LAPD Dog Shooting Stats in LA Times

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The LA Times has a story in its Sunday edition about the LAPD’s policy on shooting animals in self-defense. This topic is on the forefront of many people’s minds after the unnecessary (in my opinion) shooting of the pitbull Teri on February 16; this was reported in many publications including blogging.la. According to today’s article, (which I hope you click and read the whole thing) the shooting animals apparently isn’t all that uncommon.

Since 1985, police have shot at more than 465 dogs, killing at least
200 and wounding at least 140, according to incident reports…The standard an officer must follow when shooting a dog is the same as
for shooting a person: as a last resort to avoid death or serious
injury. When dogs are involved, officers often believe they are going
to be bitten, which is why many of the animals shot by police were pit
bull terriers, Rottweilers and other breeds that have reputations for
being vicious.

Some believe that officers simply need to be better trained:

Randall Lockwood, a psychologist and animal behaviorist with the Humane
Society of the United States who has worked with police agencies on
issues relating to dogs, said most officers are not adequately trained
to handle confrontations with aggressive dogs. Lockwood said he thought
the number of dogs shot at by LAPD officers was "surprisingly high."

"Police departments throughout the country need to develop better
training so officers can more accurately assess which dogs are
life-threatening and dangerous and which ones are not," Lockwood said.

"Our opinion is that often, lethal use of force is not required or
justified," he said. "In many cases, a shooting is a knee-jerk reaction
by an officer not familiar with dogs. We have to acknowledge that there
are situations where they have to shoot a dog, but we feel that’s
relatively rare.

People can be weird about dogs even if they aren’t the stereotyped aggressive kind. For instance, I took my boys to an art walk last Thursday. We walked into a gallery where two little boys were running around screaming. Lebowski let out a bark and the boys were anxious to get near them; the people little boys could care less. So my dogs are just standing there as I talk to someone and this security guard tells me to hold my dogs for the safety of the children. It doesn’t matter that two 7 year olds are running around artwork but my 7 pound dog on a tight leash is a threat? So I turned around and left. Although I am grateful there wasn’t any shooting involved – I mean, it was downtown Los Angeles!

4 Replies to “LAPD Dog Shooting Stats in LA Times”

  1. I would really like to know how much each one of those bullets cost the taxpayers and how many bullets are being expendd to shoot at and or kill dogs and other animals.

  2. Off topic – whatever happened to the LA Times opening up the Calendar section for free instead of the current subscription to view?

  3. Randall needs to spend an evening walking the streets of INDUSTRIAL downtown after dark and see where his animal psychologist mumbo jumbo gets him.

    He’d probably be surprised to know that many of the “stray” dogs are actually used as protection for the drug dealers, prostitutes, homeless and pallet yards that double as sellers of stolen property. THEY ARE NOT FRIENDLY. During the day they wander around, UNLEASHED with the homeless people that feed them. It creates problems for all of us that LIVE downtown and might want to ride a bike, motorcycle or walk around.

    I’d be happy to direct anyone to the streets around our building so that Randall can talk some sense in to the police, the criminals and the wild dogs. Make sure you go after dark so that you get the FULL experience which includes the following attractions; dark deserted streets, burning fires in trash cans, homeless encampments, tricks being turned in all the parked cars, drug dealers on every corner and 4-5 wild dogs lying in the middle of the street. Make sure that you walk towards the pallet yards they are guarding to get the full experience! If one of those dogs or people starts in your direction you’ll wish you had a firearm and a badge.

    Trust me, I’ve been there looking for the dog that sent my cat to the hospital.

    On a positive note. That evening, after two attacks and many days of calling animal control we had the dog picked up. On a not so positive note,
    the city won’t come unless the dog is actually attacking a person.

    HMMMM, shot first or wait until i get bit?… BANG

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