Politician wants to create task force after recent officer involved dog shootings

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Sometimes a dog can look threatening, but it’s not. Figuring out whether a dog can be dangerous is a tricky job for police officers. Earlier this month in Lancaster a city police officer shot and killed a pit bull that had gotten loose. The police said they were justified in the shooting, but protestors said it begs an important question. “Does our law enforcement need additional training on how to use non-lethal force with animals” said State Representative Kevin Schreiber.

In order to find the answer, Representative Schreiber has introduced a resolution that would create a panel consisting of animal advocates, politicians and law enforcement. “The fact that we’re hearing from constituents, we want to take a look at it and get a better understanding of if this is a problem and if it is what tools do we need to put in place to help solve it” said Schreiber.

The director of the Humane Society for Pennsylvania, Sarah Speed, said it is a problem. “It stems from a lack of education. although all of our police officers are charged with enforcing humane laws, there’s no curriculum for it in any of the police academies in Pennsylvania” said Speed. She said instead of using guns, that tasers can be affective and as for the training, she has a solution for that too. “The Humane Society of the United States is willing to offer it for free, we will train any police officer in recognizing dog behavior and find better ways to deal with stray and loose dogs” said Speed.

If Representative Schreiber’s resolution passes, it’s safe to say the Humane Society could be a crucial partner.


  • paul

    My dog barks very aggressively when someone she doesn’t know approaches my/her house. She has never bitten or attacked anyone. I would be livid if a cop harmed my dog because it is doing what dogs do, that is warn intruders that she is there and they shouldn’t be.

  • Accountant78

    Cops shoot dogs because they know they can with absolutely no consequences. It gives them a reason to use their guns which are toys to them. Pigs.

  • Sharon C.

    This training has been available to the police all along. The problem is police departments REFUSE to avail themselves of it because they can get away with killing dogs with impunity. It’s only recently that public outrage is starting to catch on, and judgments against them in court going against police all over the country are making some departments rethink the automatic ‘if it’s a pit bull: kill it’ attitude’. Unfortunately, many of them still don’t care, and won’t, until laws are passed that police the police INDEPENDENTLY of their own ‘reviews’ that always let them off the hook..

  • Keith T. Ord

    After the story of the Police officer that shot a dog in his own back yard, They need to be held accountable.

  • Julie Graham

    I think training should be mandatory. But training alone will not resolve the epidemic. Too many cops do not have any reservations of shooting a dog even when they have entered the wrong property, or the dog is completely restrained on their own property or simply barking. Cops that chose to shoot the dog without provocation should be terminated and prosecuted. After this happens a couple of dozen times or more, there will be more restraint. Too many people today simply do not seem to have compassion for any human or animals. Okay. So now a fear of punishment needs to be implemented.

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