Dogster brought us a very sad story on Monday that really affected me. The story was about an arthritic 11-year-old yellow lab named Gloria that was shot and killed by an Oakland, CA police officer in her own back yard. The Hallock family had Gloria as a part of their family since she was a pup, as a matter of fact, their now 15-year-old son had picked her out when he was only 3, he picked her because she looked like his favorite stuffed animal. She meant everything to the family.
The family was away from the house and their burglar alarm went off, the police arrived to investigate the alarm and while officer Victor Garcia was in the back yard, Gloria came out to investigate why there were strangers in her back yard. The officer said she was growling and continuing to approach him and since she was continuing to advance on him, he fired his gun three times, shooting and killing Gloria. Mrs. Hallock arrived home to find a note left by the officer explaining what had happened. The entire family is devastated. They can't imagine that this force was necessary, though she did get territorial about her back yard and had a loud bark, they believed she could have easily been stopped in another way. Though the shooting is under investigation Mr. Hallock has said that he and his family does not want to file charges, he would like to prevent this from happening to anyone else and work with police on changing policy.
I really don't understand why a firearm was used, why was pepper spray or a taser not used first or instead? Dogster went on to tell two more incidents of police shooting and killing dogs in situations that it would seem other force could have been used. This is not a police bashing by any means, but I really do have to wonder, how are police being trained to deal with these situations. I hope the media coverage will encourage police departments everywhere to take another look at their policies, because shooting and killing the family dog can't be a good solution.
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