed by the police department this year shows that the officers not only need training, but a clear policy that encourages non-lethal dog handling techniques.

St. Petersburg Police Department must adopt a new policy for standing operating procedure when they deal with canines that incorporates a force continuum, with lethal force as a last resort.

If you would like to read more about Boomer, his Facebook page is called Boomer's Voice, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boomers-Voice/160030397422056 where you can find photos of Boomer's life as the family pet.  Here are two articles about this tragic story: http://animalconnectionblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/police-kill-12-year-old-golden.html and http://animalconnectionblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/police-kill-12-year-old-golden.html

 

Letter to
Mayor of Saint Petersburg, Florida Bill Foster
Police Chief of St. Petersburg, Florida Charles Harmon
I just signed the following petition addressed to: The Mayor of Saint Petersburg, Florida.

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The Mayor, Police Chief and City Council of St. Petersburg must change their police department policies to emphasize non-lethal responses as the standard operating procedure when dealing with canines. St. Petersburg police have been involved with seven canine killings to date this year. The most egregious of these fatal shootings was that of a 12-year old Golden Retriever, named Boomer by police officer, Misty Swanson. This clearly shows that the officers not only need training, but a clear policy that encourages non-lethal dog handling techniques.

According to this article, http://oldnortheast.patch.com/articles/police-kill-12-year-old-pet-golden-retriever Boomer did not die quickly and was in much pain, while his guardians had no clue what had happened to their dog, who had been killed just a block away from where they lived.

When a police officer's first line of defense in restraining an animal is to reach for a weapon, it is sending the wrong message to the community that they swore to uphold and protect. If the police officer is the first responder involving an animal, then the police officer must be trained in animal control techniques that begins with non-lethal force first. The "uncooperative animal" that the police officer may kill could be someone's senior pet who could be afraid, deaf, or in pain and not able to respond to the officer's request.

Sweet, old man, Boomer will not be returning to the Glass family to live out his last few years. Let's make sure this does not happen again to another poor innocent pet by adopting a new policy for standing operating procedure when officers deal with canines that incorporates a force continuum, with lethal force as a last resort.


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Sincerely,