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Letter: Shooting dog demonstrates need for stricter guidelines

Shooting dog demonstrates need for stricter guidelines

We write to express chagrin and frustration about the sheriff’s detective who recently entered a rural yard in search of a fugitive. The yard contained a young child, and a dog who charged the deputy and was shot.

We have owned, studied and cherished dogs for many decades and would have been surprised and disappointed had the dog not reacted to protect the child and attack the intruder who evidently entered the yard with a gun in hand.

The detective carelessly created a wretched situation. Now would seem to be a good time to impose guidelines that would inhibit the drawing of weapons in such situations.

If the fugitive was dangerous and reportedly armed, then carrying a pistol into the yard might be justified. But we understand an “armed and dangerous” warning was not appropriate in this case.

There appears no reason the dog was shot except an indifferent or inept officer who carries a gun but little common sense. Apparently the dog, Lady, required expensive medical procedures. The officer, not taxpayers, should reimburse these costs.

Guns used in any police confrontation should be an absolute and ultimate final choice. A tiny deflection or muscle jump by the officer could have killed the child.

As a result of the events in Ferguson, Mo., we think the nation could be at a threshold of change in the role of law enforcement in our communities and hope the County Legislature and administration will take the lead in this much-needed reform.

Art & Marilyn Klein