How can a Chicago police officer shoot an innocent puppy? That answers is still to be determined. I am a huge supporter of the Chicago Police Department, and police officers everywhere. No one seems to like police, until you need them....Having said that, this case is horrific - and the officer must be held responsible. What's more - shooting dogs with no apparent cause is not as isolated as you may think.
In the Buena Park Neighborhood, a Miniature Bull Terrier puppy (about 7-months old) was shot by a police officer on December 1 while writing a parking ticket (of course - isn't there a bit much of that?). The car's owner offered to move the car, and has he stepped on to the sidewalk from behind the gate of his home, so did his puppy.
There is no evidence that the dog did much of anything, but - according to Fox News Chicago - a witness reportedly recalled the police officer said that the dog is loose...but never threatened to shoot the dog, and would have no discernable reason to offer that threat.
"My little bull terrier followed me out," the dog's owner Al Phillips explains. "Then, all I hear is boom! Boom! Two shots. You shot the dog!"
The puppy - known to the neighborhood as a very friendly dog, called Colonel Phillips. According to the family, the puppy required several hours of surgery. Emergency veterinarians at the Chicago Veterinary Emergency Services & Specialty Center removed shrapnel from his stomach, and he suffered a lacerated muscle - and more. A source told me, in fact, cutting edge medicine at the emergency center saved this dog's life. So, the good news is that the pup is recovering and is now home.
When the police heard that the family had alerted the media, you might think an apology would be in order. Instead police returned to the home to issue a ticket for the dog being off-leash (Over a day after the fact). Certainly, they are right. It is unlawful for a dog to be off-leash. However, the appropriate penalty isn't typically to shoot a gun at benign puppies. What's more, there's a nearby school, and pedestrians were reportedly walking down the street. It's only a matter of good fortune that no one was hurt from a stray bullet, aside from the dog.
A police spokesman says the shooting is being investigated by the independent police review authority, which investigates all police shootings.
The Phillips family says they're considering a petition drive to have the officer who shot their dog taken off the streets. They also say that after shooting the dog, the officer put his gun back in his holster, and calmly finished writing the parking ticket.
I suspect it's a lack of training - I'm not sure of the explanation, maybe it's become police come across so many 'bad dogs,' but these instances of police shooting at innocent dogs happens far too often (nationwide, not only in Chicago). Often police want to ignore these events, or sweep them under the rug. Having said that, in truth, most of the police I know have great compassion for dogs.