As many of you know, a dog was shot and killed by a police officer at the Adam’s Morgan Day festivities yesterday. Multiple eye witnesses say that “Parrot”, a pitbull mix, got into a fight with a smaller teacup poodle. After the fight began, Parrot’s handler was able to subdue the dog and calm him down enough that the other dog escaped without injury.
The scuffle caught the attention of the police, who rushed to the scene when they heard the commotion. Different people tell the story differently, but Parrot’s handler says the police knocked him out of the way, forcefully subdued Parrot, and then instead of waiting, simply threw the dog down a flight of stairs of a nearby store, where he was shot and killed at point blank range. This retelling is consistent with many other eye witness accounts. The dog was at the festival for dog adoption day. Nobody was seriously injured. Both dogs were leashed. The only person bit was the handler, when he subdued him.
If the situation described is true, the officers should be hung out to dry for this. Yes, I know that some facts are in “dispute.” Most of these facts relate to how out of control the dog actually was. However, I can’t think of any restatement of the facts that would leave me less disgusted by this. They shot and killed a dog at point blank range during a family event simply because he got into a fight with another dog. Not one person was seriously hurt.
Further, not only was the action seemingly overzealous, but it was unnecessarily cruel. It takes a certain type of person to throw an animal down a flight of stairs and shoot him in the back of the head. The dog wasn’t rabid, nobody was even hurt! If the dog was mean (which from witness accounts I am inclined not to believe), why wasn’t animal control called? Why wasn’t it restrained and led away? My father is a veterinarian, I have seen the most deranged of dogs restrained and treated at the clinic. Don’t TELL me killing was the only recourse.
Finally, for those of you that claim negligence for bringing a pitbull to adoption day, shame on you as well. Not only do many breeds show dog-aggression, but many pitbulls do not. Most pitbulls, like other breeds, can be the sweetest of things if raised right. You have to ask yourself, if it were a lab or a golden retriever, would you advocate the same response? This is one particular case with one particular dog, so you better be prepared to say yes.
In the end, trigger happy police officers are more a threat to the public than a dog could ever be. Shame on Fenty for endorsing this.
Condolences to the handler, the agency and the witnesses.