Justice For Angel And Safeguards For Racine's Dogs
Our community is shocked, saddened, and outraged at the shooting of Angel. She was an Australian cattle dog, about 30 lbs, and shot four times while running away from officers. Videos of incident can be viewed on the facebook page "Justice 4 Angel" though as a warning, it is very difficult to watch. Whether this was a terrible judgment call in a tense situation, or worse a deliberate act, she is the most recent victim in an unsettling trend of questionable shootings of dogs by RPD and we as a community find this unacceptable. We are petitioning firstly that Angel's case and any further incidents where a firearm is used to injure or kill a dog is reviewed by an outside agency. The discharge of a firearm should not be taken lightly in any situation, and if an officer is found to be at fault in these situations, he/she should be immediately and appropriately held to justice, including termination and possible criminal charges. We also petition that discharging a firearm or other lethal force is used only as a last resort and to prevent bodily harm in the face of an imminent threat ONLY. Whenever possible, we demand all other options be exhausted prior to an act of force being employed. To make such a request possible, we want better training for our officers given by professional dog behaviorists as to what constitutes "aggressive" behavior and imminent threat, how to distinguish this behavior from others, and alternate ways to diffuse situations when applicable. They also should have tools readily accessible to facilitate other approaches to these situations, including but not limited to catch poles, tranquilizer guns, dog treats, air horns, pepper spray etc and receive training on how to effectively use these tools. The citizens of Racine understand that sometimes, force must be used to ensure the safety of the public. However, it should only be employed if absolutely necessary which was clearly not the case with Angel. Please don't let this dog die in vain, and help protect future dogs and their families from suffering the same fate. Tell Racine we demand a change.