If you are wondering what a story about shooting a pitbull is doing on a privacy-oriented web site, keep reading, as all will become clear (maybe). CBC News reports:
A Chilliwack, B.C., family is outraged after police shot and killed their pitbull outside their home on Tuesday.
The Mounties are investigating the incident but said the pitbull had to be killed because it attacked one of their police dogs.
But Brian Hackner, owner of six-year-old Fendi, defended the actions of his pet.
“It was in its own yard and suddenly you had several officers with K-9 units proceeding through my yard unannounced, “ he said. “My dog did what any animal in its position would do when it’s cornered.”
The Mounties said the pitbull crossed into a neighbouring property where a police dog handler and police dog were conducting a training exercise. The pitbull then attacked the police dog, biting its throat, police said.
“As a result of being unable to separate the two dogs and in an effort to get the pitbull to release the police dog, which was suffocating and in danger of losing its life, a member of the Chilliwack RCMP discharged his service pistol hitting and killing the civilian dog,” the RCMP said in a statement.
The RCMP acknowledge that neighbors had not been notified that there would be training exercise where people might enter their yards. They seemingly acknowledge that homeowners were not advised or warned to keep their pets in their homes.
From there, the two versions differ, with the RCMP claiming that the pitbull left its yard and entered another yard, while the dog owner claims that the dog was in its own yard.
Although we may all value our public servants conducting drills designed to improve public safety, I think that the RCMP made an avoidable error here that cost one dog its life and had the potential for even greater tragedy.
Does the RCMP assume that a dog, however intelligent we think our pets are, recognizes an RCMP uniform and realizes that the man with the dog is not a burglar or someone out to harm the dog’s owners?
The company that delivers oil to my home calls the day before an oil drop to alert me that they will be here so that I know to keep my dogs in. They don’t want their employees to get hurt and I don’t want their employees to get hurt. With all the planning that went into the RCMP training operation, where on the to-do checklist was “notify the residents?”
Once the situation occurred, the RCMP officer may have had no choice but to kill the pitbull, but it never had to get to that point had the RCMP done what it should have done — notify the residents in advance that they would be present on their private property and to keep pets inside. I can only imagine what might have happened here in the U.S. if law enforcement decided to run a drill and entered private property without advance notification.