Puppycide in Oklahoma

Another reason to never let your dog go off leash, a stupid cop might shoot your dog.

Don’t watch if you don’t want to see the poor dog getting shot.

What is particularly disturbing, if true, is that once the police found out that the owner of the dog had captured the entire incident on her security cameras around her house they changed their story from one of self-defense and offered her money not to show the video to anyone.

Via Radley Balko.

FILED UNDER: General
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. tom p says:

    Sorry, seen the video, I am with the deputy on this one.

  2. tom p says:

    ps: having been attacked by dogs on 3 occasions.

  3. tom p says:

    pss: I have been bitten at least a half dozen + times, and in retrospect, can see why in all but the 3. Those 3… those dogs needed to be put down, and in 2 of the 3, they were. The 3rd, not sure, wasn’t going to sue, shit happens.

  4. Anthony says:

    Happens all the time, as far as I can tell. Reason’s got a shedload of posts recording instances where the family pet gets blown away as the response of first resort.

  5. Anthony says:

    From what I can see, looking at the video, this was a rural farm setting, so it’s not exactly unreasonable that this lady might have her dog off the leash. I also see nothing from the video to suggest that the dog was going to do anything more than run round in circles and slober over the bloke’s shoes. Combined with the testimony that the police drastically changed their stance when it emerged that the incident had been videotaped, I think the argument that this was a massive over-reaction on the polie officer’s part is fairly weighty.

    I come from a fairly rural area with lots of dogs and where the police do not go around armed as a matter of course. By and large the local constabulary, which does not have the option of dealing with any dog approaching at a run by shooting it repeatedly in the head, manage to go about their business without being savaged and maimed.

    If this was a drugs bust that might be a whole other story. But a guy calls at a farm for directions, the family pet is off the leash and does what exuberant family pets off the leash often seem to do and his response is to shoot it on the grounds that it’s better safe than sorry? Not so great, in my view.

  6. Steve Verdon says:

    From what I can see, looking at the video, this was a rural farm setting, so it’s not exactly unreasonable that this lady might have her dog off the leash. I also see nothing from the video to suggest that the dog was going to do anything more than run round in circles and slober over the bloke’s shoes.

    My thinking exactly. Rare is it when a dog runs up and attacks since to most dogs humans look very tall. I’ve stood my ground against pit bulls, great dane’s and other large dogs. The key is to not turn and run and to not look the dog directly in the eye. So I disagree with Tom P.

    If this was a drugs bust that might be a whole other story. But a guy calls at a farm for directions, the family pet is off the leash and does what exuberant family pets off the leash often seem to do and his response is to shoot it on the grounds that it’s better safe than sorry? Not so great, in my view.

    At the very least bad PR.

  7. randallinoklahoma says:

    I’m sorry a beloved pet was lost. The bottom line is that an officer of the law has the authority to defend themselves even when they are making a mistake. It did not look like the deputy had a lot of time to determine what the dog was going to do. A year ago my young son was attacked and seriously injured by a neighbors large dog while walking down the street, and by the grace of God a police officer was at the end of the block and heard my sons screams. The officer shot the animal after it turned on him. I have three dogs and sometimes they or any other dog can be unpredictable, so mine are never allowed to run free. The dog in this video was a fairly large animal so who really can say what may have happened. As for the deputy changing his story…whats new here?

  8. just me says:

    This is where I wonder if having sound would help. The doggie body language to me didn’t look like attack, but I wasn’t there.

    When we lived out in the boonies our dogs were almost always off leash. They didn’t stray far from home either-they played in our yard, the horse pasture or went for a swim in the pond. Now we live in town, and they are on leash or in our fenced in yard.

    I would hope a cop wouldn’t be quick to shoot a dog that is just being a dog.

  9. tom p says:

    I feel the need to point out a few things:

    The key is to not turn and run and to not look the dog directly in the eye.

    The Deputy did not turn, did not run, and as far as looking at the dog directly in the eye, I am sure he was far more focused on what the dog was doing, his rate of closure, body language, etc. He calmly began to back up (yes he grabbed his sidearm, so would I in a similar situation if I had one… I dare say, so would you) to the point that he had his back pressed to the car as the dog went by.

    I also see nothing from the video to suggest that the dog was going to do anything more than run round in circles and slober over the bloke’s shoes.

    I saw nothing in the video to make me think other than that the dog was in full attack mode. MOST dogs, when faced with a cool and calm temperament, will begin to put the brakes on at 10-15 feet. This dog did not. The Deputy shot it at 3-5 feet.

    When I look at the angle of “attack” (I use quotes because it is impossible to say for certain what the dogs intentions were) it is possible to think the dog would run on past… it is just as possible to think the dog would stop, turn, and press the attack.

    I am a dog lover (how else do you think I have been chewed on so many times?) but I can not fault the Deputy for making the split second decisions that he did… It is obvious, that shooting the dog, was NOT his first inclination.

    Yeah, I live out in the boonies, and yeah most dogs are not kept on a leash. Wanna know how many times I have repressed the urge to hit the gas instead of the brakes? Wanna know how many times I have threatened to shoot a dog becase for the 7th time in less than a week I was picking up my trash?

    Wanna know how many dogs I have shot because I felt like it could become a threat to either me or mine on my own property?

    Yeah, the last is a little bit of an outlier (as concerning this instance), but the fact is, a lot of people think they can do whatever they want, and not give a sh** about the neighbors… until little “Fluffy” does not come home. Than they begin to wail and cry. But they don’t get much sympathy around here.

    I doubt very much this woman is getting any there, either.