July 20, 2013
A family dog is dead after Winston-Salem police responded to a burglar alarm, WXII News reported July 19.
Other officers located one of the dogs behind a neighbors house and shot the dog when it ran within 15 feet and began to growl. The dog died from its injuries.
The injured officer was treated at Forsyth Medical Center for nonlife-threatening injuries and was later released. Forsyth County Animal Control seized the other two dogs because of their aggressive nature and charged the owner with violating the leash law.
This is a new incident, and a lot of information is most likely missing. For one thing, did police open the garage doors, which would have allowed the dogs to escape? Did the officers use any non-lethal means to contain any of the dogs?
If the police did release the dogs while investigating, then they would be responsible for the violation of the leash law. All the owner is responsible for is burying his dead dog.
The Examiner article written a year ago warns of this type of situation. Police who respond to a home alarm have been known to shoot and kill family dogs who were left to guard their family’s property.
For doing their duty, dogs are put at great risk by officers who may enter the home on such a call. Any dog who growls at an officer after the officers enter the dogs home is likely a soon-to-be-dead dog.
The Winston-Salem Police Department was recently in the news when the incoming police chief Barry Roundtree shot a dog, injuring its owner in the incident when she was struck by a ricocheting bullet.
No one is asking the police to suffer a dog bite. Dog lovers only want to know why the family dog must be shot instead of using other methods first.
There’s little doubt police in this most recent incident will be cleared when the shooting is investigated. No matter how the dogs got loose, police can use the “magic threefold pattern rule.” Just because they’re cleared doesn’t mean they’re not guilty.