We love to post stories about police officers who go above and beyond the call of duty to save dogs. Heroes such as Officer Dan Waskiewicz and Officer Kyle Jones leap immediately to mind. But my Google News feed is also full of stories about cop-dog interactions that end tragically for the animal. There is no doubt that the police have a difficult job, and the presence of an aggressive dog can add a level of stress and danger to a situation. But do so many dogs have to die?
Two Colorado lawmakers say, “No,” and they are planning to introduce a bill that would require police officers to take annual classes on canine behavior:
The bill would require police departments to adopt policies and procedures for dealing with dogs, including allowing owners to first try to handle the pet. Officers must initially go through a two-hour course, then a one-hour refresher course annually, which could be Web or video training.
The bill includes exceptions for using force, such as when police are responding to a dangerous dog call or violent crime.
There has been some push-back on this idea, especially from the police, who feel that they are being unfairly maligned. What do you think?
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tazed and shot five times by police last November.