Federal Cop Shoots Dog at a Dog Park. No Charges.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

I’ve been to many a dog park. I’ve seen lots of dogs scuffle at those parks. It happens. Most owners pull the dogs apart and, if they can’t get along, one or both dogs leave the park. The possibility of someone pulling out a gun and shooting a dog has never really even crossed my mind. But maybe that’s because I’m not a cop.

Stunned dog owners and residents of a Severn neighborhood are shocked that authorities won’t be charging a federal police officer who shot and killed a Siberian husky Monday night at a community dog park.

Bear-Bear, a brown and white husky that was about 3 years old, was playing in the Quail Run dog park at about 6:30 p.m., running off leash inside the fenced-in area, when the officer and his wife arrived with a German shepherd, who was kept on a leash. When the dogs began to play roughly, the federal officer asked Bear-Bear’s guardian, his owner’s brother, to call off the dog. But before he could do anything, the officer pulled out a gun and shot Bear-Bear, according to the husky’s owner.

Bear-Bear, who belongs to Rachel Rettaliala, died of his injuries a few hours later. County police did not name the federal officer.

The article points out that huskies have a rough style of play, so it’s likely that this cop, like plenty of others, mistook non-aggressive behavior for an attack. (Huskies are also an especially gentle, non-aggressive breed.) The fact that the cop had his dog on-leash at an off-leash park is more evidence that he doesn’t know much about how dogs behave. That’s never a good idea (most parks don’t allow it). It invites an altercation.

But that’s all really beside the point. I’m certain that if I (or anyone else who isn’t a cop) pulled out a gun and shot a dog at a dog park in a residential area, I’d be facing criminal charges. And rightly so. Even if the dogs were fighting, there’s no justification for shooting one of them, particularly around other dogs and people. It’s reckless, trigger-happy, and dangerous. It’s also safe to say that if this had been anyone other than a cop, the local police department would have no qualms about releasing his name to the press.

MORE: Baltimore radio station WBAL interviews Rachel Rettaliata, the owner of the dog, here and here. According to Rettaliata local animal control officials said neither animal had any scratch or bite marks.

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119 Responses to “Federal Cop Shoots Dog at a Dog Park. No Charges.”

  1. #1 |  SJE | 

    “the local police department would have no qualms about releasing his name to the press”….
    and the local prosecutors pressing charges….

  2. #2 |  Tom G | 

    I fear that nothing will get done until/unless it’s a Senator’s family dog (or that of a friend of one).
    Don’t you love how the cop asked the husky’s guardian to call off the dog but didn’t give him a chance to, before shooting?
    I’m sure you have noticed that in all these cases of “the dog was attacking!”, there are no serious injuries inflicted by the dog before trigger-happy cops kill them.
    (And if anyone thinks that I’m seriously suggesting that no dog be killed before it bites, YES that is exactly what I’m seriously suggesting. All these anecdotes over the past few years show that cops don’t shoot AFTER they get bitten…they just won’t wait to be certain a dog is on the attack).

  3. #3 |  jppatter | 

    This makes me sick to my stomach. I just adopted a puppy 10 days ago and the thought of something like this happening to her is horrifying.

  4. #4 |  Andrew S. | 

    At least for once, someone in the government is speaking up, even if it’s only because of the media coverage:

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/features/mutts/blog/2010/08/county_executive_demands_inves.html

  5. #5 |  Rhayader | 

    It’s also safe to say that if this had been anyone other than a cop, the local police department would have no qualms about releasing his name to the press.

    They also would have praised the “quick thinking” and bravery of the officers involved in apprehending the shooter, and reiterated their commitment to protecting the community, its residents, and the pets they love.

  6. #6 |  James D | 

    Concerning my dog has ended up with a bloody nose 3 times from aggressive dogs at either dog parks or in the neighborhood, this is completely absurd. Guess if I had been a cop, I’d have shot 3 dogs by now ….

    The sad thing is, like we learned when Mike Vick was charged, dog abuse gets more overall sympathy than anything else. So maybe this will do a better job of exposing cops abusing power than say wrong-door raids or the like.

  7. #7 |  SJE | 

    We can also call out the cop for having such a pathetic opinion of his own dog that he thinks he needs to shoot someone elses dog for playing rough.

  8. #8 |  Charlie O | 

    Now you know why Maryland wants to keep its citizens disarmed. Rachel Rettaliata, had she been carrying, had every right to shoot said unnamed federal officer in his fucking frontal lobe. I’m sick of reading about this shit.

  9. #9 |  James D | 

    I meant ‘considering’ not ‘concerning’ btw …. typing too fast gets ya every time.

  10. #10 |  Wade | 

    Has anyone thought to maintain a database of the names and identifying information for these dog murdering goons? It seems like it would be a good way to make help limit their future employment (at least with those few agencies thAt value actual professionalism and responsibility).

  11. #11 |  Cappy | 

    To the extent that Siberian Huskies are a gentle, non-aggressive breed, that’s debatable.

    As a former veterinary technician and animal control officer I’ve witnessed huskies being aggressive. I’ve been the recipient of an unprovoked by a husky.

    Huskies are also notorious for going after and killing other animals. I have sought more than one dangerous dog declaration against a husky that has left the property and killed the neighbor’s pet or livestock.

    That being said, I would be inclined to believe that this particular husky was of the gentle, non-aggressive personality due to the fact it was playing in a dog park.

    I merely wanted to refute and clarify the claim that huskies are “especially gentle and non-aggressive”. This may be true around humans, but less likely to be so around other animals.

  12. #12 |  Bob | 

    “A spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police Department said no charges will be filed and investigators found no evidence of criminal activity.”

    Really? How about “Negligent discharge of a firearm” or “Destruction of private property?” Or… wow! Both at once!

    Fucking cops.

    If a non-cop had done that, SWAT would have been dispatched. The shooter would have likely been killed on sight. Because you know, a non-cop with a gun is one of the greatest threats to the Police Culture.

  13. #13 |  Cappy | 

    To add on, I would like to see cops declared as Dangerous Humans.

  14. #14 |  travis | 

    Add dog park to list of things you can’t do if you own a dog along with misdial 911 and a million other things that I don’t want to think up because I’ll get too mad…

    Forgive me if they has been tried or imagined before but do you think there’s any way to start a movement, or whatever it would be called, where if a cop shows up somewhere, everyone leaves?

  15. #15 |  Thyrezene | 

    I can’t imagine having to watch some pathetic pig shoot my dog for the crime of aggressively playing with another dog at a freaking dog park. And then realizing you work to pay that scumbag’s salary.

    Now that I am married I have another person to consider with regard to my well-being, but if I was still single and this horrible thing had happened to me….let’s just say the line at the donut shop would be a little less busy.

  16. #16 |  scottp | 

    I can’t imagine witnessing someone killing my dog, especially in a dog park. I have no idea how I would respond. I think I would be dumbstruck.
    What an asshole.

  17. #17 |  Donald | 

    You can tell what a sick, twisted control freak he is by the fact he kept his dog on the leash at the dog park. God forbid something in the world is running free and not tied down.

  18. #18 |  Maria | 

    I already wrote what i think of this ‘hero’ over at Reason. Won’t repeat myself. Gee, you’d think they would stop shooting the dogs – it’s guaranteed to get too many eyes looking at their absurd ways of “dealing” and “policing” the population.

    Also, a comment on one of the articles covering this speculated that the German Shep was a k9 animal. Is there any confirmation to that? If it was then it was not properly trained or handled and this dude should most definitely not be in a k9 unit, let alone an active federal officer… These are complex animals, not trophies, investment vehicles or automatons that obey all commands.

    My last two dogs, peaceful yet occasionally overly rambunctious had three serious romps with each other over 14 years. One such fight ended with a torn ear tip, in under a minute well before I could intervene. It happens with dogs. His ear healed ok, if a little crooked and they never again fought much after-wards. One dog, while as a puppy, decided that biting people really hard on the legs was the new ‘fun thing’ to do … After I had enough I nipped him back, hard enough – on his cheek – and after the look of ‘wtf?!’ on his face he never bit another person again. Good times.

  19. #19 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    The Bad: this “peace officer” will not be prosecuted or lose his job.

    The Good: animal rights activists all over the world will besiege
    the Police phone lines and send off e-mails 24/7 for the next 45 days
    demanding this officer’s head on a platter.

    And what the Fuck is up with Maryland these days?

  20. #20 |  Max | 

    Never trust anyone who is cruel to animals; guaranteed they will be cruel to people given the opportunity.

  21. #21 |  SJE | 

    Yizmo: it was a Federal Officer, not MD

  22. #22 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Frankly, I think shooting the federal police officer is not outrageous at all.

  23. #23 |  scottp | 

    “The killing of the dog in Severn is a sad situation that should be investigated carefully to determine if the incident was caused by a dangerous dog or a dangerous person,” she said.

    Wouldn’t take much investigating if you ask me.
    And who takes a gun to a dog park anyway?

  24. #24 |  Omri | 

    A bullet can ricochet and stay lethal for a long distance as it travels. Any man who fires a gun outside of a gunrange, in a residential area, for any purpose but to defend HUMAN, not canine bodily well being, should be criminally charged. Even if the husky was dangerous, he was only dangerous to the other dog, not to any humans. Endangering innocent human life to save a mere dog (albeit innocent) is a crime, and this guy should face charges.

  25. #25 |  TomMil | 

    We might be able to end all of this if we can get someone to dress up like a cop and shoot Conrad Black’s dog.

  26. #26 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Goddammit, Radley, I was having a decent day.

    If I was one of the local citizens, I would physically (I.E. block the path, no touchie-touchie) of that “officer” at that dog park, were he ever to return. They need to release his name, and should.

  27. #27 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    That is, physically impede…so damn mad I’m not even proofreading…

  28. #28 |  ktc2 | 

    And as usual the investigation (if there is one) will end with “The officer followed all proceduries and policies.” The entire internal affairs department is just one person with Word who keeps changing the names and dates on a template and printing it out.

  29. #29 |  Dante | 

    So, let’s review:

    Cop shoots a dog for no reason – no problem.

    Cop shoots an unarmed, 7 year old girl – no problem.

    Cop shoots a handcuffed suspect on the ground – no problem.

    Cop does any freakin’ thing he wants to you – no problem.

    But if a citizen video tapes any cop doing any thing, the citizen gets a beat down and a free trip to jail. Or maybe death.

    Who are the terrorists, again?

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  30. #30 |  Rhayader | 

    Gee, you’d think they would stop shooting the dogs – it’s guaranteed to get too many eyes looking at their absurd ways of “dealing” and “policing” the population.

    If only that were the case.

    They’ve been dropping enough of our four-legged friends over the years that this “guarantee” should have been honored at this point if it existed. Simply put, horrific behavior by the police just doesn’t piss very many people off.

  31. #31 |  BSK | 

    Holy F’in crap. That is all I can say at this point.

  32. #32 |  Mario | 

    SJE @ #7

    We can also call out the cop for having such a pathetic opinion of his own dog that he thinks he needs to shoot someone elses dog for playing rough.

    I can’t wait until he sends his kid to daycare.

  33. #33 |  Dante | 

    Travis said:
    “Forgive me if they has been tried or imagined before but do you think there’s any way to start a movement, or whatever it would be called, where if a cop shows up somewhere, everyone leaves?”

    Absolutely Brilliant. I’m in.

  34. #34 |  Matt | 

    How long before one of these dog owner’s expresses his 2nd Amendment rights and we have a Ryan Frederick like case on our hands?

  35. #35 |  Homeboy | 

    My wife and I last took our yellow Lab to our local, municipal dog park just two days ago. While there, our dog was accosted by a Siberian Husky that wanted to play rough. Our dog, Frodo, led him on a game of chase until the Husky was able to corner him, and then he bared his fangs and mixed it up with the aggressor for a moment. The Husky’s owner then entered the fracas and pulled off his dog, who was wagging his tail and loving the rough sport. The owner apologized profusely, I laughed and told him there was no reason to apologize, and all parties went on their merry way. I guess I shoot have whipped out some heat and shot both the dog and his owner instead.

    The stinking, wretched, piece of dung, self-important Pig needs to be locked up for awhile…

  36. #36 |  Mark R. | 

    There’s more to the story here.

    Federal vs. State vs. Municipal no one wanting to cause trouble for the other.

    This is likely to get a whole lot messier before it gets resolved.

  37. #37 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    #10

    It seems like it would be a good way to make help limit their future employment

    What? After a cushy 20 years of sitting beside a road drinking coffee and reading the sports page, they retire with a pension that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

  38. #38 |  Bob | 

    Ok… So here’s what we know. Guy walks into fenced in area in dog park with a leashed dog, talks to the owner of another dog. Their dogs start playing, but a bit rough for the first guy.

    So he pulls out a 9 mm and blows the dog away. Do I have this right so far?

    Certainly, someone called 911. Hell, people call 911 when the wind blows.

    What was the police response? From what I can tell, there was none. Did they just show up and ask “Hi! are you the fella with the gun?” without knowing if he was a cop? I seriously doubt that.

    At what point did they figure he was not a SWAT callout level threat because of his cop-ness?

  39. #39 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

    If that goon shows up at the dog park again, the other patrons should call the cops to report an armed man in the park. Maybe the other goons will tackle or tase him before asking questions. (yes, this is a horrible thought)

  40. #40 |  J.S. | 

    Eh, I take umbrage with the notion that you never have justification to shoot a violent dog. That said, shooting a dog in a dog park/residential area for getting in a dog fight is stupid especially since cops/fed agents aren’t known for their markmanship.

    This would be more hilariously insane if the fed had tazerd the dog. Sit, ubu, sit! Bzzzt! Bad dog!

    Just another story for the file justifying the us vs. them attitude getting worse. Oh, we can’t name the fed agent! The people might know which idiot “protecting them” from eeeevil is really a careless thug. Reminds me of a local chief here in Oregon writing in the local paper chastizing a citizen for firing on theives as they ran from him. The police he said are the last line of defense, not the careless citizen er “civilian”. Of course that citizen was facing charges for his actions.

  41. #41 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Leaving a WalMart with a licensed handgun gets you murdered by cops in front of a crowd of people.

    Unjustified shooting of a dog in a crowd full of people and kids gets no investigation.

    Fuck the police and their whore supporters. Trigger happy morons.

  42. #42 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    J.S.
    If the armed thug had missed while trying to shoot the dog and hit 14 toddlers (killing them all instantly), there would be no investigation. He’s a cop.

  43. #43 |  Mike T | 

    How long before one of these dog owner’s expresses his 2nd Amendment rights and we have a Ryan Frederick like case on our hands?

    The better question is why is it that the dumbasses in the media act like drooling idiots when the police discharge a firearm in a residential area over something which is NOT legally permissible. If the media actually did its job, the public would be whipped up into a fit of rage that the police “couldn’t find criminal conduct” here.

    But of course, the media is not a watchdog, it is entirely useless to the preservation of our republic. In fact, it and the two party system are the main reasons we are losing our republic.

  44. #44 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    #29 Dante perfectly sums up the United Police States.

  45. #45 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I’d like to have seen a second cop at the dog park whip out his gun and empty a dozen bullets into the Fed Officer after he shot the dog. Eventually, their free-wheeling ways have to hit each other.

  46. #46 |  Mannie | 

    I hate dog parks, and avoid them like the plague. Too many idiots with out of control, aggrssive dogs.

    I would preobably have shot the dog, to protect my property, under similar circumstances.

    This isn’t a cop story, it’s a dog attack story.

    The couple with the attacking Husky should reimburse him for the cartridges.

    If you love your dog, train it and keep it under control.

  47. #47 |  Thom | 

    #43 – While the media does tend to ignore things like this, it is worth mentioning that the only reason we know about this incident is because of the very good work of the reporter at the Baltimore Sun charged with reporting and blogging about pets and animals.

  48. #48 |  Over the River | 

    I would think police departments are reading too much into George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”, and “Four legs good, two legs better!” as the pigs become more human.

    Sounds like the pigs think they are better than the four-legged dogs.

  49. #49 |  Matt | 

    I won a dog who loves to play at the dog park. When I drop her off at daycare or overnight, the staff will often refer to her as a “high-energy player.” He play involves running, pushing, jumping on, and all other manner of general roughhousing. he only ever roughouses with other dogs who want to. When I first took her to the dog park and she started playing rough with other dogs- tugging on each others’ necks, chasing each other around and knocking each other down etc.- my first worry was “will the other owner freak out and complain or pull our dogs apart?” Even to a first-time owner of a high-energy playing dog (me) this was clearly playing. My only worst-case scenario was someone complaining to the people who ran the park. How wrong I was to think that would be the furthest anyone would go.

    The often-made point that law enforcement needs better training for dogs is certainly applicable here, however, there seems to be a more particular and troubling aspect of this story. This dog-killer seems to have some personal issues- control, lack of self confidence, tendency to resort to violence, or something similar- that seems to go beyond mere ignorance of canine behavior. Though most puppycide incidents seem to be either unjustifiable or preventable, many take place in the charged environment of a criminal call, pursuit, or other potentially violent situation. This was not police officer going into a house where (mistakenly or not) he fears that someone might react to do him harm. This was a person taking his dog to a non-threatening environment. For him to overreact, for him to percieve that a bit of rough play so quickly escalated to something posing an existential threat to him or his dog (and thereby justifying a violent response), points to some issue in this guy’s head. He’s clearly not stable and self-confident enough to carry a firearm and be a law-enforcement official.

    What’s more, my experience, albiet limited to three dog parks and play in some yards, is that most dogs will not play rougher than the other dogs they are playing with. Dogs are better at reading other dogs’ body language tha humans are, and generally know when another dog is getting angry, tired, or hurt. My dog does well playing with dogs 1/6th of her size, and dogs twice her size do fine playing with her- if a dog is well socialized, it quickly finds out what kind of play is appropriate for the situation it’s in.

    I know that if someone hit or kicked my dog, rather than shooting it, I would probably not be able to avoid hitting or kicking them. In that situation, would this officer have drawn down on me? Probably, or worse.

  50. #50 |  Rhayader | 

    This dog-killer seems to have some personal issues- control, lack of self confidence, tendency to resort to violence, or something similar- that seems to go beyond mere ignorance of canine behavior.

    Yeah, big time. Seriously, what sort of psycho pulls out a piece at a dog park? These are the people we’re entrusting with the legal use of deadly force?

  51. #51 |  Cynical in CA | 

    I like that everyone now has no excuse for not knowing that federal agents can behave any way they please with impunity.

    Something to think about next time you step into a confessional, er, voting booth.

    Your participation in electoral politics sanctions the power of the federal agent.

  52. #52 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Who would let a cop into an area with so many dogs anyway? There should be a sign posted outside dog parks denying entry to cops. Dogs should have someplace they can go where they don’t have to worry about being shot by some over-compensating, trigger-happy, neanderthal cop. As we all know, dogs certainly aren’t safe in their own houses.

  53. #53 |  edmund dantes | 

    My guess Mannie is you are one of those people that can’t tell the difference between a truly aggressive dog and one playfighting.

    I bet the other owners at the dog parks are happy you aren’t coming around anymore. It probably annoyed them to no end to have some uptight stick in the mud there and worrying whether or not you would overreact to normal behavior.

  54. #54 |  Cynical in CA | 

    One other point: the discussion linked to in an early comment mentions that there may have been complaints against the Husky in the past.

    If true, it is very possible that the federal agent set the Husky up for execution by baiting it with his own leashed dog. The call to the dog owner to restrain the Husky was probably his cover to take further action.

    Investigator: “Did you give fair warning? Did you request aid from the dog owner?”

    Federal Agent: “Why, yes investigator, yes I did, and there are multiple witnesses.”

    Investigator: “Nothing to see here, move along.”

    I agree with whomever wrote “Who takes a gun to a dog park?” You know who takes a gun to a dog park? Someone who intends to use it, that’s who.

  55. #55 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #14 | travis — “Forgive me if they has been tried or imagined before but do you think there’s any way to start a movement, or whatever it would be called, where if a cop shows up somewhere, everyone leaves?”

    Very good Travis, you have discovered independently one of my favorite anarchistic (read: non-violent) methods of dealing with undesirable people — ostracism.

    I believe it would be quite effective and it has the incredibly beneficial aspect of being NON-VIOLENT, as opposed to voting, which is not only insanely useless, but also VIOLENT.

  56. #56 |  Country Woman | 

    Even if the dogs were fighting, using a firearm to stop it is inappropriate and irresponsible. The man should be charged with reckless discharge! He’s also lucky not to have hit his own dog! I have successfully broken up 2 dogfights with nothing more than my doubled over leather belt – it works and it is much smarter than sticking your hands into a dangerous situtation. (I don’t condone dog fighting but my mixed breed dog was kind of scrappy when he was young – he went and picked on the neighbors’ pit bull) A heavy leash when folded would probably work as well!

  57. #57 |  JS | 

    Man, I bet our lawmakers spring into action and immediately draft laws addressing these out of control lunatics!

    Since we all know that’s not gonna happen can we admit America is a failed state yet?

  58. #58 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I’m guessing that hundreds of ordinary people manage to bring their dogs to that park without pulling out a gun and opening fire. Shouldn’t one of the prerequisites to being a cop be that you have at least the same capacity as an ordinary person to handle life’s ordinary challenges?

    Someone really needs to make an effort to find the names of these morons and start a registry. People should be able to find out when their community is infested with these predators so they can take appropriate measures to defend themselves and their pets. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. Such a registry would probably just be a list of every local and federal cop in the surrounding area.

  59. #59 |  ktc2 | 

    This thread needs this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O89P4UwDVso

  60. #60 |  Brandon | 

    Mannie-

    And you would “probably” be in prison for it. Ignoring the sheer obnoxious douchiness of saying something so senseless likely just for the contrarian thrill of it, had you (assuming you’re not a cop, which I guess is not a safe assumption given the preceding) discharged a deadly weapon in a crowded public place to protect your “property” as you put it, and not your or someone else’s life, you would’ve justly been arrested and imprisoned, or killed by one of the bystanders at the dog park, again justly because the danger you posed was exponentially greater than that posed by the dog.

  61. #61 |  JS | 

    ktc2 that was amazing! I was so shocked that the cop didn’t shoot the dogs. Those dogs should find a home working for the local junkyard.

  62. #62 |  InMD | 

    Not that it makes it any better but it looks like the guy is actually some sort of Department of Defense officer. It’s unclear what exactly he does.

  63. #63 |  Laura Victoria | 

    #10 Wade: I’ve long thought that a principal reason we don’t get the names in police abuse cases until a lawsuit is brought is precisely to thwart the compilation of a data base. It also makes it harder to follow up on any case. You don’t have the cop name to google. Then when you use search terms like “cops, Minneapolis, dog killing” you get about 100 different results.

    It’s a great idea. I am getting really sick and upset hearing about the problem all the time, with no solution ever considered by law enforcement.

    I’ll repeat my Bleg from another Radley post: Does anyone know of a department anywhere in the country that gets things right most of the time?

  64. #64 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I hate dog parks, and avoid them like the plague. Too many idiots with out of control, aggrssive dogs.

    Bullshit. I’ve been to dogparks maybe 1,000 times (doing the quick calculation over the past 20 years). I’ve never had a problem with aggressive dogs that I couldn’t EASILY handle (and we’re talking mild aggression on the dog’s part…twice, maybe three times).

    So, I’m calling bullshit on you, Mannie at #46. Go polish a badge.

  65. #65 |  Laura Victoria | 

    Is there a legal basis that can require the scumbags to release this loser’s name, rank, etc.?

  66. #66 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The cop names should be posted as a matter of public record. And, the stories of a couple hundred dead dogs should be listed on flyers, with pics, and stapled outside every dog park in America.

    It won’t result in quick change, but maybe we can wake people up to the fact that cops are the biggest threat we all face instead of being some kind of heroes.

  67. #67 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Laura,
    I’m guessing not. Especially since he’s Federal and they are untouchable.

  68. #68 |  God's Own Drunk | 

    5 | Cynical in CA | August 4th, 2010 at 2:55 pm
    #14 | travis — “Forgive me if they has been tried or imagined before but do you think there’s any way to start a movement, or whatever it would be called, where if a cop shows up somewhere, everyone leaves?”

    Very good Travis, you have discovered independently one of my favorite anarchistic (read: non-violent) methods of dealing with undesirable people — ostracism.”

    Unfortunately, avoiding police is evidendce of guilt, so they will stop you from leaving. You must be avoiding police because you’re a criminal, right?

  69. #69 |  Fred Mallison | 

    The problem is the mentality of the average federal officer of whatever branch. There is an us vs them mindset that is going to keep getting civilians and their pets killed. Between irrational fear of all who are not LEOs and the “we work for the government, we can do what we want” attitude a lot of people are hurt each year.

  70. #70 |  Aaron | 

    Where I live and were this my dog, the cop’s dog would also be dead. Possibly the cop too if it were possible to get away with it. Many people around here (probably most) carry either openly or concealed. If this cop had pulled that, he would have found himself looking down the barrel of someone’s gun. When he identified himself as a cop, it probably wouldn’t have changed much of anything.

    More likely, though, he wouldn’t have done what he did. Here, everyone knows everyone else. I can take you to every policeman’s house (whether local, county, state, or federal) and I can give you all of their names as well. This combination of personal knowledge and a tradition of self-protection means that we are a lot more civilized than city dwelling, anonymous punk cops.

    Someone said it won’t change until the cops do it to some Senator or whatever. That’s wrong.

    It will change when people demand that it change. When there are actual repercussions (either legal, social, or vigilante) for what these bullet heads in uniform are doing. When they can’t hide behind their little badge, they’ll change or find a new line of work.

  71. #71 |  StrongStyle81 | 

    I feel for the owner of the husky. This is also a public safety issue which has already been brought up. Someone who discharges a weapon in a residential area so carelessly with people and probably children around should not be allowed to carry weapons. Let alone have any authority.

    Maybe they should put up a sign. “No Cops Allowed Until They Learn to Stop Killing Our Dogs.”

    Cops are getting so trigger happy pretty soon they are going to start shooting each other for no reason.

  72. #72 |  croaker | 

    This isn’t going to stop until cops are left bleeding on the ground dead after their criminal acts. It is long past time we stopped treating a badge like a patent of nobility.

  73. #73 |  Fred Mallison | 

    The three categories of law enforcement officers have been discussed repeatedly. Peace officer, law enforcement officer, and government agent are the names commonly used to describe the different attitudes to the job and relationship with the public.
    From this article and numerous others there seems to be a fourth kind, the secret policeman. When an unnamed agent of the government uses a firearm, serves a warrant while disguised, or testifies with his/her face covered is this not a secret policeman??
    If you have followed history secret police have been the primary support of all authoritarian governments and the downfall of several democracies.
    When a policeman must cover his face to do his job it says a lot about the relationship between authority and the citizen.

  74. #74 |  SayUncle » Stop me if you’ve heard this one before | 

    [...] Cop shoots dog at dog park. No charges. [...]

  75. #75 |  Mannie | 

    Huskies tend to be dog aggressive. The owner was directed to control his animal.

    I will defend my dog to the death. And it won’t be my dog’s death. Bad dogs and worse owners should be put down.

    No harm. No foul.

  76. #76 |  Thyrezene | 

    #71

    “Cops are getting so trigger happy pretty soon they are going to start shooting each other for no reason.”

    Well that just brightened my day, thanks!

  77. #77 |  Nick | 

    What’s even strange and/or telling about the story is that the cop had a German Shepherd. In my times at lots of dog parks, the most aggressive dogs in play, and the ones that required the most owner control are usually the German Shepherds.

  78. #78 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Mannie wrote:
    “I will defend my dog to the death. And it won’t be my dog’s death.”

    Internet toughguy is tough on the Internet.

  79. #79 |  Mike | 

    Good thing the husky’s owner didn’t try to photograph the cop shooting his dog. Thais being Maryland and all he would have ended up getting charged witha felony.

  80. #80 |  Mannie | 

    Dog park morons need to stop defending their bad behavior and that of their ill trained mutts.

  81. #81 |  Mannie | 

    #78 | Boyd Durkin | August 5th, 2010 at 11:32 am
    Mannie wrote:
    “I will defend my dog to the death. And it won’t be my dog’s death.”

    Internet toughguy is tough on the Internet.

    You wouldn’t protect your dog? Must not like it very much.

    #79 | Charlie O |
    Mannie, “he was DIRECTED to control his animal” You’re an idiot.

    How would you phrase it? “I begged him to not let his vicious dog attack mine?” Bullshit. “Control your dog.”

  82. #82 |  Flight-ER-Doc | 

    My huskies will chase after animals.

    On the (very) few occasions they’ve actually caught one, their behavior was clearly intended to play. My current Sibe actually caught up to a squirrel last year, tripped it – they both went tumbling, and it was clear that it was play behavior (ears and tail up, not flat). Of course, a 50lb Sibe isn’t going to be perceived as playing with a half-pound squirrel….but my two sibes have been very playful, even around cats and very small dogs.

    No doubt vet techs see animals in the same conditions emergency physicians do: On the worst days of their lives. Thats not the way to judge animals, or people.

    As far as this ‘hero’, where is PETA? What about animal cruelty laws? With no evidence (on either dog) of any injuries, he clearly lacks the wit, judgment and sense to carry a badge or gun.

  83. #83 |  Flight-ER-Doc | 

    Mannie @ #46 are YOU the dog-killing cop?

    The dog was in a fenced dog park. The cop didn’t give the owner a chance to control the dog. NEITHER dog had any evidence of injuries.

    And if you (or the cop, wink wink) were to try that around here, you’d be lucky to go home upright: At the very least you’d be proned out on the ground with a half-dozen citizens holding you for a uniform to show up and check your creds…. And now you’d be facing a civil lawsuit, which considering that you weren’t on duty, didn’t identify yourself as a cop, etc would not be covered by the jurisdiction. You better hope the union does.

  84. #84 |  Dave Krueger | 

    If dogs could shoot back, I bet there would be a hell of a lot fewer cops shooting dogs.

    And I’m sure there’s a corollary for humans.

  85. #85 |  Flight-ER-Doc | 

    Perhaps people from the area should locate Mannie or whomever the cop is, and identify him that way….

    A couple of peaceful demonstrations against the coward should get the point across.

  86. #86 |  Philly Girl | 

    I’m not sure if it’s true, but I read that the owners know who the cop is and are going to post his name and picture around the area so other dog owners know to stay away from this trigger happy asshole!

  87. #87 |  A.G. Pym | 

    Arundel police open an investigation, minutes after the county official’s statement:

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/features/mutts/blog/2010/08/arundel_police_open_investigat.html

  88. #88 |  Mannie | 

    #85 | Flight-ER-Doc

    ROFLMFAO, Loser.

  89. #89 |  Jeb | 

    Well, the guy who shot the dog was clearly in the wrong and should be prosecuted, but that doesn’t mean the husky’s owner was in the right. Owners of dogs that misbehave are aways saying things like: “my dog never barks” of a dog that barks continuously when left alone in the backyard, or “oh he’s just playing”, right before the dog mauls a small child.

    Some dogs have been bred to be violent (though not huskies). Other dogs can become violent if mistreated by their owners. I’m sure most dog owners are conscientious, but there are plenty of dog-owning “morons” (as Mannie puts it) out there.

  90. #90 |  Red Green | 

    Philly Girl has the right idea. Exposure is the best remedy if the legal ‘system’ refuses to act. @ ‘Mannie’…GFYS!

  91. #91 |  Suck it, Mannie | 

    Mannie, you know precisely shit about the circumstances surrounding this shooting and you’re just using it as a way to act like a hard ass on the internet. Get it out of your system, please. People like you are just tiresome.

  92. #92 |  Flight-ER-Doc | 

    Mannie, we know you are. And recognition you have a problem is the first step towards becoming a real, decent human being.

    We’re here for you. All you have to do is ask.

  93. #93 |  Joel | 

    Dogs that like to play rough can be startling to watch. My own pup likes to mix it up with my neighbor’s cattledog, and she likes to mix it up with him. You’d swear they’re killing each other – the snarling, the bared teeth, the lunging at throats. Neither has ever once broken skin. My neighbor and I both habitually open-carry, and oddly enough nobody has ever drawn a gun.

    This cop needs to lose his job and his department/bureau/whatever needs to cooperate fully with the criminal prosecution. Neither will happen, and that’s the problem. When you can’t trust a cop on sight to be more civilized than a couple of dogs, sooner or later we’re going to have to start putting them down for everybody’s protection. I’m sure when it starts they’ll be all, “Why’s this happening?”

  94. #94 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I have two huskies separated in age by 12 years. The puppy likes to play 24/7 and the old one likes to play for about 30-60 seconds followed by a three day rest. When they mix it up, they sound like they are killing each other and I’m pretty sure, if I didn’t intervene, they would.

    I think the older one is just getting crotchety. You know. Like me.

  95. #95 |  Dog Killer Cop « tim gier | 

    [...] Radley Balko, who writes extensively about the excessive use of force by police wrote about the story here. Andrew Sullivan linked to Balko’s story and subsequently posted a response to that post by one [...]

  96. #96 |  BmorePitbull | 

    I’m sorry if this has already been said, but I didn’t see it when I skimmed through all the posts.

    The police department (I’m not sure if it’s state of local) has officially reopened the case. They officially reopened the case yesterday afternoon (8/4).

    If I recall correctly from the news (as I am local to where it happened), the police unit said something along the lines of, “it has occurred to us that our investigation may not have been complete or that some parts may have been inaccurate.”

    Basically, people from the area did not keep quiet about this, especially the dog owner and his brother (his brother being the one who was at the park with the dog at the time). Based on the facts of what they saw and what they heard afterwards (based on the agent’s accounts and the facts presented afterwards), they held the police accountable for justice. While this is by far not an isolated incident of puppycide, I do think that this is one that has gotten a lot of attention in the main stream media, especially in my area, and hopefully it will help people to realize that this isn’t an occurrence that is restricted to off duty agents at a dog park (not to mention that I guarantee you that the agent was breaking the rules of the dog park. While I have never been to that particular dog park, I can say that other dog parks in the surrounding area of similar size that are off leash dog parks, do not allow you to have your dog on leash inside the perimeter.)

  97. #97 |  selwyn marock | 

    Well I have always said many of us perfect humans are not happy unless we are killing something especially other living creatures where the is no culpability.

    smarock10@yahoo.com

  98. #98 |  Over the River | 

    The officer’s name is Keith Shephard. He works for the Fort Myer (Virginia) police.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142251502461794

  99. #99 |  superflat | 

    Look, despite not knowing the full story, whipping out a gun was probably excessive. That said, while I appreciate peoples’ love for dogs (I like dogs myself), it’s absurd to me that people can’t understand how a large, aggressive dog (one that is practically a wolf) might cause someone to overreact if it attacks. The simple fact is that dogs cannot clearly communicate their intentions to people, and that dogs will fight to the death if they lose it.

    Add to this the fact that this dog was off leash. Generally speaking, I feel people take way too many privileges with their dogs in urban areas, which are already overcrowded. We simply cannot afford the same rights to dogs, especially if they’re threatening someone. Again, in this case it sounds like the officer acted dangerously himself, but it feels like the posters here have no understanding of the fact that an owner’s relationship with his dog can be very different than everyone else’s relationship with that dog.

  100. #100 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Yep, the investigation has been re-opened.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/pawprintpost/post/2010/08/dead-dog-case-probe-into-dog-park-shooting-intensifies/1

    If the dog owner’s account is true, that the officer gave no time for the two people in charge of the husky time to seperate the dogs then hopefully they’ll nail this guys career to a tree.

  101. #101 |  JOR | 

    #99,

    Nevermind the dog for a minute – whipping out and discharging a firearm in a densely populated urban area (to protect your own dog! or at least gratuitously risk its safety by shooting another dog that is wrestling with it) is “excessive” the same way that raping and murdering a six-year-old is “kinda mean”.

    Anyway, even if we were talking about the pig fearing for his own safety, well, he’s a pig, and they’re of far less moral concern than dogs.

  102. #102 |  -jc | 

    What the Sage of Baltimore wrote about police:
    • “The Nature of Liberty,” by H.L. Mencken – Classic American Essays http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:vc3haSh7SsYJ:grammar.about.com/od/classicessays/a/libertyhlm.htm+The+Nature+of+Liberty,+by+H.L.+Mencken&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    And it was VERY tongue-in-cheek:
    • H. L. Mencken: The Joyous Libertarian by Murray N. Rothbard http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Lq4uROsvIjYJ:www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard19.html+The+Nature+of+Liberty,+by+H.L.+Mencken&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

  103. #103 |  -jc | 

    Okay, here’s how it worked 30+ years ago. If you were a federal agent and you screwed your gun in somebody’s ear and anyone thought it inappropriate, you were on paid “administrative leave” during the investigation, meaning while an investigator for your agency either really looked into what happened or did some “creative writing.”

    Furhtermore, as to carrying a “personal” firearm off-duty, one had to have written approval for that specific weapon, so that these security guard types didn’t play out their Dirty Harry fantasies by carrying inappropriate weapons. My guess is that this cop was issued a .45 ACP GLOCK 21 as a duty weapon and that he went out and bought a little 9 mm to carry off-duty and didn’t have it approved. Furthermore, if evidence surfaces of creating paper after-the-fact to try to cover this up, I’d push for more than this apparently punk kid’s removal from D.O.D.

  104. #104 |  -jc | 

    Apparently this blogger thinks he has identified the shooter: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142251502461794

  105. #105 |  -jc | 

    Shooter originally dentified here http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/cxge7/offduty_police_officer_shoots_a_beloved_dog/c0w6zd6

  106. #106 |  Laura | 

    His name is Keith Shepherd and he is a civilian police officer at Fort Myer, VA Army base.

    Anne Arundel County Police Department at first decided that no “criminal activity” took place, but after outraged citizens inundated County Executive John Leopold with phone calls, he demanded that AACPD investigate the shooting. The investigation isn’t complete, but upon doing some actual police work, AACPD believes that this officer may not have been authorized to carry a weapon off-duty!!!

    So much for no criminal activity. So, had the citizens of Anne Arundel not been so outraged over this reckless use of force, the AACPD would have been content to not investigate, leaving this guy to continue to carry his weapon ILLEGALLY.

  107. #107 |  Silver | 

    @99:

    You’re a fucking moron, who doesn’t know the first thing about either dogs or the situation, and you still feel qualified to comment?

    The husky was in a fenced area at a FUCKING GODDAMNED DOG PARK. In case you’re not aware, Radley helpfully posted in the story that bringing a leashed dog into a dog park is a bad idea. Did you miss that part?

    Both dogs off leash will sniff, look at each other, maybewrestle, make some noises, and generally greet and play. One dog on a leash is a bad idea, because he’s limited in how he can react, and is artificially under the control of a human when the other dog is trying to act…like a dog.

    Jesus Fucking Christ, is it too hard to read into Radley’s second paragraph?

  108. #108 |  Friday Quick Links | Survivalism Now | 

    [...] Cop shoots dog at dog park – No charges. [...]

  109. #109 |  Roundup – The Information Superhighway « The Heat Death Hour | 

    [...] Federal Cop Shoots Dog at a Dog Park. No Charges. [The Agitator] [...]

  110. #110 |  Ed | 

    So this guy really thought the Husky was going to kill his dog, then his wife and then him !?
    I think this man is looking for a job with Michael Vick !

  111. #111 |  kranky | 

    apparently cops have a rough style of play as well. what a prick.

  112. #112 |  -jc | 

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/04/former-la-county-assistant-fire-chief-glynn-johnson-sentenced-in-dog-beating.html Former L.A. County assistant fire chief sentenced in puppy beating death
    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/Felony-Animal-Cruelty-Charge-Glynn-Demon-Johnson.html Ex-Fire Official Who Beat Dog Ordered to Stand Trial
    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/LA-County-Assistant-Fire-Chief-Says-He-Killed-Neighbors-Dog-in-Self-Defense.html LA County Asst. Fire Chief Says He Killed Neighbor’s Dog in Self-Defense … noted that California Penal Code Section 597 makes it a felony for anyone to maliciously and intentionally maim, torture or wound a living animal.

  113. #113 |  -jc | 

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/04/former-la-county-assistant-fire-chief-glynn-johnson-sentenced-in-dog-beating.html Former L.A. County assistant fire chief sentenced in puppy beating death

    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/Felony-Animal-Cruelty-Charge-Glynn-Demon-Johnson.html Ex-Fire Official Who Beat Dog Ordered to Stand Trial

    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/LA-County-Assistant-Fire-Chief-Says-He-Killed-Neighbors-Dog-in-Self-Defense.html LA County Asst. Fire Chief Says He Killed Neighbor’s Dog in Self-Defense … noted that California Penal Code Section 597 makes it a felony for anyone to maliciously and intentionally maim, torture or wound a living animal.

  114. #114 |  too many dumb cops | 

    Least we forget, the cop’s dog came out completely unharmed.

    If there was some life threatening scenario unfolding, how come his dog wasn’t seen by the vet clinic? Surely, there should be some physical evidence to back up their claims. At least one puncture wound. I mean the cop said “Bear Bear” was attacking and biting… where’s the evidence of an attack?

    The reality of the situation is very clear. There was no life threatening scenario, no need to respond with lethal force, no need to behave as he did, but Keith Shepherd is obviously the idiot here, and not the alleged “slow responding” 23 year old handler of “Bear Bear”.

  115. #115 |  Flight-ER-Doc | 

    Today, as most days, my 2 year old siberian, Angel, played with her best friend a 4 month old, 55 lb Italian Mastif…Floyd.

    There was much wrestling, biting of necks and legs, pining to the ground, jumping upon each other, snarling.

    Just two dogs playing. How is it some moron with a duty-only badge and an unlawfully carried gun gets a pass?

  116. #116 |  Jon | 

    You people that generalize about “cops” are fucking ridiculous. I agree…this asshole should be gang-raped in front of his whole family and shot in the face for what he did…there is just no excuse. Especially since the prick had his dog on lead…a no no at the park. But blaming “cops” is asinine. That’s about as stupid as saying the Husky is a “volatile breed”. If you really feel that way about cops…don’t call them next time you’re in danger. He does need to be in jail though…cop or no cop.

  117. #117 |  Flight-ER-Doc | 

    Jon, you miss the point: This asshole is getting a pass because he’s almost a cop. Any ‘civilian’ that did that would still be in jail.

  118. #118 |  Big Jim | 

    I have a dog park near my home.After an incident with an unruly doberman biting my terriers leg,I began to carry a piece of iron gas pipe every time I went there.Well a week later,mr. doberman shows up and makes a bee line toward my dog.I pulled out the pipe and rapped that dog on the top of his nose and gave him one across his hind leg when he retreated.Problem solved,son.

  119. #119 |  tim gier » Blog Archive » Dog Killer Cop | 

    [...] Radley Balko, who writes extensively about the excessive use of force by police wrote about the story here. Andrew Sullivan linked to Balko’s story and subsequently posted a response to that post by one [...]

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