When is it okay to shoot man’s best friend?

My buddies, Winston and Wallace.

My best buds Winston and Wallace.

I’m a dog person. I wholeheartedly love my pups. There’s a bond between my dogs and I that is irreplaceable, unbreakable and enduring. You know, it’s true what they say, dogs are “man’s best friend,” which is why it is so hard for me to talk objectively about this story. I’m biased, I’m going to side with the dog and its owner just based off of what I’ve seen.

Nevertheless, everyone is innocent until they’re proven guilty in a court of law. And I admit, I wasn’t there, I didn’t respond to the call, I’m not a law enforcement officer, so I’m not in a position to judge the officer’s actions.

At this point, I should probably introduce the story so you know what I’m talking about.

A police officer from Cleburne, Texas, fatally shot a pit bull that he believed was endangering his welfare and that of a woman who phoned 911 to complain about the dog and two other pit bulls that were allegedly growling at her and preventing her from exiting her vehicle.

The incident occurred back in August, but footage of the officer shooting the animal was released last week. It was recorded on his body camera, and it shows him making “kissing” noises at the dog before he opens fire, shooting three times and killing it.

According to the officer, the dog growled at him, showed its teeth which was in his eyes an aggressive posture that justified the use of deadly force. The other two dogs did not, and the officer had no problem corralling them while waiting for animal services to arrive.

Yet, not everyone agrees. In fact, there are many who vehemently disagree with the officers actions.

“To call the dog and act like you’re going to be sweet to the dog, and you just blatantly shoot it, I don’t think that’s right at all,” Virginia Granger, a neighborhood resident, told CBS DFW.

Likewise, Kristin Dodge who knows the owner of the dogs said that they were friendly to the neighborhood, including her children.

“These are people’s pets. These are people’s family. To see something like that happen wasn’t really necessary, I think,” said Dodge.

Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain says the department is looking into the matter, promising a thorough and transparent investigation.

“Just because the tail is wagging, it doesn’t tell the whole story,” Mayor Cain said. “We’re obviously looking into whether or not deadly force was appropriate with current policies. We’re looking at whether current policies are appropriate.”

What is also unfair and equally appalling is that the officer and his family are now receiving threats via social media. Even the dog’s owner, Quinton Tatum, believes the officer should not be subjected to death threats for his actions, which Tatum believes were completely unnecessary.

“I wish that people would stop threatening him, because justice will prevail,” Tatum told KHOU. “Let justice take care of itself.”

Agreed. Let the justice system handle the officer, who is currently on paid leave with his wife and family out of state.

Meanwhile, there is the question of when it is appropriate to shoot man’s best friend? As a dog lover, for me the threshold is pretty high, more than a reasonable person might imagine. I can think of three scenarios where I’d open fire on a dog:

1. If a dog is attacking a small child. Unfortunately, there are stories of this happening where a dog attacks a small, defenseless child. The results are typically tragic. In this circumstance, without hesitation, I would shoot and kill a dog.

2. If a dog is attacking my dogs or another member of my family. I’ve been to the dog park where there are a lot of other dogs. Sometimes a scrum will break out and its more bark than bite. That’s fine, the dogs just seem to be acting out with no real intent to do harm to one another. But then there are times when dogs go after other dogs with the intent to kill. It’s when a dog has a malicious or murderous intent to harm another dog that I think it’s justified in shooting the attacking dog, particularly if it is larger than my dog. I don’t know if one is ever justified in shooting those ankle biters (small to medium sized dogs). Typically, those dogs are harmless, even when they’re angry and out to kill.

3. If I’m in real, imminent danger. I’ve been bitten by dogs. It hurts, but I haven’t felt the need to shoot them. Typically, there is a way to deescalate the situation to avoid getting bit in the first place. Either the dog wants you to leave or back up or stay away from the owner of give it a toy or a piece of food, whatever it may be I can usually pick up on it and let the dog have whatever it is it wants. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a situation where I felt that I was in real danger. But if I was actively being attacked by one dog or on the precipice of being attacked by multiple dogs, then I would open fire. I would shoot to kill. But again, I’d exhaust every other option to de-escalate the situation.

Some would argue that waiting to get attacked before opening fire is an extremely dumb posture to take. After all, a 90-plus pound dog can do some damage in a matter of seconds, especially if it goes for one’s face and throat. I can’t argue that point. But knowing how I am, I don’t think I could fire on a dog until I felt I was in real danger, meaning it was attacking me with no sign of stopping. By that time, one could argue, it might be too late. The dog may have the upper hand and I may not be able to retrieve my weapon and shoot the attacking dog. And, again, I don’t have a counterargument. Just that it would be really tough for me to kill a dog.

My position may be crazy and extreme. I recognize that. Hopefully, I never have to test it out.

With all that said, what do you think about the officer? Was he justified in shooting the dog based on the available evidence? Also, when do you feel it is appropriate to shoot man’s best friend?

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 66 comments… add one }
  • Phoenix One July 31, 2017, 12:21 pm

    It was a Pitbull, that by it\’s self justified the use of deadly force. ALL Pitbulls should be shot on sight and put down.
    They are a worthless breed of baby killers and should become existent.

  • iRev July 31, 2017, 10:38 am

    Many, many comments. My 2c: First A warning shot. I’m not a dog, but if you cut loose with a round in the general direction of the space in front of my body I would yield (the dog probably isn’t packing). If the first round did not stop the charge then certainly the second warning shot would be a lethal option (this scenario will also help you deal with the aftermath when you go over the event later.

  • steve May 27, 2016, 6:09 pm

    Been around pits my whole life, have 2 right now that think they are lap dogs. only aggressive pits I have seen have been trained to be that way by their owners. I raised my 2 children around pits, all of them have been very protective of children and god help any adult that tried to harm my children. Only dogs I have seen to be aggressive without being trained to be so have been small breeds such as miniature poodles and chihuahuas. Aggressive breeds of cops are a different story, lots of them that way and they are very rarely held responsible for their brutal actions.

  • Mark Timblin January 4, 2015, 4:14 pm

    As a former police who has been threatened by large vicious dogs from the owner who was going to sic his 100 + lb Pit Bull on me because I was serving him some papers. This has happened on more than one occasion in my ten years as a police officer, never ever did I have to shoot the dog, be it a Pit, or a Rottweiler, Doberman..whatever the case. That said, had the owner actually let the dog loose..in a heart beat, I value my life, big dogs like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, etc can move very fast and can have a hold of you and take you down and do serious damage to ones body.

    I love dogs, I have had big dogs, I’ve had mid sized dogs and currently I have a MinPin/Dachshund, I’m his daddy and he is my buddy and I love em to death. We also have a Brindle Hound, a conglomeration of several different breeds of hound dogs, Beagles, Basset hounds being the prevalent breed, she is dumb and happy, both a loyal to a fault. Having had too many run ins with the Pit Bulls, the Rottweilers mostly, I am not very trusting of these two breeds for obvious reasons. How often I hear he/she/it is a big baby wouldn’t hurt a fly..just don’t make any sudden movements/noises,etc. If he/she/it is a big baby why worry about sudden movements or noises? We have dogs we have cats..I love em all, they can be pains in the ass, but I do like my pets and will hopefully have dogs and cats to my dying day.

    But I will not do not tolerate owners of mean vicious dogs. If you own a junk yard or a salvage yard…be my guest, have all the large mean vicious dogs you want. Just make sure they are in their cages come morning. To have a large, mean vicious dog in town or in a city…no, not no but hell no..there’s no reason. You want a guard dog you say, get one, get both you and it trained…proper training ..it’ll cost me a couple grand to get the training. Better a couple grand in traing that a multi million dollar law suit cause your dog got out and mauled some body.

  • Phil January 3, 2015, 3:17 pm

    I have never been a believer in “warning” shots, but was successful the one time I shot into the ground (NEVER into the air) when being charged by an aggressive dog. Thankfully, the report scared the dog, and a second shot (at the dog) was unnecessary.

  • gym January 3, 2015, 12:52 pm

    I ad one charge m while out with my Lab pup. I scooped her up and drew my 9mm. I yelled stop 2 or 3 times and the dog stopped about 10-12 feet away. It was a full sized Pit about 70 lbs. I did let it break the perimeter I mentally established, but it was just a feeling, and it was showing teeth and growling. Ends up a lady was driving around looking for the dog, which got out of the gate and came into my development, “probably on a hunting trip”. Animal control showed up “I had called”, and he said he never would have let it get that close. Like I said, I just had a feeling it was a pet. I scolded the woman good, and she won’t be letting that dog alone in the yard any more. I have no doubt I still could have shot it in midair, if I had to.

  • DaveGinOly January 3, 2015, 12:48 pm

    I love dogs (all animals, in fact, better than I like people). But I would not hesitate a moment to kill one that was threatening my safety.

    I was out walking a few months ago and three (of a group of four) large and very aggressive dogs began to approach me in an open area (the owner was not yet in sight). I stopped and gave them commands to go away. They did not respond. The owner was calling them and came within sight, about 50 yards away. The dogs approached closely enough that I went to condition Orange, and I placed my hand on my concealed weapon (SA XDm .45). I did this in such a manner to make it apparent to the owner what I was about to do. He redoubled his efforts to recall his dogs and they responded to him just as I was about to go to Red. No doubt in my mind I would have killed those dogs if I they had come any closer.

  • frank noce January 3, 2015, 6:29 am

    Some cops ,not all, are scared shitless of dogs. No cop should be called for a dog situation,their not trained for it. Call a cop for a dog problem the dog is most likely going to be shot. Before you call the police on a dog problem try first to contact the owner & animal control.

  • frank noce January 3, 2015, 6:28 am

    Some cops ,not all, are scared shitless of dogs. No cop should be called for a dog situation,their not trained for it. Call a cop for a dog problem the dog is most likely going to be shot. Before you call the police on a dog problem try first to contact the owner & animal control.

  • Dan Alsup January 2, 2015, 10:58 pm

    I was in law enforcement from 1982 until 1990 in the town next to Cleburne. We did not have any animal control other than the police department. Shooting anything is a difficult decision and there is very little time to make such a decision most of the time. On two occasions I had to kill rabid skunks (no moral problem there) but on three occasions I had no option other than to kill dogs: a doberman that was charging me and foaming at the mouth, a german shepherd mix who had cornered me and was advancing slowly with his hackles up and his ears laid back. In both of those instances I waited, with gun drawn and aimed, until they were within 6-8 feet away. Those were both one-shot kills. Even though I felt there were justified kills it still bothered me and does to this day. The other kill was also a german shepherd mix that I observed being extremely aggressive toward a three-year-old girl. I hit him three times before he went down. (The last shot was just to put him out of his misery.)
    On a couple other occasions a shot into the ground near aggressive dogs was sufficient to get them to back off. They were still far enough away that they were not an imminent threat, in my opinion. I could not make any sort of judgement from what I saw on this video. I discussed it with the Cleburne police chief, a VERY fair and professional officer, and he said that a stop-action review was difficult, but did not seem to show that the officer’s actions were improper.
    I grew up on a farm in Illinois and we always had two to five dogs at any one time. Folks would abandon their animals in the country and we would adopt them when they showed up at our door. I love dogs. I have never personally met a pit bull that was unfriendly, but their reputation makes me wary until it is established that it is really friendly. It is somewhat understandable that a person who is not a “dog person” might become nervous around an advancing pit.
    I wasn’t there. I didn’t see it happen. It would be a shame to ruin a young police officer’s career over a (possibly) dumb mistake. The fact that he killed something will stick with him for a long, long time and it is unlikely that he will handle a similar situation in the same manner ever again.

  • Jackpine January 2, 2015, 9:24 pm

    No reason for the LEO to shoot in this case.

    The only breed I’ve ever had to kick off my (leashed) dog was a pit. Quite the aggressive little (65#) rascal, charged us from two houses away upon being let out the front door. Saw it coming, full charge, ears back, low growl. My Standard Schnauzer twisted away from the first lunge, I got my kick in. I’m convinced I would have had to kill it to save my dog if it’s owner hadn’t immediately rushed up and grabbed it. She was angry at me for kicking her dog. People.


  • Will Drider January 2, 2015, 3:55 pm

    Bad shoot. Officer had no immediate dog threat present when initially viewing all the dogs. He could have just monitored the situation until Animal Control arrived. He chose to interact with the dogs and says he observed a hostile response and took the shots. Unnessary. The person in the car who was fearful of the dogs is 100% justified in making the 911Call. I do not fault the Officer in this case. It is the owners responsibility to maintain positive controls of their animals 24/7. If that were done this event would not have occured.
    P.S. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU TAZER A DOG? You get a tazmanian devil biting machine. Dogs are wired different then humans and has no idea what a tazer is. A dog is also wired to fight or flight when injured. Even if it is trying to escape it will target anything in its path. Owners of dogs that have been injured, often get bitten trying to render aid to the animal. So that tazer zap was interpeted as a full on attack by ty the dog. Once you stop the zap it will respond, maybe a bit wobbly for a few seconds but it will do what its instincts direct it to do. This normally leads to the animal being taken down by a firearm.

  • Matt January 2, 2015, 3:27 pm

    I have had to consider this situation myself…it is the reason I now have a concealed carry permit. Short story: I was walking my dog, ( German Shepard-Malamute mix), on the beach. A woman was walking a pitbull-variant the other direction. After passing by, her dog decided to attack. The SOB actually drug her through the sand to get to us! I finally pulled the two apart after beating the damn thing with my fists, and it still wanted to attack my dog. I resolved THIS would never happen again, and that this dog deserved to be destroyed.
    LTC(ret) Dave Grossman has written some very interesting books on the psychology of killing, and I highly recommend them. The main thing that has stuck with me from reading his books is that you will react either as you have been trained, or as you have decided due to previous thought. I had never worried about dog attacks before this, so I did not react as I should have. Now, I would shoot the b*st*rd long before he got close!
    I cannot blame this officer without knowing a lot more about his previous training/thinking.

  • david January 2, 2015, 12:47 pm

    When they are endangering you or your families life.

  • Michael January 2, 2015, 12:36 pm

    It’s a pit bull time bomb. Do not agree with what he did yet I have seen the damage this breed can do.
    Good luck.

  • Noel P. January 2, 2015, 11:07 am

    I have a hard time even thinking about having to shoot a dog. There is one scenario that I may have missed but that I recommend that we include. sick or feral dogs. Many years ago in a very densely settled old city (Charleston, SC) a pack of feral dogs was working its way down the residential districts to the historic district where I live. The had killed other dogs and were a danger to small children. Among my dogs at that time was a Basset Hound rescue that I called Sandy. She had been cured of cancer and was a fine dog for my children but she went into heat. My house is surrounded by 9+’ walls and a very heavy wood ate to the parking area. This pack beat the gates down and tore up the Basset Hound. I put her out of her misery and then got my favorite .22 rifle and called the police told them what was happening and asked for an armed animal control officer. They informed me that I could not shot the pack animals and I informed them to mention my name to the chief (a friend) and see if he thought that would stop me. I corralled the pack with some help into a box lot and shot the Lab mix large leader and then the next in line as I judged it. By that time regular patrolmen had arrived and helped put down the remainders. I have never felt worse in my life. I wish to God that I did not have to do that but it was necessary. Fortunately no such thing has happened to me again. Same with Rabies.

  • Michael J. Salzbrenner January 2, 2015, 10:50 am

    Personally, I could NEVER justify shooting a dog. But then again, I’m not intimidated by a dog. I’ve owned Chow Chow’s for the majority of my life, and unfortunately they tend to attract the attention of the reprehensible crowd related to dog fighting. I have had to remove more than one “aggressive” dog from my property, do to these reprobates. I have dealt with quite a few aggressive dogs, from 20lbs to 160lbs, from toy poodles to pit bulls, to rottweilers, and NEVER once feared for life or severe physical threat. I’ve even had to defend the safety of my children from aggressive dogs. It’s never taken more than grabbing the damn thing by back of the neck and picking it up off the ground. They can thrash all they like but if you are intimidated by a dog, you may want to reconsider your self defense abilities in general. Its a DOG for goodness sake. It isn’t holding a gun on you! I’ve never HAD to KILL a dog, let alone use self defense as the ridiculous excuse. People are too easily “frightened”. We need to embrace personal responsibility and rediscover our capacity for self control.

  • Dr Dave January 2, 2015, 10:37 am

    If it was my dog we would have a dead punk cop too

  • Dr Dave January 2, 2015, 10:31 am

    Whimps should not have guns run and hide dink

  • Dr Dave January 2, 2015, 10:28 am

    Dink would be laying dead next to my dog perfect name dink

  • James Prater January 2, 2015, 6:39 am

    OMG!!! I know I’m late with my comments. This is the first time for me seeing this video. In my eyes he was no police officer. Just a punk wanting to shoot something and got his chance with a “vicious” pit bull! I’m sorry but I am so tired of the punks with badges.
    There’s one thing about dogs. They cannot lie. They’re not wired that way. You can tell everything about a dog by what his body is doing. A wagging tail IS NOT an aggressive dog. PERIOD!!! I don’t care if it’s a pit bull or yorkie! The tail says it all!

  • Mickey Rat January 2, 2015, 4:53 am

    The dogs should not have been out. Period. If you care about them, fence your yard. I had a neighbor with a pit mix that mauled another’s grandson. It was confined to check for rabies and returned to her. It then bit the front tire of six (6) different MOVING cars. The sidewalls were penetrated causing instant flats. The dog then bit the OTHER front tire of all six cars. A punctured sidewall can’t be repaired, only replaced. The Sherriff’s Department was called each time. We were advised that there wasn’t a leash law and we were advised to shoot the dog if we were threatened. The owner never secured the dog or paid any damages. She had no assets so litigation was usless. We lost mail service (mailman and replacement mailman’s vehicles), newspaper delivery, pizza delivery (x2) and an insurance adjustor. My UPS deliveryman was stalked twice and only saved by my warning. The third time, the dog came after us both and I shot it. It lost use of right front leg and almost died. The owner didn’t bother to take it to the Vet. It then got the last two (2) cars. All events reported to the SD. The dog was then shot again by another party and died. A neighborhood of families was afraid to go outside for almost 3 months, go 5 miles into town to get our mail from the Post Office and our newspaper service suspended. I own a dog and have had a dog my whole life, I am a dog person and it broke my heart to have to shoot any dog. I was the first in the neighborhood to fence my yard 35 years ago to protect my dog and children. If you care about anything you will take care of it. The owner was at fault. If the dog was penned, inside a fence or hous or tied out the entire incident would never have happen. It is time to lay the responsibility at the owner. They were not securing their pets.

  • steve November 19, 2014, 4:19 pm

    You left out some valid reasons to kill a pet dog:
    * Killing my livestock
    * Running down livestock or deer; singly or in a pack
    * Property destruction such as hole digging in a garden or maintained piece of ground

    And the really sad moment:
    * When your best friend reaches end of life.

    Killing my livestock is a capital offense. In the other cases, I’ll talk to the dog owner if I know who the owner is.

    I that the officer’s calling the dog in to be shot was a heinous action. A dog ain’t like a hoodlum, dogs don’t modify aggressive behavior because you are packing a sidearm. Dogs never lie, except maybe to their master 🙂

  • Big Shrek November 8, 2014, 5:29 pm

    As a retired firefighter, I’ve had to dispatch dogs with Halligans and Fire Axes due to them attacking firefighters.
    First time we had a pit attack, we tried to pull it off the guy’s arm, beat it off with fists, and finally used an axe.
    After that we had a long discussion in the firehouse and decided that once one of the larger breeds is in full attack mode,
    and the owner is unable/unwilling to control it, just take it out by whatever means are at hand BEFORE getting bit.
    There’s simply no point in getting bitten, having to get the mandatory rabies shots while waiting for the
    ME to euthanize the dog and dissect its brain to see if it had rabies…unnecessary human pain in our view.

    Mind you, I’ve got a Rottweiler & a German Shepard, so I know how large dogs should be kept & trained.
    There’s no excuse for letting an aggressive dog roam free. The dog the officer shot needed to be taken out.

  • Noel November 5, 2014, 6:56 pm

    I agree with your first three scenarioes, but you left one out.
    4) When a dog is attacking livestock. In many states it is legal to shoot a dog that is attacking your livestock, and as somebody who grew up on a farm and knows the investment that livestock represents I’d consider that a fair time to shoot a dog. When a dog’s trying to hamstring a $10,000 draft horse, that’s not the time to grab a bat or a stick. That’s the time to grab a firearm.

    Also, not sure I’d stop at “small children” in your first scenario. If I saw a dog actively attacking and injuring a person, regardless of age, I’d have very few qualms about shooting it.

  • Scott October 31, 2014, 6:54 pm

    Someone should put down the officer. He seems more of a threat to others than the poor dogs.

  • mtman2 October 29, 2014, 8:33 am

    3 things here:
    1) The LEO- WAS trigger happy, maybe just didn’t like dogs period from prior poor experiences.
    2) He should have waited for animal control, as THEY do proper evals; unless an attack was going on.
    3) If no harm had been done by the dogs(and yes some domestic dogs do kill+maul Americans every year),
    and his actions prove his judgement wasn’t just poor but unstable and shows he’s NOT qualified to make them ~!

  • JimThompson October 28, 2014, 4:39 pm

    That buttwad would be spending time in the hospital if he shot my pooch. That shooting was absolute BS! 🙁

  • brady October 27, 2014, 9:26 pm

    I think the cop is a coward or doesn’t like animals,probably both.as for shooting them I think your comments are about as good as your gonna get.

  • mag195455 October 27, 2014, 5:25 pm

    I think anymore there is more bad COPS than bad dogs running around loose, I’am surprised he shot so few times!! There is good Police out there and i would not want to do that job. But it seems like with everything there is people on the police force that should not have been there in the first place.

  • Jason October 27, 2014, 4:33 pm

    I see far too much ignorance with regard to the “pit bull” breed in the comments to even begin to address each falsity. Suffice it to say, do research people before you spout off on something about which you know clearly little-to-nothing. First, “pit bulls” do not have locking jaws, nor does any other breed of canine. They do not have a disproportionate amount of jaw strength; nearly any breed with a bigger jaw has the ability to produce greater psi with its bite. Thirdly, look to actual and unbiased studies (such as the CDC) regarding canine attacks, you’ll find that “pit bulls” are not more likely than any other breed to attack. Fourth, and finally, “pit bulls” are not only bred and bought for “one purpose” – they can be service dogs, police dogs, or family pets that are loved and cherished. START THINKING FOR YOURSELF AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH INSTEAD OF BLINDLY BELIEVING WHAT THE SENSATIONALIST MEDIA IS PUTTING OUT THERE ABOUT THIS “BREED.”

    • Scott October 31, 2014, 7:04 pm

      Ignorance is bliss. I agree that most people know nothing of which they speak. More people are attaked by small cute dogs than scary pitbulls but their the ones that get the news coverage. The same people who are frightened by pitbulls seem to be the same lot equally scared of black rifles. Because the are clueless, they must be experts.

  • Chuck October 27, 2014, 4:29 pm

    Pit Bulls were originally bred to fight. Be aggressive. When a litter of pups is born usually the most aggressive are saved for fighting and the rest are sold or destroyed. Over the years Pit Bulls have gotten away from the fighting rings and have been used for pets. The problem is that way back in there breeding there are fighting genes that may show up at any time as aggressive behavior. The same goes with any breed of dog that has been bred for any specific reason. Beagles for example were bred for hunting rabbits. Some of the hunting instinct has been bred out of them because many people like them just for pets. However every once in a while a Beagle is born with a love to chase rabbits. That gene shows up. One out of fifty beagle pups may take to chasing rabbits and the other 49 couldn’t care less. The same with Pit Bulls. One out of the 50 may suddenly become aggressive for no apparent reason. God help the small person who is close by.

  • wab October 27, 2014, 11:44 am

    Ultimately, it is the dog owners fault. A responsible pet owner will keep their dogs safe and not let them roam free in a neighborhood. If you don’t have control of your dogs how do you know what they are doing. Some people fear dogs no matter the type or situation. Some people just hate dogs.
    I have been a peace officer in Texas for 34 years. I have never shot a dog and wouldn’t ever want to. If I felt a dog posed an immediate threat I would shoot it.
    I own 3 dogs and I am a dog lover. I take care of my dogs.

  • Craig Ramsey October 27, 2014, 11:42 am

    Any time a pit bull is breathing is good enough for me.
    Breed is only good for one thing, only bought for one reason.
    Shoulda clipped the other two so he doesn’t have to do it later.

    I believe the woman was parked in her drive way and didn’t want to “just drive away and call animal control” as suggested here.
    Why is there no news about the owner’s getting fined/arrested?

    • Tony October 28, 2014, 12:28 am

      What an ass.

    • Ellen Tullos January 3, 2015, 12:35 pm

      Way to go and tell the world about your 5th grade drop out of an education. It is people like you that give the human race a bad name. Maybe instead of killing a dog, we should just put all of you dumb ass ignorance on a private island then place bets to see how long you survive.

  • Chris Baker October 27, 2014, 11:41 am

    I think the person in the car has as much of any blame (if any) to pass around as anyone else. She was safe inside her car and could have either waited or driven off.

    From the limited video shown, it didn’t look to me (opinion) as though the officer was in any way threatened after all, the officer called the dog and then what? felt threatened because the dog moved towards him? I’ve been threatened by neighbor’s dogs and that dog didn’t look threatening to me. Why didn’t he taze the dog?

  • Mark Norman October 27, 2014, 10:51 am

    in your article you describe a scenerio wherein a dog might attack and have the upper hand if you do not shoot it because you might not have time to draw your weapon….? I have twice been a Police Officer, before and after Federal Service as a Special Agent and Military tours, how about using common sense? You should “Never” ever have to worry about drawing your weapon quick enough! You should have your weapon drawn already or at least have the holster unsnapped and your hand on the weapon. Just because you draw your weapon “just in case”… does not mean it is deployed, keep it pointed at the gound in front of you or to the side. Do NOT point it at anything or anybody as that is Aggrivated Assault. Do NOT threaten in words or gestures, that you have intention to assault and you will be fine. The key to drawing your weapon or not is the ability to verbalize to a prudent person that such preparation was prudent for your protection or the protection of others. If I felt endangered, my weapon would be in my hand. Then you can de-escalate the siuation from a protected position. In almost all cases, discharging your service weapon will ultimately be uneccessary because you use your ultimate weapon, your brain!

    In my opinion shooting the dog in question might not have been really neccessary, but Police Officers are ulimately just human beings, “animals ourselves”… we are subject to fear or other emotions as well. As every animal has its’ own unique spirit, we do too. It is impossble to ensure every human being that happens to be a Police Officer would all react in identical manners. “IF” the officer was truly in fear for hs personal safety, a judgement call made in a split second shoud not be second guessed by others who were not there acti as witnesses. However, I know from personal experience that there are a great many less than prudent officers in service. There are even officers that shoot because they can get away with it. But, in this case, the officer did turn on his personal video camera which greatly lends creedence that he intended to make a prudent judgement call and act acordingly to laws, ordinences, and statutes.

    I am definantly a lover of “Nanny Dogs”, (Pit Bulls), everyone in my family has one. In my experience they are the sweetest, most loving dogs I’ve ever had! I would trust a small child with any of our pits far more than any other breed. There is a reason the dog in the “Little Rascals” TV show was a pit! However, they do possess more capability to cause grevious harm than most breeds if poorly raised

    I say trust the officer if possible. and, grieve with the dogs owner for the loss of such a precious life. When one is the stewart (owner) of a breed that has the “capability” to harm others, greater responsibility is self-evident. We must do all we can and remain vigilent, never procrastinating, to protect our animal family members from situations where they could cause harm or be harmed. No large dog should have access to roaming nighborhoods.

  • Fran Dumaw October 27, 2014, 10:43 am

    I guess there must be something wrong with my thinking, but, from what I get out of this story the police officer responded to a lady in distress. A human being who was afraid to exit her car for fear of being attacked by pit bulls on the loose. When the officer was shown an aggressive trait from one, not all of the three, just one, he reacted like any well instructed police officer should do. Remove the threat with the least amount of danger to human life. He did so. Most people don’t realize that a pit bull has enough biting pressure in it’s jaws to break an arm or leg bone with a single bite. Why should any person have to put up with the possibility of having this happen, especially a law officer on a call where a person is being threatened. Come on people this man was doing his duty in a most exemplary way. Now I love my pets, yes dogs, as much or more then the next person, they are a part of my family, but I won’t have an animal that is not respectful to other life forms. I suppose these people who disapprove of this police officer’s actions also disapprove of the schools reprimanding their kids or hold society to fault for the criminals who roam the streets. Get a grip people, if you love your kids and your animals you teach them right from wrong, put them in a loving safe environment and if you have done your job properly you won’t have to blame the police departments for treating your loved ones with undo force. I’ve raised Labs, German Short Haired Pointers, and Beagles and two Children, and at any time I could take any and all of them into any safe situation and not have to worry about their behavior because they were thought how to respect others. Thank you.

    • Steve October 27, 2014, 8:13 pm

      You obviously didn’t look at the video nor did you know that the pit bull in question was just a puppy.
      In the video the dog’s body language showed it was friendly and did not attack the officer in question. It sat back and awaited a treat or invitation to come closer.

      From what I can gather, the woman who called the police is a cynophobe or has been misled to believe that pit bulls are one of the most dangerous breeds of dogs due to misinformation put out by a largely ignorant media as well as word of mouth about the breed.

      It is the people raising the dog that makes it dangerous as well as those who tease and torture it.

    • Mike October 27, 2014, 8:42 pm

      A lady scared sitting in a CAR, you know the thing that can drive away from the scary dog. Ignorance is why these dogs have such a bad name.

      Shoot the dog because the lady is to scared to LEAVE makes sense on what planet again?

  • Jen D October 27, 2014, 10:37 am

    If the woman was in a car and feeling threatened why didn’t she simply drive off? To sit there and call 911 when she could have avoided the encounter easily is somewhat baffling.

    Just Drive off and call animal control.

  • D Hicks October 27, 2014, 9:40 am

    I agree with the Police Officer. Pit Bulls aren’t for pets.In the list of top five for attacking there owners.I will kill a dog for attacking a person or my other animals,dog,chickens cattle,so on.I like good dogs, I have two, no one should put up with a bad dog.Besides my best friend is my wife.

    • Steve October 27, 2014, 8:05 pm

      Your ignorance of the pit bull breed is exceptional and all too common amongst most people.
      The pit bull is a kind and loving breed that is not at all dangerous until it is made dangerous by whomever owns it and whomever teases and tortures it to no end.
      It is the same with all breeds of dogs. Shar pei, poodle (both toy and regular), all mastiffs, german shepards, cocker spaniels, doberman pinchers, and so on.
      Sure, there are few exceptions where the dog itself, regardless of breed, is actually dangerous to people and/or other animals. This could be due to inbreeding or other mitigating factors.

      I highly suggest you and your wife read up on all breeds of dogs and check in with animal rescue groups about how dogs, for the most part, are not dangerous to people until people make them dangerous.

      • D Hicks January 2, 2015, 8:26 am

        To Steve, You answered the question yourself.You don’t know want myself or my wife know about dogs,nothing you say will convince me to like pit bulls

  • SPOON October 27, 2014, 9:01 am

    All rests upon the animal’s owner. Simply as that. Dogs are notoriously gregarious animals with much of the aggressiveness bred out. Why were these “slobber bunnies” out running the neighborhood? The woman in the car would appear may be fearful of canines or maybe jut the Pit’s reputation. From the limited footage and no growling defensive barks, etc…BAD SHOOT! The officer…well he screwed up and should be held liable.

  • Been Bit October 27, 2014, 8:27 am

    A pit bull can locks his jaws..he who hesitates is lost. I saw one take down a bull and kill him family pet and working dog. You have to take care of the situation before it escalates into something else. Human life trumps animals life at any cost in my life, if it had been a bear or mountain lion he would get a pat on the back. WAKE UP PEOPLE

    • Chris Baker October 27, 2014, 11:24 am

      My sister had a pit bull. She also had small children who would ride the dog, pull its ears and tail and generally commit the mayhem kids usually commit to pets if not taught how to treat animals/pets and she never hurt a one of them but she did however attack and get badly injured by a mountain lion that came in the yard with the kids. If you shoot her dog you best be prepared for retribution. She will be very very angry.

    • walt January 2, 2015, 4:56 am

      Look their jaws? I keep hearing this fallacy – they have strong jaw muscles like most canines but not locking jaws

    • DDurden January 2, 2015, 9:46 am

      I pit bull CANNOT lock its jaws. That myth has been disproved over and over for decades. There’s no mechanical locking device in the jaws. If there was, it would need an “unlocker”, as well. Neither are present on any breed of dog.

      If you study dogs and dog bites, you’ll learn that pit bulls, as a breed, don’t bite THAT particularly hard compared to other “man working” and protection breeds. They’re just tenacious. Some pit bulls bite harder than other pit bulls, but as a breed, in comparison to Rotties or American Bulldogs, pit bulls don’t bite that hard.

      Ask any decoy / target person who does dog bite work and ask them what breeds bite the hardest. You’ll probably be surprised.

    • robert west January 2, 2015, 11:22 am

      pitbulls do not lock there jaws this is a myth.and an out right lie.they will hold there prey.and the pitbull bites no harder then any other large dog german shepard rott these dogs are way more agressive then the pitbull its a fact before you make up things you know nothing about seek the truth.i am not saying that pitbulls will not attack but they are no different then any other dog.pitbulls were not bred to attack people.and with proper raising make great dogs.

    • Greg January 2, 2015, 11:52 am

      You are now showing your ignorance. Anyone who actually knows about the breed will be able to tell you that in no way is a pit bull’s jaws any different than any other dog. They do not have a mechanism that locks the jaw. In fact, there are multiple dogs with stronger bite per square inch including the Rottweiller and German Shepherd. Do yourself a favor and recognize that you are ignorant and stop making asinine statements.

      • David January 2, 2015, 10:18 pm

        You have not been hog hunting with them have you?

  • mikey mike October 27, 2014, 7:16 am

    Any loose pitbull can be shot. Same with all those type dogs. Rottweilers, dobbies, wolf hybrids, if you want that kind of dog, keep them contained in your yard or house.

    • Kallen Tyler October 27, 2014, 8:21 am

      The one neighbor ladies a flake. Myself, anytime a dog acts aggressive, I too make the smoochie, hey buddy buddy sounds triing to calm the dog. If that doesnt work and.you still feel a threat is about to happen or is, take the shot. My neighbor has a young pit and just on playing, she is far rougher than many others I have played with much larger dogs. Pits weren’t bread to be wimpy. I don’t and wont have bad, aggresive dogs, I have alerting dogs who only bark when people show. I have guns, I dont need a bad dog, just its alarm of intruders at night!

    • ALAN October 27, 2014, 10:02 am

      Your comment insinuates that these are bad breeds. In truth there are no inherently bad breeds. There is bad breeding and bad handling. Every breed has the same inherent ability for aggressiveness. You are correct in that no matter what breed of dog you own, it should be controlled at all times. Even a gentle beagle can react aggressively in strange surroundings…

      • Ken October 27, 2014, 2:22 pm

        Actually the Pit Bull breed was used historically to protect the children. Their disposition is normally good natured and calm. The breed is not nearly as bad at biting as say a Cocker Spaniel, just their sheer power and tenacity makes the result worse. A veterinarian once told me that of all the dogs they had worked on, the Pit Bull was the best for behavior. Bad people make bad dogs and unthinking people make bad dogs. Don’t tease dogs through a fence, I have seen a lot of kids do this and get bitten for there actions.

    • ken January 2, 2015, 5:53 pm

      You sir are a dumb smart mouth ash any dog is what you make it I have a 120 pound rott and she is the biggest baby in town now shut your donut hole

  • Spencer October 27, 2014, 6:23 am

    I pretty much agree with you. But, I will add that I have seen too many videos of young cocky officers apparently itching to shoot something, shoot dogs, and it infuriates me. Sight unseen, I will always side with the dog. And the “justice” afterwards is typically non-existent. The criminal justice system is just that, made for criminals. I have great respect for most cops, but I think the bad ones should be weeded out ruthlessly.

    • dink winkerson October 28, 2014, 12:38 pm

      Most places today have laws against dogs running loose, keep your dog in check and I won’t have to. your dog growls or shows it’s teeth to me or mine, without hesitation, I will shoot your dog. If one is the type to act an ass because their loose dog got shot, they may be looking down the barrel of a .45 themselves.Been there, done that, would do it again.

      • Dusty October 29, 2014, 1:51 am

        Really dink? You are going to point a gun at others because they may take ‘issue’ with you killing their dog because you are afraid of dogs and fancy yourself as a self-appointed animal control officer? Please do bother to inform yourself on the conditions under which you can lawfully discharge your firearm. Please do take your medications regularly. Please don’t behave as if you represent the rest of us who own and carry firearms. And don’t point your gun at me. You might not enjoy the consequences.

        • Richard H. Seigle November 3, 2014, 8:21 pm

          You’re a sociopath sir.I’d guess that you’re a coward as well.Those of us that carry firearms are not waiting for an excuse to shoot a dog or person because we’re scared.Unless you feel that you or yours are in imminent danger, keep the damn thing in it’s holster before you do something stupid.

      • Gentry Tipton January 2, 2015, 3:15 pm

        Amen brother!

      • David January 2, 2015, 10:12 pm

        You need to confront a pack of dogs that has a “hot” female. They will not back down and there have been several cases of serious bodily injury and deaths in Texas from feral dogs in the past few years.

        I have two pits that were “aggressively chasing children” when they were picked up. This last summer my great nephew who is nine had one of them sleeping and “spooning” with him all night. If another dog would try to get in bed with them he would let out a short “grunt”, nothing aggressive just something to let them know the boy belonged to him.

        When I was an officer I carried a ball in the trunk and if the dog went after the ball it was a pretty good bet he wasn’t aggressive. Don’t get me wrong I SHOT a lot of aggressive dogs when I had to. Feral dogs are brave and dangerous!

  • lissa October 25, 2014, 9:05 pm

    I read your article while absently scratching the head of my 80 pound lap dog. I completely agree with your scenarios under which you would kill a dog.

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