We decided to start a facebook page called K9 Watchdogs for Photography Is Not A Crime! readers (and many writers) who Love dogs.
These beloved creatures who lead their lives alongside our own, and there are laws in place to prevent their abuse or killing at the hands of deviants or abusers.
The laws should be equally interpreted for these officers who kill dogs – their own partners or others’ domestic animals.
Was it not our own Declaration of Independence that includes as one of it’s formal Complaints a statement not about people, but rather the mock trial of armed troops for Murders of inhabitants?
“For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States”
Our goal is to obtain parity for animal abuse violations by police as if they were citizens charged with abuse. Too many of our pets are indiscriminately killed by police each year.
Disturbingly, many K9 partners of cops are killed needlessly in the line of duty by officer careless neglect, especially during the summer when left inside hot cars. Law enforcement who murder pets don’t have the mental or emotional tools needed to be an authority figure in our society.
Intentional Killing of animals is often the sign of a sociopath.
Sometimes, Even The Police Can’t or Refuse to Justify Killing Dogs
The worst story I’ve seen in covering puppycide comes from Danville, Virginia where an officer was condemned by his Chief in 2009 for killing an 11 pound miniature dachshund ironically named “Killer” and who is featured in this story’s cover photo.
Danville’s police chief says one of his officers acted properly by shooting and killing an 11-year-old miniature dachshund that ran at him while growling.Neighbors said Killer, who died Monday night after being shot once, was a sweet, mild-mannered dog.
Police Chief Philip Broadfoot declined to name the officer who shot and killed the dog while serving two outstanding warrants to a neighbor. As the officer returned to his car, “he was surprised by a growling dog running through the yard directly at him from the rear, leaving him with just seconds to consider his options,” according to the a release from Broadfoot. The options, according to the chief: running to the squad car, distracting the dog or using pepper spray, a baton or firearm. Broadfoot said the dog lunged at the officer and attacked him. “Shooting a dog which is actively presenting a threat to an officer is within the department’s policy,” according to the release.
As the proud owner of two rescue dachshunds, I can attest personally that these dogs raise little if any risk to a person – even in the most extreme circumstances. My 25 lbs. standard sized black & tan hot dog named Zoidberg was at home 9 years ago when my apartment in Miami was burglarized. The thieves didn’t take anything important, just a little cash, but little guy was in no way going to stop them either.
CSI Miami arrived later, and found him in a bathroom alone and terrified.
Redefining the Role of K9 Police Partners in 2015
Occasionally, K9 officers make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty themselves, for failing equipment or in search and seizure confrontations with citizens gone wrong.
Recently, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling sure to save numerous canine lives each year, which limits the time available to a police department to use drug sniffing K9s in Drug War highway interdiction activity. Coupled with the Obama Administration’s halt of the Equitable Sharing program, it’s presumed that K9 service will revert to its prior role in the detection of danger in the form of bombs, search and rescue after emergencies and in the pursuit of escaped suspects.
A K9 officer’s role which should’ve been long since forbidden nationally, and heavily criticized in 2014 is crowd control. Specifically, the Ferguson PD was cited by the Federal Department of Justice for improper use of Police K9s in monitoring – most say inflaming – protests in 2014. Fortunately, K9 units weren’t in evidence during the chaotic and only occasionally violent protests- where PINAC correspondent Cassandra Fairbanks was arrested covering a protest on I-70 – marking the 1 year anniversary of Ferguson.
Dogs and people have a symbiotic bond as two species, but just like unequal rendering of justice towards Americans of differing skin colors, animal abusers are treated differently depending on their having a badge and uniform or not.
Furthermore, Police dogs are being mis-trained when used to terrify citizens. The role of the K9 in warfare dates back centuries, to the first time a wolf decided that a steady meal ticket with the people, outweighed its violent aggression – and we have been breeding dogs for centuries who exhibit loyalty to humans, who become part of our pack.
The pages of PhotographyisNotaCrime.com are filled with stories daily of our police and government acting in ways which private citizens would not be allowed to interact with each other by the laws established in America.
The police act like they’ve got a license to use service firearms killing dogs. The wonton violence is consistently justified by officers across the United States, many of whom have been trained to shoot first, ask questions later.
The justice system for people killed by police is tremendously imperfect. Justice for domestic animals killed by police who are part of millions of American’s families is nonexistent.
Police shoot and wound or kill children and adults – human children and human adults – when aiming for dogs too.
As a country, we need police to cease doing unto dogs – both their partners and the domestic pets of others – that which they would not have another do upon them.
Once again, we call for justice in equal application of the law as it is written, and change of police policies to universally end the practice of committing puppycide.