Training can improve dog-officer encounters

“This was an outcome that no one wanted.” – Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau on the shooting of two emotional support dogs.

This past weekend in Minneapolis, a police officer responding to a home security alarm entered the backyard of the LeMay household and shot the family’s two dogs, Ciroc and Rocko.

Video of the shooting recorded by an overhead security camera has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

“I’ve watched the video, and as someone whose family has included dogs most of my life, I can say that it was difficult to watch,” said Police Chief Harteau.

She said the department is “implementing updated mandatory training” about officer-dog encounters, according to this Washington Post story. She has also asked for a “use of force” review and “is reaching out to the family to help them with the veterinary care bills to ensure that both dogs are adequately taken care of.”

One in three calls involves an interaction with a dog

Because interaction with dogs in the line of duty is common, THLN worked to pass Texas’ Canine Encounter law in 2015, which requires a one-time training course for law enforcement. Texas is the third state to require this kind of training – but the only state to require it in a classroom setting (other trainings are done online).

According to canine behavioral experts and the Department of Justice, the necessity to shoot a dog is rare in most situations and should always be the option of last resort.  

We believe this type of mandatory training, when supported by local and state law enforcement groups, can prevent needless shootings like Ciroc’s and Rocko’s.

Photo is of Ciroc (GoFundMe)


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.