You know by now that both Law Dude and I have a soft spot for dogs. Ray’s dog picture is occasionally one of the highest viewed posts on this sorry, pathetic excuse for a web page. My post about dog searches (which features a video of my puppy, “Bacon”) still gets a steady stream of traffic.
So this recent story about the police killing a dog after responding to a complaint for barking strikes a nerve:
I know you just watched that and you’re thinking to yourself, “Yeah… but Matt, they had to kill the dog. It was coming right for them!” Yes. I’m sure it was.
But, lets put the sarcasm aside for a moment and pretend the dog did, in fact, come at them with the intent to chew their faces off. The fact is that that was the end of the incident, not the beginning. The story makes it sound like the police tried to catch the dog for hours. Hours. That, of course, is after the old man tried to get it in the house but the police surrounded it.
I’m not surprised a dog surrounded by strange men with guns got defensive rather than turned to go inside– that is, if it was even being defensive and not playful.
You can chase my dog for hours and not catch her. She’s fast. Once she knows you’re chasing, she thinks it’s a game. Then you’re never going to catch her.
Want to get her to come close? Ignore her. Walk away. Stop chasing. If she’s being playful she’ll usually swoop within grabbing distance. You can also try such advanced techniques as throwing a frisbee, or stuffing a bone with peanut butter. Either one can be used to get her to come really close.
In the hours the cops chased after this dog, do you think they ever tried that? In the hours that dog was running loose before it presumably attacked them, I’d be interested in knowing exactly what they did. I’m betting the Dog Whisperer doesn’t need hours to catch a loose dog.
As a cranky taxpayer you don’t care, right? Somebody’s dog was being a pain in the ass and the cops killed it. No big deal, right?
Maybe. If catching dogs is part of police officer’s responsibility then maybe they should be trained on how to do it without turning the neighborhood into a live target range. If they’re not going to be trained how to do it correctly, then maybe they shouldn’t respond to such trivial matters as barking dogs.
The reality is that this dog is dead for the same reason that Robert Edward Saylor and the crabby old man with the cane are dead– because taxpayers want the cops to do a million things but don’t want to train them how to do a million things correctly. While police techniques have advanced with the modern age, the theory behind police training is still stuck in the 50’s- and that’s that control and force are the safest, quickest ways to handle just about any situation.
I’m waiting for the day when the police academies have less force and control, and more patience, peanut butter and frisbees. It’s just a shame that, when it happens, it will be too late for Robert Edward Saylor, and this little pooch.