Update on shepherd shot: Petition ‘don’t let it happen to another dog’

A petition has been garnering thousands of signatures worldwide in support of an abandoned German shepherd shot and killed by police on Sunday after authorities failed to locate the dog’s owner. The Care2 petition was set up to prevent the treatment or lack of treatment for the “defenseless” dog and make sure it doesn’t happen to another dog.

“Justice for an alsation in Hartlepool that was cruelly left in freezing weather tied to a pole. Police couldn’t be bothered to put the work in to find his or her owners, so shot her twice, killing her. This petition is in the hope that we can get justice for this poor dog by hopefully not letting this happen again to a defenseless dog.”

In the last 24 hours there have been nearly 9,000 signatures.

In the disturbing account on Sunday morning of an elderly German shepherd abandoned and left tied to a telegraph pole in Hartlepool, England, police shot and killed the dog despite witnesses begging authorities to sedate and use a catch pole to rescue the extremely frightened dog instead. Police initially posted a public appeal hoping to find the owner

“Urgent Appeal to Trace Owner of Dog

Police responded to a report of a German Shepherd tied to a telegraph pole on Mainsforth Terrace in Hartlepool at 10.07am this morning. Officers are urgently appealing to trace the owner of the dog or anyone who may know who the dog belongs to, to contact them as a matter of urgency on 999. The dog is described as an elderly German Shepherd and it is behaving extremely aggressively towards anyone who approaches it. Police would ask members of the public to stay away from the area whilst they deal with the incident.”

Perhaps the most tragic description on the petition includes:

“Justice for a dog that was cruelty left in freezing weather tied to a post. Police couldn’t be bothered to put the work in to finds its owner so shot it… This petition is the hope that we can get justice for the dog by hopefully not letting it happen again to a defenseless dog.”

In the Hartlepool News & Alerts, a Monday morning update from authorities posted the following from Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin:

 “We are always saddened by the death of an animal, but the difficult decision to destroy the dog was taken in partnership with animal welfare experts. The decision was made at the end of a six-hour operation after we had exhausted all other options, including attempting to trace the owner and re-homing. Veterinary professionals told us that, even if the dog could have been successfully sedated, they couldn’t have rehomed the dog due to its aggressive behaviour and that this was the kindest course of action. If the dog couldn’t be rehomed then the likely outcome would have been that it would have been euthanised by a vet.”

Online criticism however questioned how anyone could accurately assess the dog’s disposition considering he had been abandoned and left tied to a pole for an unknown amount of time. Additional details followed:

“We also took on board advice from specially-trained officers at the scene and engaged with vets to try to attempt to resolve the issue long-term, however, sadly the only safe decision was to destroy the dog. It was a difficult balance, we were in fear that the dog could have got loose and potentially injured someone and the dogs’ welfare was a serious concern whilst it was tied up. If there could have been any other alternative ending, then of course we would have taken it. We would fully support the RSPCA in appealing for any information with regards to the owner of the dog to come forward.”

The search for this poor dog’s owner continues. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hartlepool Police at CVP/18/011857.

Rest in peace poor dog. We are sorry humans failed you.

Previous article here.

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