For the past week or so, this has been a very hot topic that has evoked a lot of emotion from everyone! Hawthorne police shot a 2 year old Rottweiler named Max right after arresting the dog's owner. The video of this event has gone viral. I have many feelings about this incident that range from absolute rage to complete sadness. What it all boils down to for me is that it is very clear that these officers have little to no training when it comes to dealing with dogs. Further, if you shoot to kill, I would hope that you would just kill the animal, don't let it flop around in the street writhing in pain. That was the cruelest part of this entire video.
Now, there is a lot to be said for the parent or owner of the dog. His loss is tremendous and no matter what he did, his dog didn't deserve to die, especially not in this way. He was in a place he shouldn't have been and he obviously was getting involved in something he shouldn't, fine. He then put his dog in the car, but the windows were rolled down. I don't know of too many dogs that would stay in a car as their owners are in distress. When I watched the video, I just wanted to hit rewind and have him roll up his windows, maybe this whole thing could have been avoided. But hindsight is 20/20.
What I take most issue with is the manner in which Max was killed. I understand that the officer is saying that the dog was a threat to his life and therefore he had to kill the dog. But I do not understand the pain and suffering. If a dog comes at you and you shoot to kill, why so many shots and why did the dog not die immediately, why was the dog left in such intense pain and agony for the last moments of his life? It makes no sense at all. The fact is, that situation didn't have to have a gun involved at all, there was another way to handle it indeed. But that would require the LAPD or Hawthorne PD to be EDUCATED in this manner. They should be able to read what it meant by him lunging forward and recoiling, the uncertainty in his movements and patterns. This was not a viscous dog, this was a young dog that thought the officers were hurting his owner, so with his owner in distress, Max went to help or protect his owner. The dog was doing what he thought he had to. Something that most dogs I know would do for their owners.
(Max posters being held by anti-violence protesters)
I've watched this video once and that was one too many. It makes my heart hurt watching it.
There is an update to this story, Dogster published it this morning. Below is that article with links to the original video and the Anonymous threat that the Hawthorne Police have received.
This may be the end of the story for now, but this is not over. These types of situations are not over. There will be more. This only stops with education. Police have to be trained on the best way to deal with K-9's, not just to point and shoot. R.I.P. Max, I am so sorry your young life was cut short and you had to die in such a horrific manner.