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
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