Justice goes to the dogs

In Rochester, NY, where I live, there have been two incidents in the news about dogs, and the control or lack of control of these dogs by their owners. The outcomes of these incidents to me indicate a blatant discrepancy in meting out justice.

First incendent: A father of three in the suburb of Greece calls police to report that neighborhood kids vandalized a Christmas display in his family’s front yard. An officer comes to take a report. The homeowner’s dog barks at the police officer. The officer shoots the dog in the head. The dog bolts out of sight. The police officer ultimately leaves without apologizing or checking on the welfare of the dog.

Second incident: An elderly man is walking on a public sidewalk. He is attacked by three pitbulls that got loose from a house. He is badly mauled in the face and legs. Passers-by use their cars to shield the man from the dogs, possibly preventing his death. The man who harbored these vicious dogs, then let them loose, gets to keep two of them.

The police officer overreacted when he shot the barking (not attacking) dog in its own yard, doing what dogs do – bark at a trespasser. The officer could have waited until the man housed this family pet. The homeowner had called police as a victim. After the officer shot the dog, he didn’t even apologize or check on the dog’s well-being. PS: the dog survived. The man and his family, in spite of the horrific impact of having their dog shot in front of them, accepted the explanation that this is “procedure” due to interference with a police officer in the line of duty.

The man who housed and loosened three pit bulls was assessed some legal costs, but he should also at the very least have all three of these potentially killer dogs taken away and euthanized.

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