Thank you for contacting PETA and for your compassion.
These tragedies happen more often than one would imagine. It seems we’re inundated with calls weekly from people whose dogs were shot by law enforcement personnel. Officers appropriately resort to deadly force when they believe their lives, or the lives of others, are in danger. But sometimes officials draw their guns unnecessarily or too quickly. Regardless, it’s important that all officials whose work brings them in contact with the public, and therefore inevitably with animals also, be trained to deal with animal situations effectively and humanely. We often recommend agencies take advantage of the National Animal Control Association’s training programs (http://www.nacanet.org) for that reason.
If, after reviewing state law (http://www.animallaw.com) and local law (http://www.municode.com), it is believed a government agency wrongfully injured or killed a companion animal, the shooter could face prosecution and the animal’s guardians may be able to sue. In fact, it is important for any companion-animal guardian to be familiar with the laws that afford their loved ones protection from every kind of abuse.
For more information at your fingertips, you may wish to read Dog Law: A Legal Guide for Dog Owners and Their Neighbors, by Mary Randolph: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0873376161/qid=1087923942/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-0251647-8403076?v=glance&s=books.
Don’t underestimate the power of the local press to generate much public outrage and facilitate policy changes. Media outlets will frequently give coverage to these kinds of stories, and we would encourage you to alert any who have yet to cover this shooting. Please see http://www.PETA.org/action/activism-guide/letter-writing.aspx for PETA’s guide to letter-writing.
Thanks again for bringing this to our attention and for all that you do to help animals.
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