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Cindy

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http://www.examiner.com/article/law-enforcement-today-article-warns-police-not-to-kill-family-dogs
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Reply with quote  #52 
For both articles!

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Crown Point officers shoot, kill two dogs mistaken for coyotes

Posted: Jul 18, 2013 9:35 PM EST Updated: Jul 18, 2013 10:33 PM EST
 
 
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A Northwest Indiana woman is grieving after her dogs were killed by Crown Point police officers. She says the cops weren't justified, but police tell a different story.

On Thursday evening, Lindsay Schild is consoled by her sister, just one day after Lindsay's two Siberian Huskies were shot to death by Crown Point police.

The dogs had escaped from their yard and were apparently attacking a cat on neighbor's property. The cat's owner called 911 and told police that a pair of coyotes were attacking their pet, which may have led to the responding officer's confusion.

"We know now that they were two dogs, however based on their aggressive nature and physical appearance he thought they were maybe larger sized coyotes," Police Chief Peter Land says. "The husband was trying to fight them off using a shovel."

Police Chief Peter Land says the two officers used pepper spray and made loud noises to try to scare the animals away, but he says the dogs returned to confront the officers.

"The dogs are now literally circling the officer, showing their teeth, acting in a very aggressive manner," Land explains. "Our officers certainly didn't want to shoot two dogs but the situation they were presented with they really had no choice."

Schild and her sister, Kara Michalec, say the Siberian Huskies were 3-year-old sisters that had never before attacked anyone, adding that they don't have "an aggressive bone in their body." They say the police report tells a different story.

"They had said in the report they weren't being aggressive," Michalec says. "Why did they take such vicious actions right away? And my question is if they were gonna put the animals down or they had to shoot them, why did each dog have to be shot several times?"

Michalec says she had wished Crown Point police called animal control instead, rather than "shooting loved dogs."

Land, however, says he stands be the officers.

"It was unfortunately the action that needed to be taken," Land argues.

FOX 32 talked to some neighbors who say the dog stopped by their house shortly before they were shot. They say the dogs were friendly and playful.

Police say the huskies may have been mistaken for coyotes because they had been walking through a muddy stream and their white coats were streaked with mud.


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For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
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SteveOifer

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Reply with quote  #54 
All dog breeds have teeth and all dog breeds can go wild.

When there is a proclivity of wild, within a breed bred for that specific purpose, only fools will turn a deaf ear.

Even the tame foxes can exhibit aggressive behavior, it's a matter of degree within any given group.

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For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
kcornel4

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A. Barton Hinkle has a column on the tragic prevalence of police shooting dogs for little or no cause:

Across the country, both state laws and departmental policies seem to let police officers use deadly force as a first resort against family pets that often present little or no threat. In one infamous 2010 case from Missouri, an officer shot and killed a dog that had been subdued and held on a catch-pole. In another, an officer shot D.C. resident Marietta Robinson’s 13-year-old dog, Wrinkles, after Robinson had confined the dog to her bathroom.

Last year police officers chasing two suspects in Lake Charles,Louisiana, shot a dog named Monkey that barked at them. In Henrico,Va., last July, police officers went to the home of a homicide victim to notify the family of the slaying. When the family dog ran toward them, the officers shot and killed it. In Danville four years ago, a police officer shot and killed a 12-pound miniature dachshund. For growling at him.

Danville’s chief says the officer followed policy.

Police officers receive extensive training about the use of force when it is applied against humans. But how many departments provide training on dealing with pets? Very few, says the Humane Society. This despite the fact that, according to a Justice Department paper (“The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters”), 39 percent of U.S. homes have dogs. More than half of dog owners “consider their dogs family members,” it continues, “and another 45.1 percent view them as companions or pets....”

Do we really need systematic training to combat a few isolated incidents, however unfortunate? The question rests on a false premise. Civil-liberties writer Radley Balko notes that over a nine-year period Milwaukee officers killed 434 dogs – about one every eight days. And that’s just one city. Across the country, according to Justice, “the majority of [police] shooting incidents involve animals, most frequently dogs.”

But surely those shootings occur because the animals themselves pose a serious threat, right? Nope. The Justice Department says not only that “dogs are seldom dangerous” but that even when they are, “the overwhelming majority of dog bites are minor, causing either no injury at all or injuries so minor that no medical care is required.” As Balko writes, “If dangerous dogs are so common, one would expect to find frequent reports of vicious attacks on meter readers, postal workers, firemen, and delivery workers. But according to a spokesman from the United States Postal Service, serious dog attacks on mail carriers are vanishingly rare.”

Yet serious – deadly – attacks against dogs are all too common. They shouldn’t be. And the solutions are obvious: Departmental policies, backed by state law, should require police officers to use lethal force against companion animals only as a last resort. Officers should receive training in safe and non-lethal methods of animal control – and in dog behavior: “An approaching dog is almost always friendly,” according to the Justice Department; “a dog who feels threatened will usually try to keep his distance.”

Radley Balko documents this problem in greater detail in his important new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces
. As he points out, dog shootings are part of a broader pattern of police using increasingly aggressive military-style tactics against people as well as pets, even when the circumstances don’t even come close to justifying it. He also notes that many police departments never punish officers who wrongfully shoot dogs even in the most egregious cases, such as this one.

Balko and Hinkle recommend improved training for police, similar to that which postal workers get. As Balko points out, US Postal Service employees often encounter dogs, but virtually always avoid injuries without resorting to violence against the animals. Such training should be coupled with serious sanctions for officers who shoot dogs without good cause. Ideally, they should be subject to criminal and civil penalties comparable to those imposed on civilians who shoot pets without justification. After all, it is reasonable to expect trained police officers to exercise better judgment and self-control than ordinary citizens when it comes to the use of force. People who can’t even live up to the same standards expected of civilians probably should not be police officers in the first place.

In Virginia, for example, the law states that any person who “cruelly or unnecessarily beats, maims, mutilates, or kills any animal, whether belonging to himself or another” is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2500. A second offense within five years of the first qualifies as a class 6 felony, punishable by a term of 1 to 5 years in prison. In addition, the owners of the slain dog can file a civil suit to get restitution from the shooter. People can reasonably disagree about whether Virginia’s penalties for such crimes are exactly right. But they strike me as at least roughly in the right ballpark for people who kill others’ beloved pets without cause.

Even if parity with the punishments imposed on civilians is not politically feasible, there should at least be some serious consequences for offending officers. These might include substantial suspensions without pay, dismissal from the force for repeat offenders, and payment of restitution to the pets’ owners (preferably without indemnification of the officer by the public fisc).

UPDATE: Many people, myself included, often feel greater visceral outrage when police use unnecessary force against dogs than against people, even though the latter is surely objectively worse. We cannot help the emotions we feel, but we should be aware of this bias. As I said in the post, unjustified police violence against dogs is part of a broader pattern of overly aggressive, military-style police tactics documented in Radley Balko’s book. In a future post, I will do a review of the book as a whole, and try to put the problem in broader perspective. At the same time, unjustified violence against dogs is a serious wrong in its own right and Balko, Hinkle, and others perform a valuable service in calling attention to this widespread problem.




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Police Notify Family of Son’s Homicide, Shoot Pet Dog

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Spate of similar incidents causes outrage

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
July 24, 2013

Police in Henrico County, Virginia visited a family’s home to impart the tragic news that their son had been killed in a homicide but then proceeded to shoot the family’s pet dog Tiger.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

33-year-old Ricky Ellerbe was robbed for $15 dollars and shot to death just eight blocks from his house.

When police arrived at the family home to tell them Ellerbe’s body had been found near an alley, the Ellerbe family pitbull, Tiger, ran towards one of the officers from the backyard but was almost instantly shot dead.

“They had told me my brother was dead and I’d come out back to cry on the porch and Tiger must have heard them. He ran into the front yard and the officer shot him,” LaToya Ellerbe told the News & Advance.

Henrico Police refused to comment on the incident.

The incident follows a spate of similar occurrences where police escalate already fraught situations by killing dogs in what many charge are unnecessary shootings.


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kcornel4

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Reply with quote  #57 
The most troubling statistics about the trend of police shooting dogs -- which are shown in the second segment of the video -- come from Houston, where 228 dogs were shot by police since 2010 -- most fatally.


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Discussion in 'Informative articles' started by Dobs4ever, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Dobs4ever

     

     
    Law Enforcement Today article warns police not to kill family dogs

    James P. Gaffney recently wrote an article which appeared in the online magazine for police personnel called Law Enforcement Today. In his article he told police officers to expect a lawsuit should they wrongfully kill a family dog while performing their job as an officer. Mr. Gaffney is highly qualified in these matters, as he served with a metro-New York police department for over 25 years as a patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant and an executive officer. He also teaches university level criminal justice courses as an adjunct professor in the NYC area.
    Gaffney wrote that police officer's need to realize that procedures within the law enforcement field change from time to time. What was acceptable behavior for an officer ten years ago may be considered entirely unethical in this period of time. This includes how the family dog is to be treated.

    More and more family dogs are living as a member of the family. No longer confined to chains or tethers, most dogs these days enjoy the luxury of living, eating and sleeping inside with family members. For those with fenced in yards, this is merely a way to confine family dogs as they take potty breaks. In the old days, the fence meant safety for the dog. Unfortunately, that has changed with the new breed of officer, supposedly serving the public, who has the attitude to shoot the dog first and ask questions later. The new status quo these days is when an officer kills a family dog, they have in effect robbed that family of the years left with what many dog owners consider another "child."
     

    Police departments nationwide advise their officers to take whatever measures are necessary to keep themselves safe when facing down a dog. In most of the dog shootings that take place today, the officer involved is sorely lacking in both common sense and compassion. Whenever a dog is seen inside a fence, the first thing an officer should do is to use the brain (some police officers still have one of these) and remember a stranger on the property could provoke the dog into barking, snarling, and yes, even attacking. This does not give the officer a free pass to shoot the dog before coming onto the property. Especially if the person living there hasn't committed a felony.

    Police officers are also cautioned to use objective reasonableness based on the circumstances at the time they arrive on scene. This means an officer should think through a situation before it gets out of hand and act accordingly. If a dog is behind a fence and may pose a danger, it's common sense not to open the fence. Too many dogs are killed and 20/20 hindsight used to try and explain their actions. Was deadly force REALLY necessary? Most times the answer is no.
    The Fourth Amendment has now been used in court to back up this logic. The family dog is now considered property, which cannot be seized without cause. It gives people rights against a search and seizure by police without probable cause. Since a large majority of these cases involve police being at the wrong address to start with, perhaps a good GPS system would also prevent many of these tragic shootings.

    An easily understood explanation of the Fourth Amendment states that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. The federal courts recognize a dog, or canine companion, as an effect. This means an officer should not shoot a dog coming over to say hello. He should also refrain from chasing the dog onto another property in order to kill it, or from shooting the dog as it retreats.

    Laura Scarry is a Chicago based attorney who represents police officers accused of state and federal civil rights violations. Last month she spoke at a seminar for International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), where she advised those officer's attending of the family member status dogs now share in most households.
    The precedent in place that many dog defender attorneys use is a result of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the case of Fuller v Vines, 36 F.3d 65,68 (9th Cir. 1994). In simple language, the officer shooting the dog constituted a violation of the dog owner's civil rights based on the part of the Fourth Amendment that deals with search and seizure. At least three federal circuit court decisions have found an officer guilty of violating this amendment when the officer killed the family dog.
    To police officers who may be reading this article, in simple language it means dogs are now considered protected under the Fourth Amendment. If you shoot a family dog, the family will likely sue you, your police department and your city. Combine this with the change in perception by the courts, a guilty verdict is highly likely. A few officer's have been charged with animal cruelty for acting irresponsibly. Many times this shows not only a lack of common sense, but also an officer who shows no compassion while performing his duties.
    This also means a police department internal investigation may find an officer guilty of a civil rights violation. With the number of lawsuits being filed, more and more officer's who take it upon themselves to kill the family dog will be personally held liable for their actions. Police officers will likely find themselves under arrest for animal cruelty in the near future, should they act without very strong cause to kill an innocent dog.
    Please circulate this article among dog owning friends, as well as any police personnel who need a bit of training as to how to treat a family dog while on the dogs property.

    Law Enforcement Today article warns police not to kill family dogs - Greenville Dog | Examiner.com

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For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
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Reply with quote  #59 
http://on.aol.com/video/k-9-officer-dies-after-being-left-in-hot-car-517899956?hp=1&playlist=127173&ncid=webmail8
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For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
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Reply with quote  #60 

Puppy Survives Being Shot in Head by Trigger-Happy Cop

  • [printer_famfamfam] The Alex Jones ChannelAlex Jones Show podcastPrison Planet TVInfowars.com TwitterAlex Jones' FacebookInfowars store

Owner had repeatedly asked police not to shoot her dogs

Adan Salazar
Infowars.com
Sept. 25, 2013

A law enforcement officer in Jones County, Georgia, is taking heat for shooting a puppy in the head this past weekend after ignoring pleas from its owner specifically asking him not to shoot her dogs.

Miraculously “Ammo” the puppy survived after her owner, Anna “Chrissy” Music-Peed, was able to get her to a veterinarian in time.

Although the wound is gruesome, Ammo is reportedly OK after surgery.

Although the wound is gruesome, Ammo is reportedly OK after surgery.

Music-Peed had gone down to the Jones County Sheriff’s Department on Sunday to ask officers to investigate what she believed to be a stolen vehicle on her property.

According to Music-Peed, she stayed at the station while police went to her property to inspect the vehicle. She says she told police the breeds of her two dogs and let them know neither dog was aggressive. “…the worse that would happen,” she told officers, “is they would be licked to death.”

“The puppy may jump, we have been trying to get her out of that and they laughed, said not to worry about it. I told them twice, PLEASE don’t shoot my dogs, they are my babies,” Music-Peed said to officers, according to a blog she created in support of Ammo.

Unfortunately, her attempts to prevent tragedy were for naught.

Music-Peed says when she arrived home, she found her roommate, Kyle Sewall, “sitting on the ground and Ammo in his lap.”

Sewall gave his account to PoliceStateUSA:

About 5 minutes later is when the sheriffs pulled up, came flying in. Sgt Little was exiting the vehicle and as he was exiting I noticed he already had his sidearm trained on Ammo who was just sniffing around the ground wagging her tail. And then she looked up at him, did not growl, did not bark, and before I could say anything he fired his weapon. Shot her point blank in the head.

Image via Facebook.

Image via Facebook.

“I went to go rush toward Ammo and he trained his weapon on me,” Sewall explained. “I identified myself saying, ‘I am Kyle, lower your weapon.’ He did and they allowed me to tend to Ammo.”

Music-Peed says when she arrived she asked the officer why he shot Ammo, despite her testimony that her dogs were friendly.

Sergeant Little, however, reportedly told Music-Peed he never heard her say that.

Rather than waste time arguing, Music-Peed quickly found an emergency pet hospital where the veterinarian was able to mend Ammo’s wounds. Ammo, however, required surgery after the vet was unable to locate the bullet or its exit wound with the help of x-rays.

The incident left Ammo with nerve damage causing her to suffer involuntary eye movements and difficulty walking.

Sewell’s account of what took place directly contradicts what police say happened. Captain Mitchell of the Jones County Sherriff’s office told Music-Peed the dog was shot because she “charged at” the officer.

Sgt. Little had also previously shot and killed a dog just last year.

Ammo’s Facebook support page says today she successfully underwent surgery and will be ready to go home within a few hours. Music-Peed says she plans to seek a lawyer soon and has notified PETA to ask advice on what else she can do.

Ammo is apparently a fighter. She had previously survived the highly-contagious and life-threatening parvovirus disease earlier in life.


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For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
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Reply with quote  #61 

Police Officer Fired After Shooting and Pepper Spraying Squirrel

MOUNTAIN CITY, TN (WBIR) - A Tennessee police officer has been fired after displaying heavy force in an attempt to rid a Dollar General Store of a squirrel.  The incident occurred last Thursday in Mountain City, when according to police documents, now-former Officer Jody Putnam found himself at the right place at the right time. Or the wrong place at the wrong time. Documents state that Putnam happened to be inside the Dollar General Store at the same time employees noticed a squirrel. That's when Putnam sprang into action, discharging his firearm at the squirrel inside the store. Unsuccessful, he moved on to option 2: pepper spray.  

"There was a lot of people that come out and just like me they came out and they were coughing and a hacking," Carl Duffield told WJHL-TV. "It was comical, but I'm sure they didn't feel that way - the customers that came out."

In Mountain City, whenever officers discharge their weapons, they are required to alert their supervisors and provide a written statement.   Putnam refused to file a report and was subsequently fired by the town's Board of Mayor and Alderman. 

No information was given as to the condition of the squirrel other than the fact that he was dead.


__________________
For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
GinaG

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Reply with quote  #62 
NUTS!
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gina anelli
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Reply with quote  #63 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GinaG
NUTS!



I see what you did there...

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SteveOifer

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Reply with quote  #64 
A corny response Gina!
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For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
GinaG

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Reply with quote  #65 
Well I'm old and runnin on empty...LOL..


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gina anelli
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Reply with quote  #66 
Acorn..y!
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For the betterment of the breed!

"Above all, a uniform type should be aimed at by breeders and uniformity of type can only exist in a proportionate ratio in the purity and distinctiveness in any breed"!.........M. Moore
"If breeds did not adhere to a specific shape, form, and colour range, or if breeders disregarded this blueprint, the breed would degenerate to the point that it would hardly resemble the breed at all. Selective breeding does not just create breeds- it preserves them as well. Breeding purebred dogs inherently means accepting limitations on your freedom to just breed anything"...Catherine McMillan
" A reinforced consolidation of the American and British standards could be the basis for restoring our breed to the gladiatorial glory of its ancient past, in capability if not in usage".....Norman Howard Carp-Gordon
"I can live with doubt, or not knowing, rather than to have answers that might be wrong"...Richard Feynman
TEST YOUR DOGS!
PJJ

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Reply with quote  #67 

Kickstarter Campaign Seeks Funding For 'Puppycide' Documentary

By Radley Balko Posted: 10/29/2013 10:56 am EDT  |  Updated: 10/29/2013 11:17 am EDT

 

The indie production company Ozymandias Media is asking for help to fund a documentary looking at the issue of police killing dogs. They've just launched a Kickstarter campaign with a compelling eight minute preview, which you can watch below. (Disclosure: I'm interviewed in the preview, and would presumably appear in the documentary. I also plan to donate. But that's the extent of my involvement in the project.)

I've written quite a bit on this problem. It has become something of a pet issue. (Sorry. This post needed a little levity.) It's difficult to say for certain if these shootings are happening more frequently, or if we're just more aware of them now because of social media and the ubiquity of smart phone and surveillance cameras. There's just no comprehensive data on cops shooting dogs. But several older police officers I interviewed for my recent book told me they're shocked by how often they're seeing these stories. Some said they couldn't recall a single such incident over the course of their careers in which they or a colleague had no choice but to kill a dog.

Last year, J.L. Greene and I looked at 24 cop-shoots-dog cases from recent news reports. We called the relevant police agency from each story to inquire about whether officers at those agencies receive any training on how to interact with dogs. Groups like the Humane Society and ASPCA offer such training to any police department in the country -- training on topics like how to read a dog's body language, how to distract an aggressive dog, and more generally how to handle interactions with dogs without killing them. Of the 13 police agencies that returned our calls, just one said they offered anything of the sort. Contrast that to the U.S. Postal Service, which gives its mail carriers regular training on interacting with animals. A U.S.P.S. spokesman also told me that there are vanishing few dog attacks on postal workers that require hospitalization.

But this is about more than just a lack of training. The former law enforcement officer interviewed in the preview video below blames pet owners and the lack of training, but puts little blame on the officers who are actually killing these dogs. There's a particularly striking moment in the video where he says that most cops don't want to kill dogs, "But they have no other choice, because nobody's told them anything different than to just shoot the dog."

Think about that for a moment. He's essentially saying that for some cops, the default reaction is to kill at the slightest provocation -- that they need to be told not to kill if we expect them to show restraint.

I can certainly conceive of some scenarios in which a large, aggressive, unchained dog might post a legitimate threat to a police officer (although, as the Kickstarter page points out, the number of documented cases in which a police officer was killed by a dog is approximately zero). But we've recently seen stories of cops killing leashed dogs, fenced dogs, chained dogs, dogs captured on restraint poles, and dogs that, at worst, are capable of inflicting a minor break in the flesh. In just the last few years, cops have killed chihuahuas, Jack Russell terriers, dachshunds, and countless other small breeds. In nearly all of these cases, the officers' actions were later determined to have been justified.

When police departments don't give any training on dog interaction, and then decide that dog shootings are justified based only on officers' subjective statement that he feared for his safety (regardless of whether or not that fear was rational), the inevitable result is that any incident of any cop shooting any dog will always be considered justified. For pet owners, this comes off as a pretty callous. Officer safety -- protection even from irrational, perceived threats of minor injuries from small dogs -- will always justify an officer's decision to kill the family pet.

In an interview with me for my book, Norm Stamper, the former police chief of Seattle and a 28-year cop, said he thinks the phenomenon began with a legitimate problem -- that some drug dealers use vicious, powerful dogs to guard their supply -- but that it has since gotten way out of hand. Or, put another way, it's yet another unintended consequence of the drug war.

"Among other things, it really shows a lack of imagination. These guys think that the only solution to a dog that’s yapping or charging is shooting and killing it. That’s all they know. It goes with this notion that police officers have to control every situation, to control all the variables. That’s an awesome responsibility, and if you take it on, you’re caving to delusion. You no longer exercise discrimination or discretion. You have to control, and the way you control is with authority, power, and force. With a dog, the easiest way to take control is to simply kill it. I mean, especially if there are no consequences for doing so.”

In a separate interview, Stamper added, "I think all of this drug-war imagery has produced a mentality that didn't used to exist. It's 'I'm part of a war, I have a mission, and nothing is going to get in the way of me completing that mission.' You're kicking down doors, barging in with guns, and when animals do what animals do, they become collateral damage. Too many officers have gotten rather callous about it, I'm afraid."

Former drug cop Russ Jones put it more bluntly: "I guess somewhere along the line a cop shot a dog under questionable circumstances and got away with it. Word got out, and now it seems like some cops are just looking for reasons to take a shot at a dog. Maybe it just comes down to that -- we can get away with it, therefore we do it.”

Judging from the preview, the documentary looks like it will be probing and critical, but fair enough to give law enforcement sources the opportunity to present their side of the issue. If this is an issue that troubles you, you might consider making a donation to fund the effort to bring it to a larger audience.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to give my dog a hug.

HuffPost writer and investigative reporter Radley Balko is also the author of the new book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/ozymandias-media-launches_n_4170653.html?utm_hp_ref=the-agitator

For more info on this project or to contribute to it's funding:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1850434439/puppycide-the-documentary


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collie

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Reply with quote  #68 
I'm going to nail my colours to the mast on this one.
By coincidence, I have a friend who is an American policeman and a friend who is an English policeman. I have met several other policemen through these two. My observation is that there are smart policemen and stupid policemen, good policemen and evil S.O.B.s, and a few policemen who are crooks. The average policeman in either country is a decent ordinary guy who is probably a bit braver than the average citizen.
So why are there so many more tragic incidents (including animals and people) among the American police compared to British police?
The American police all have guns.
I know in certain areas it is necessary to have armed police, but there are armed police in
Britain too, only restricted to a highly trained few. Even so, they occasionally make a mistake, as in the shooting of an innocent Brazilian man after a terrorist incident a few years ago.
Most American police don't usually need to carry guns.
Don't forget Helen Keller's Mastiff was shot by a policeman.
Get as many guns, (especially handguns) as possible out of American society, including the police.

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Reply with quote  #69 
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-berates-cops-dog-shot-dead-fenced-in-backyard-article-1.1845699
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Reply with quote  #70 
That is just heartbreaking.  I feel so sorry for that young man.  I hope he does take it further.  That should never have happened, it really sickens me. 
I just cannot believe it but I know it is true.  Disgusting.
Janine.
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Reply with quote  #71 
Yes, one of the tragic ironies is that the child was discovered safely at home at approx. the same time as the officer who killed the dog entered the fenced in back yard. The owner did retain an attourney, and also the neighborhood sponsored a protest against the Salt Lake City PD. Thus far, they are stone-walling, but the city council has launched an investigation!
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