Newark police officers in Delaware were videoed on Friday evening trying to capture two stray dogs for over an hour when they intentionally struck the animals with their vehicles and then fatally shooting one of the dogs.
According to DelawareOnline, the dogs were reported to be in the area of Ogletown and Marrows Roads at about 7:30 p.m. The police described the dogs as aggressive and claimed the dogs charged at them while trying to capture them. One officer stated the dogs had been growling and foaming at the mouth.
Officers called the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare and for more than 90 minutes, they stated they tried to lure the dogs with catch poles, dog treats and other nonlethal methods. When that didn’t work, the officers decided the dogs were a danger to people walking in the area and nearby residential areas. And so they intentionally hit the dogs with their police vehicles. The German shepherd ran away after he was hit, and the other dog was fatally shot by one of the officers. Police have also stated these were the two dogs that had been killing livestock in the area.
The action taken by police has drawn severe criticism from animal advocates. Ashton Cleveland told another side of the tragic story on her Facebook page:
“Newark Delaware Police Department I am sickened by your officers actions today. They cornered and taunted stray dogs that were initially acting FRIENDLY to the point that my friend almost had them leashed. I, an SPCA employee, and my friend a very recently former SPCA employee of 3 years were told to back off and threatened with arrest while trying to save the dogs. They drew their weapons instead of using catch poles and then SHOT ONE OF THE DOGS. Then, gave us a THUMBS UP after killing this dog. Then another officer went out of his way to run the other dog over with his SUV. You should be ashamed. Complaints are being filed.”
The video of the officers chasing the dogs with their vehicle can be viewed here: (not violent or graphic)
Leigh Spencer filled in more of the details:
” Newark Delaware Police Department you just threatened to arrest the person that CALLED animal control on the two loose, terrified dogs on the side of Ogletown road. I am appalled by the fact that approx. 10-12 of your officers have failed to simply detain these clearly non-aggressive dogs in OVER 45 MINUTES. Not to mention most of your officers wielding tasers/weapons instead of catch poles and protective gear. The incompetence is truly eye opening. Your animal control officer literally failed to use a catch pole, a tool I’ve used a multitude of time in my years at the Delaware SPCA. One of your officers charged the dogs, then ran away, taunting them. I suggest you examine the people you’re hiring that are supposed to know animal behavior and care for the well-being of creatures. I’ll let attitude from the cop who tried to arrest me slide, but only because I know it runs in the f****** business.”
Leigh had been the person who called Animal Control when she saw the dogs running close to the highway and had been in fear of their safety. She stated she had not been able to pull over and when she returned to make sure the dogs were safe, that was truly not the outcome.
There have been a few posts from area residents defending the police action. Tragically one dog is dead and the other injured by a vehicle may still be wandering in the area seriously injured.
(Photo of area where 2 stray dogs were struck with a police vehicle via screenshot from video Leigh Spencer)
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