Saturday, August 3, 2013

Don't Shoot, Just Whisper

I parked on the shoulder at the end of the gated driveway.  The gate had a 'Beware of  Dog' sign, so I called the house to ask about the dog before I got out of the truck.  The lady said, "Just talk to them.", so I got out and talked to the dogs.  No problem.  These are Pit/Lab mix, and they were just tickled to death to have a visitor who wanted to talk to them and rub their ears.  I have had close encounters with strange dogs for most of my working years, and I have not been bitten yet.  I have only had one dog who wanted to bite me, and she had puppies on the porch.  I exited stage left and made a safe getaway.  The biggest pet problem I have when calling on landowners is turning down all the cats that want to go home with me.

Part of the weekly news cycle in recent years is family pets being killed by police who are making contact with householders and their families.  Sometimes it's done by cops performing mundane activities like writing  parking tickets; sometimes it's done during a SWAT raid when all the cops are gussied up in protective suits  that would turn most dog bites.  Bloggers complain about these regular abuses of deadly force, but the MSMs don't care, and the trend continues.  It is clearly a cultural problem going on in police leadership all over the country, and I think it began decades ago with the federalization of local and county police departments. Cops have obviously been desensitized to killing our four footed companions; that had to come about through personnel management policies and training. A recent confirmation to that is the discovery of shooting range targets with children and pregnant women.  The targets are being used by DHS to end hesitation in shooting "non-traditional threats."  Given the success that training has had in convincing cops that it is OK to kill family pets, we should be nipping these new training scenarios in the bud, and then rolling back the trend of cops killing dogs.

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