Did Alameda County, California sheriff’s deputies have the right to shoot four pit bulls, killing three of them, after the family dogs allegedly attacked a K-9 officer during a drug raid?
The family of the slain dogs are now seeking answers in why a non-lethal method of restraight wasn’t used against their dogs. Four dogs were shot on April 27 when police responded to a call in San Leandro on Via Coches near Via Sengundo, which is close to the Hayward city line.
This wasn’t a random raid, but had been planned out by law enforcement as the resident at the home was wanted for possession of meth with intent to distribute. He was also wanted for vehicle theft. Instead of finding the suspect, they encountered four pit bulls and an escaping woman.
Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman J.D. Nelson told KTVU news that the dogs attacked a K-9 stating “They did attack the dog and they did come at the deputies. You know they’re very aggressive at that point so the deputies fired in their defense.” What’s troubling is the degree of brutality exhibited by the officer, who during a planned raid should have had a backup plan for dealing with the dogs.
This case is eerily similar to the case where a California group of Hells Angels received roughly $1 million in a lawsuit. In this case of Santa Clara vs. Hells Angels (2006), the Supreme Court ruled the officers negligent because they hadn’t predetermined a non-lethal method of dealing with the three dogs killed in that raid.
A total of four pit bulls were shot in the raid last Saturday. Two of them died instantly, a third was shot in the paw, and the fourth was put down by animal control after ten minutes at the request of the owner. A neighbor, Mark Baxter, told ABC(KGO-TV)News that deputies should have been better prepared.
“It was sloppy. I just think it was sloppy. Watching it was sloppy. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was pow pow pow. Having to watch the dogs die right there and having to watch the dogs suffer, that was the worst part.”
Rachel Reynolds, sister to the homeowner, said the dogs were friendly and had never attacked a person. They just became excited during the chaos taking place on their turf. The K-9 deputy received very minor injuries during the incident.
Readers, how do you feel about this latest shooting of pit bulls by police? Even if they were justified to defend themselves and their K-9 officer, shouldn’t preparations have been made before the raid in dealing with dogs the police should have known were on the property? Your comments are welcome. Sources: KTVU KGO-TV