It’s bad enough when cops shoot dogs at large that are running in neighborhoods but when cops go on someone’s property, in their yard or even in their home and shoot their dogs, that is really going overboard if you ask me. Dogs are territorial and protective animals so it’s completely natural for them to bark to an intruder. They have no conception of a difference between a stranger or a uniformed officer of the law, all they know is that someone is on their property, in their yard, in their home and they want to let their people know. There have been two case just this week at opposite ends of the county, on in Memphis, TN and the other in the Las Vegas, NV area where cops investigating prowler reports shot dogs on their own property.
One incident happened on October 22 in High Point Terrace, a residential Memphis neighborhood. Officers were responding to reports of a prowler/burglary in the neighborhood and they entered Anna Bolton’s yard. Her two dogs, both Lab mixes, Bing, 3 and sister Violet, were in the yard at the time. Officers say that the dogs came at them aggressively and they had no choice but to shoot at the dogs to protect themselves.
“My dogs would run toward them barking, but any dog in their territory would do that,” Bolton said adding that her dogs have never bitten anyone.
She was never notified that her dogs were shot and only found out when she got home to find a shot and bleeding Bing and Violet missing. Bolton rushed Bing to the vet where she was treated for a bullet to the leg and put on antibiotics and pain killers.
“Fortunately the bullet passed through the muscle without hitting the bone, ” said Dr. Conley. “If it hit the bone, it would’ve shattered the bone, and that would’ve been a much more serious injury.”
At the time Bolton worried that she’d never see Violet again even though she plastered the area with missing dog fliers. She even had to deal with someone trying to extort money over her missing dog. That culprit, 25 year old Lashira McClain, was caught, arrested and charged with extortion.
Luckily just a couple days after the incident Violet was found, scared and shaking under a neighbor’s deck a few houses away. After she was coaxed out, aside from a limp, she appeared to be okay and is home with her family.
Although Bolton believes that MPD handled the situation incorrectly in entering her property and shooting at her dogs, she highly praised the three MPD officers who went out of their way to help her find her missing violet.
“If the post man and post woman can deal with animals on a daily basis and deal with them correctly and know how to do it, then the MPD ought to,” said Bolton.
News coverage from the initial incident – Cops Shoot Dogs; One Injured, One Missing
Missing Dog Found
The other incident happened in the same time frame across the country in Las Vegas, NV. Cops responding to a prowler call actually entered the home of Henry Rodriguez, a teen, who was just listening to some music with friends at the time. His dog, Hazel, a pitbull, did what any dog would do when someone they don’t know enters their home, she barked at them.
“I’m in my house just listening to music, and these cops are going to go inside my house without letting me know and kill my dog for no reason,” said owner Henry Rodriguez.
“All the dog did was just saw them and started barking. They just shot her. She didn’t get near the cops,” added Rodriguez.
Of course the cops claim that the dog was acting aggressively and came at them so they shot her in the face. She was put down a few hours later due to the extent of her injuries.
Y’know, I think it’s great that cops respond to calls of prowlers, suspicious person, burglars, etc but to enter a person’s property or home and to just shoot their dogs is uncalled for! Any dog is going to be wary or defensive if a stranger is in their territory.
And of course both police department are defending the officers’ actions and saying they’ll investigate but in the end it will just be officers protecting themselves from aggressive dogs although the dogs had no history of aggressiveness in the past nor were they doing anything most any dog would do under normal circumstances, protecting their home and territory.
Although these are just two instances, these are two instances that happened just last week. This is not something unusual, it happens again and again, dogs being shot on their own property, in their own homes by overzealous, trigger-happy cops.
In general I have great respect for law enforcement officers. Many of them put their lives on the line every day and many so “protect and serve” and yes, dogs can be dangerous and vicious but there has to be a line drawn somewhere when s comes to cops putting their guns on dogs. Dogs bark, dogs advance toward people sometimes just to check things out, sometimes looking for attention or playtime, sometimes to protect their homes as so many are trained to do. There is no call for the first reaction to be to pull a gun and shoot.
There has got to be another answer and police departments had better come up with it quick because people are getting sick of having to grieve over beloved family pets being killed or injured because cops are scared of every dog they see today! And except for a few random cases, pet owners seem to have little to no recourse because the police departments police themselves and how often are they actually going to say they screwed up?