Mandated by a 2013 Colorado Legislature’s Dog Protection Act, police officers in Commerce City, Colorado will begin training this week to learn non-lethal means to handle dogs while on duty reported Denvercbslocal.com.
The required training follows another contentious case of a dog being shot multiple times on Wednesday by a police officer when he entered a subject’s home searching for a suspect in a child abuse case. The family dog, Bugs bit the officer’s leg and according to police reports, the dog would not release his bite hold.
According to the dog’s owner, Nikkol Hopkins, the shooting of her mastiff and Labrador retriever was completely unnecessary; she told authorities the officer’s partner stated:
“The other cop had told him he should have Tasered the dog or something first instead of shooting him.”
Although an investigation is now ongoing, Chief Troy Smith said the shooting of Bugs was justified.
In 2012, the shooting of a chocolate Labrador retriever, Chloe made national news and brought around the necessity for training officers when dealing with dogs, when Officer Robert Price shot Chloe after the dog had escaped from the garage where she had been staying with one of the owner’s relatives. A video showed the dog being “tased,” snared in a catch pole and then shot multiple times.
Chloe was owned by Gary Branson; she had been his therapy dog as he recuperated from life saving heart surgery.
Officer Price was charged with animal cruelty, but was found not guilty in a court of law.
And now in the wake of the latest dog shooting, the training is finally slated to begin. According to Denvercbslocal.com., Diane Balkin, of the Animal Legal Defense Fund said:
“I’m happy to report that the task force has nearly complete their duties and the training will be up and running next week.”
Police officers will now be trained to identify aggressive dogs and those with nonthreatening behavior. How many dogs have been shot running with tails wagging just intending to greet a new person coming into their lives? Training will include non-lethal methods to subdue approaching dogs, identifying vicious dogs, and interpreting a dog’s body language.
Let’s hope some of this training helps keep more dogs safe in their own homes.
If you would like to continue receiving the latest news on pet issues and how we can help those who cannot speak, please click the “Subscribe” icon.
Follow the National Pet Rescue Examiner on Facebook by clicking here. Please visit and “like” my page. You are welcome to submit story ideas by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.