Community divided after Midland, Michigan police shoot and kill family dog

September 22, 2014

A Michigan family is devastated over the loss of a dog shot by police, and leaving a community divided over whether an officer acted appropriately, WNEM5 News reported September 22.

Yo-Yo, a 1-year-old pit bull terrier, and half lab mix wandered away from his owner’s property last Friday. Owner Wayne Gobeski says Yo-Yo was rescued from the Midland County Humane Society and didn’t deserve to die.

Before the family could locate the dog, a Midland police officer came and broke the news that Yo-Yo had been shot after behaving in an aggressive manner.

In an interview with Gobeski which can be seen here, Gobeski said the officer told him

“The first thing he said was the dog looked like a pit-bull and when he reached for his collar he felt the dog was going to attack him so he drew his weapon and fired.”

Neil Wackerle, Midland County Humane Society President, believes the situation may have had a happier ending, had an animal control officer responded instead of police.

Unfortunately, the county downsized a few years ago, and only one animal control officer is available for the entire county.

The Midland County Humane Society took control of the local shelter at the same time, and hasn’t been given the authority to pick up animals. Neil says the HS has offered to take over animal control, but local officials refuse to consider the proposal.

As for Neil, he’s staring at an empty spot in the bed where Yo-Yo used to sleep. He hopes the county will hire more animal control officers so no one else has to go through the heartbreak of losing a dog to police.

The comments on the source article for Yo Yo’s shooting lean toward owner responsibility and having a dog secured to where it can’t harm anyone.

In this instance, only a few are saying police should have used a non-lethal method such as catch poles or mace to subdue the dog.

Your comments are welcome.




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