Arnsberg, Germany police receive death threats after running over dog

July 13, 2013

According to a July 11 article by The Huffington Post, Arnsberg police department in Germany is the latest to come under fire after running over a recently rescued dog in the name of public protection.

The incident happened in the early morning hours of July 4 on the A46 motorway. It involved a dog named Bruce, who was recently rescued from the euthanasia list on the Canary Islands by a German family. Bruce’s family alerted police last week after their new dog escaped while on a walk. He was eventually spotted by drivers on the motorway.

The German police officers who responded to the call did their best to catch the dog but were unsuccessful. The officers then had to make the decision to run over the dog rather than endanger human life, as Bruce was creating quite a problem in traffic. Officers were afraid Bruce would cause an accident if he wasn’t stopped.

Spokesperson for the police Ludger Rath told Der Westen

“The officials had tried in vain to scare the dog off the road and finally decided to run over the dog.”

The officers shot at Bruce, but when their bullets failed to hit him, the German police officers ran over Bruce twice with their police vehicle. Bruce may have survived the incident. He was seen running off but hasn’t been located.

The word about Bruce got around on social media when the Canary Dog Association, an animal rescue group, posted information while Bruce was still missing. Apparently, word of his police encounter reached the group, who posted it on their Facebook page.

This created another lynch mob mentality where threats against the officers involved were called into the Arnsberg, Germany police department. Things got so bad that on July 11, the Facebook group made the request that users stop sending death threats to the police. Their statement read

“First I want to thank you for your great concern. What happened to our Bruce is really horrible and I wish it any other animal. Unfortunately we have not received any further information on the whereabouts of our protege to date. We will definitely continue to be on the lookout. As the saying goes: “Hope dies last.” But I have a request to all the animal lovers: Please stop with the Hetzkampanien and death threats. It is not in the spirit of our club and certainly not in the sense of Bruce. We have done it in the first place publicly, to find witnesses, or to get information from the people who maybe Bruce spotted somewhere, so maybe we can help him. In second place is, of course, that was the approach of the police so not just animal welfare and that another solution would have been there and have to find something that does not happen in the future. But please believe me, with Hetzkampanien and death threats we are stuck, which we do not find our Bruce.”

The deep emotions felt by those in Arnsberg, Germany mirror the feelings of dog lovers in the U.S. who are tired of dogs being shot by police. The recent case in Hawthorne, California resulted in death threats made against the Hawthorne Police Department.

There was even another Hawthorne Police Department in the U.S. who received death threats when social media users mistook their Hawthorne for the one located in California. The other Hawthorne is located in Passiac County, New Jersey.

While dog lovers everywhere are enraged at the recent actions by police officers, it’s never a good idea to threaten a police department, their officers or their family members. For one thing, the person making the threats may end up in worse trouble that the officer committing the offense.

Plus, if we stoop to their level and start making threats, we’re no better than those who harm our family dogs. It’s best to let the judicial system handle police who abuse and kill dogs, even though deep inside we feel otherwise.

It’s sad to think dogs aren’t treated any kinder in another country, where police are concerned. Even when we don’t agree with what officers are doing, we must obey the law as try to bring about changes that will treat family dogs as more than property.

Did the German officers make the right decision when they ran over Bruce? Or could he have been captured without endangering him or those driving on the A46? Your comments are welcome.





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