Pet owners can relax

Pet owners relax – police aren’t authorized to arbitrarily shoot your dogs

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After a judge recently ruled that police in Michigan were allowed to utilize deadly force against two dogs who were inside of a Battle Creek home (which was being searched for evidence of drugs), social media and beyond erupted in outrage over the implication that the police had been given the green light to enter homes and kill pets. According to KSPR News, pet owners can relax – nothing had changed to give the authorities the right to arbitrarily shoot pets who are inside of homes. There has been no “new” federal law giving the police the right to shoot a dog just for barking at an officer.

Corporal Cathy Ussery with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office stated, “We don’t go around, arbitrarily shooting at any defenseless animal.” In the case of the two dogs who were fatally shot in Battle Creek, the dogs’ owners failed to prove that their pets were not being aggressive in that particular situation. Ussery explained that an officer’s decision to use deadly force depends on what is encountered inside of a home – she stated, “If we are being attacked by an animal we have to do what is needed to protect ourselves and other people.”

Ussery reminded concerned individuals that many police officers are pet owners themselves and they realize that pets are family to many people – adding that shooting a pet would usually be a “last resort.”


16 replies
  1. earndoggy says:

    “Last resort”? Can someone explain roughly ten thousand “last resorts” a year? And how many cops have multiple “last resorts”? Joe Cook in New York has had 26 “last resorts” himself and those are only the ones whose owners had the courage to document them.

  2. Me' says:

    Did you FIRE the officers? Charge them with murder, since that is what they did, or are your officers cowards and you are trying to make a case for their crimes?

  3. Pets Shot by Police (@PetsShotByCops) says:

    25-30 dogs a day, as estimated by the DOJ COPS office, is not “last resort”. Yes, there are officers who would only shoot in extreme circumstances, but there are extremely far more shot tied in their yard, in a kennel, at a wrong house search, etc. than there are in actual documented attack situations. There is zero accountability; they simply say they felt threatened & it’s swept under the rug. By their own testimony, the Battle Creek officers admitted they keep a tally system of dogs they’ve shot… it’s a sport to them, something they pat each other on the back for. Advocates have worked for years to bring awareness to this epidemic, and what this ruling does is says “so what?” They can do whatever they want to do and get away with it.

  4. Nick Barone says:

    Penny, dear God, what a completely naive article. I’m shocked that you did not question what was being told to you. If you (and Ussary) had read the testimony of the cops themselves they most certainly were not being attacked. Ussary is either lying or being willfully ignorant about dogs being arbitrarily shot, as the dozens of Facebook Justice pages I admin prove to the contrary. The whole concept of “reasonable discretion” on the part of an officer is key to this whole bit of nonsense. It has been my personal experience that what an officer thought was “reasonable” has never been questioned, that includes dogs being shot on their leads, on their leashes and through car windows. What an incredibly disappointing and unresearched article.

      • Nick Barone says:

        I’m not sure who you’re speaking of but no one I know thinks it’s a law since, well, judges can’t make law. What we are concerned about is a precedent being set to be used elsewhere the next time a dog gets shot in such a manner. The ruling clearly states that a dog doesn’t have to do much in the way of “threatening” an officer for the officer to use his or her judgement about whether to kill the dog or not.

        Frankly, with the number of dogs killed annually by police around the US I expected better than this article.

      • liltigr says:

        Penny I read the letter and have posted it on my F/B page that they have a FEDRAL LAW that PASSED to shoot at our dogs ( fur kids) even if they MOVE OR BARK @ THESE WORTH LESS POS I will tell you this if any cop comes to my house I will shoot back no wonder they are getting shot they think they can make the laws as they go WELL NOT IN MY HOUSE THEY WONT.

  5. Heather Fleming says:

    Mine were shot by police through my fence. Yea the cops on the other side of my fence were really in danger!! Bottom line, they don’t value the lives of humans OR pets & do whatever they want. They have pepper spray, tasers, batons etc. yet go for their guns first. SMDH

  6. liltigr says:

    Penny PLEASE RESHEARCH THIS there are more cops out there that are just plain TRIGGER HAPPY They don’t give a crap about anyone and there fur kids, these ASSES are walking into home and pulling the trigger, and it was posted that they could shoot our dogs if they just feel like it

  7. Barkley's Mom says:

    Maybe the police don’t have license to shoot dogs at will, but it seems they kill many more than need to be. I have seen stories of dogs being shot while tethered, in their own enclosed fenced yards so why wouldn’t people jump to the conclusion that this is legal? Dogs have been shot in their own house by the police when they have gone to investigate an alarm going off. I realize all police officers are not dog killers but we see stories all the time of dogs that were needlessly shot when another solution would have sufficed. Owners .need to be allowed to try and contain their pets should the officers “fear for their safety”. Most are not, and too many are being killed needlessly by our law enforcement.

  8. Mary Devonshire says:

    Just because the owners failed to prove this in court doesn’t mean that the police didn’t abuse their authority. Legal loophole for police, injustice for owners

  9. Helen says:



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