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Police shoot dogs in Tulsa, Guthrie

posted June 11th, 2014 by
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In the past couple of weeks, Oklahoma has seen not one but two incidents of dogs shot by police.

The first took place in Guthrie on May 29 and, based on the family’s account of the shooting, was unwarranted.

According to the Fox25 story, a deputy approached the family’s yard and was asked not to enter. Cindy Wickham was watching her nephews at the time and says the deputy entered the yard despite her request. She just wasn’t certain of how the family’s dogs would react.

One of the two dogs in the yard approached the deputy and began sniffing him. This is when the deputy drew his gun and shot him in front of both young boys according to their aunt.

The Logan County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incident. If the family’s account is accurate, what happened is disgusting. From what was described, the dog was acting, as most dogs would, protectively of his family and home. The deputy was also asked not to enter and did so without permission.

The second shooting took place Monday afternoon in Tulsa. A Tulsa World article details two dogs running loose in a neighborhood, chasing residents and acting aggressively.

It’s unclear whether these were strays or had an owner, but in either case it seems these animals needed to be secured for the safety of the neighborhood.

Also unclear is why these animals could not have been secured and taken to Tulsa Animal Welfare where they could have been humanely euthanized if that was what was deemed necessary. I’m not sure I want officers gunning down dogs in my neighborhood anymore than I want aggressive dogs on the loose.

A recent AP article notes that most shootings by police officers involve animals, usually dogs. A group of experts says that can change thanks to a new video series.

“There will be times when police need to defend themselves because they are being attacked by a dog and don’t have a choice, but that is the minority of cases,” said Brian Kilcommons, a Southbury, Connecticut, dog behaviorist and trainer. He is featured in the five-part series that teaches officers to detect the warning signs of an aggressive dog and how to avoid using lethal force.

Sounds like something Oklahoma police departments need to look into ASAP.

– Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]