Police Shoot and Kill Dog

A rather common occurence. A police officer in Norfolk Virginia shot and killed a pit bull after he claims it charged him. The police’s version of events is,

Police say the dog was charging at the officer and the women in the accident. So the officer reacted.

“He began to back up, yelling at the dog, but the dog continued to run. He pushed the woman to the side, drew his weapon, continued to backpedal, and fired 3 rounds,” said Norfolk Police spokesperson Chris Amos, describing the account provided by the officer.

We asked Lock: “Was the dog running or barking?” “No sir. No,” he replied.

Personally, I find this a bit hard to believe. Pit bulldogs are notoriously animal aggressive, but are typically human submissive. A pit bulldog will have very little threat display around other, animals especially dogs. Around humans on the other hand a pit bulldog will have a very noticable threat display if the dog feels threatened. As such, the idea that the dog would charge and do so silently is somewhat unbelievable to me. My guess is that the officer saw the dog and having seen some of the hysteria surrounding pit bulldogs in the media over-reacted.

The person who was watching the dog also bears a large share of the responsibility as well since the dog was not on leash. Undoubtedly if the dog had been on leash the dog would still be alive today. Far to many people take their dogs outside off leash. This is irresponsible dog ownership and is dangerous, at a minimum, for the dog.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. pudge says:

    Considerng what the lapdog media does, vis a vi Barry Bonds,SUVs, anything to the right of Castro,etc., it is believable to think that the Pit Bulldog is much maligned. But, given all of that bad pub is exactly why I would cut the cop some slack for chosing not to risk the safety of people for the sake of a dog. Savvy?

  2. G.A.Phillips says:

    Man, he sure is lucky he dint shoot a donkey or a monkey or a wale.

  3. Steve Verdon says:

    But, given all of that bad pub is exactly why I would cut the cop some slack for chosing not to risk the safety of people for the sake of a dog. Savvy?

    Actually no. As having been “charged” by a pit bulldog and knowing something about the breed in general–i.e. its popularity–the sensationalized media reports offer a very distorted view of the breed. Think of it this way, suppose you have a very popular dog in an area. Suppose there are 100,000. And suppose you have 100 attacks. Suppose there is another breed, with say 1,000 dogs and 10 attacks. The ratio of attacks to population is:

    1/1,000 vs. 1/100.

    You’ll see far more media coverage of the more popular dog, but that do is actually an order of magnitude less likely to attack. Savvy?

  4. Dog Owner says:

    Less than four weeks ago I was bitten by a pit, not even a particularly aggressive one– and I have a dog and like dogs… like this dog fine until he bit me and decided he was going to continue trying. The owner was a great, non-abusive owner.

    I would say that you guys are every bit as biased as the people you challenge. Any dog, pit or not, can attack humans aggressively, some of these troubled dogs are owned by perfectly nice owners, Cesar Millan is full of shit, and it’s a hard decision for a loving owner to put a dog down. The enhanced risk is that pits and rotties are so fantastically powerful, especially through the jaws, that this makes a whole new class of problem. No sense in denying it, that’s just stupid. And no sense in sitting on platitudes about how pits are some new breed of animal that never would attack a human– that’s just stupid.

    Battling breed specific legislation with generalizations, denial and stupidity doesn’t give you any credibility. I don’t like BSL grandstanding, but you’re idiots if you think that it will stop by showing pictures of pits with adorable baby chicks.

  5. just me says:

    I would say that you guys are every bit as biased as the people you challenge. Any dog, pit or not, can attack humans aggressively, some of these troubled dogs are owned by perfectly nice owners,

    I agree with this. I think any dog can potentially be aggressive given the right circumstances, and it doesn’t neccessarily mean they have terrible owners.

    I do think in this instance the person who shoulders pretty much all of the blame is the owner of the dog. Dogs should be on leashes, or off leash in places where being off leash is permissable. Also, anyone who owns a pitbull should be more than aware of the fact that the breed is the big bad scary breed of the MSM-and be extra diligent about supervision.

  6. Eric says:

    Hey, I added you to my blogroll. Could you take a look and see if my site is worthy to be on your roll? 🙂

  7. Christopher says:

    I’m glad the dog is dead. Good riddance.

  8. bill says:

    What is the problem here? One less Pit Bull…again, what is the problem…

    Kill everyone you come in contact with. Bang-O.

  9. pudge says:

    Mr. Verdon,

    You know those facts you listed. The public in general does not. That’s my point.

    Also,a visceral point: To the extent that your average person is very fearful of pit bulldogs, you will find as much a greater percentage of people acting irrationally around them. No matter what you say, any potentially agressive breed of dog is exponentially more tending to be such, when confronted by primal fear. That, and there is no denying their territorialism.

    I feel for you, they get an unfair rap, but it is a broadly accepted rap, so you just have to learn to accept it, that’s all.

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    There is no evidence supporting the claim that rottweilers and pit bulls have stronger jaws. I do agree that owners need to be more objective when viewing their dogs. If the dog shows signs of human aggression then the best likely course of action is to have the dog put to sleep.

    And no sense in sitting on platitudes about how pits are some new breed of animal that never would attack a human– that’s just stupid.

    It is actually one of the oldest and only recently has it become a “problem”. The problems are due to bad breeders and bad owners. The breeders breed the pit bull with other dogs to get human aggressive dogs and the bad owners often encourage the bad behavior in their dogs. Prior to the breed(s) becoming a fad breed(s) there was little problem with them.

    The owner was a great, non-abusive owner.

    That the dog bit you calls this claim into question.

    pudge,

    You know those facts you listed. The public in general does not. That’s my point.

    Yes, I know, but if we are going to give cops guns and empower them to often break the laws the rest of us are to abide by, then perhaps cops should also taken extra steps so that they don’t fall prey to hysteria.

    Also,a visceral point: To the extent that your average person is very fearful of pit bulldogs, you will find as much a greater percentage of people acting irrationally around them. No matter what you say, any potentially agressive breed of dog is exponentially more tending to be such, when confronted by primal fear. That, and there is no denying their territorialism.

    The American Pit Bull Terrier is probably one of the least territorial dogs. They make horrible guard dogs and have been stolen by people walking up and putting a leash on them and taking them. Now this is a generalization, but for generations the breed has been bred this way since when fighting in a pit there are the two handlers and a referee. So while you can find human aggressive pit bulls, they are the exception not the norm.

    I feel for you, they get an unfair rap, but it is a broadly accepted rap, so you just have to learn to accept it, that’s all.

    I disagree. I fight it every chance I get. I take my dog out in public (always on leash) and she is well trained to follow my commands.