Court: Police can shoot a dog if it moves, barks when officers enter a home

Discussion in 'Dog Ordinances & Laws' started by Vicki, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator

    Court: Police can shoot a dog if it moves, barks when officers enter a home
    WTEN Staff Published: December 23, 2016, 5:21 am

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWS10) – A federal court ruled that police can shoot a dog if it moves or barks when an officer enters a home.

    The decision stems from an incident in Battle Creek, Michigan where, according to court documents, police shot and killed a dog while executing a search warrant on a home looking for drugs.

    Mark and Cheryl Brown filed a petition with the court to hold the officers and the city responsible for the deaths of their dogs in 2013.

    They said that the officers “unlawfully seized their property in violation of the Fourth Amendment when officers shot and killed two dogs while executing a search warrant.”

    One of the officers testified that he shot the first pit bull after it appeared to move “a few inches” and lunged at him. According to court documents, the dog then retreated to the basement, where the officer shot and killed it.

    Court documents say the officer shot the second dog after it went to the basement, turned sideways and barked at the officers.

    Another officer then shot and killed the dog after it ran into the back corner.

    The officer saw “there was blood coming out of numerous holes in the dog and…did not want to see it suffer so he put her out of her misery and fired the last shot.”

    In the decision, the court said Mark and Cheryl Brown failed to provide evidence that the first dog did not lunge at police and that the second dog did not bark.

    “Given the totality of the circumstances and viewed from the perspective of an objectively reasonable officer, the dog poses an imminent threat to the officer’s safety,” Judge Eric Clay wrote in the decision. “The standard we set out today is that a police officer’s use of deadly force against a dog while executing a search warrant to search a home for illegal drug activity is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment when…the dog poses an imminent threat to the officer’s safety.”
  2. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    This is not right.

    Another case of the badge shielding humans from poor judgement and illegal activity.

    I'm ok with the officers defending themselves, but shooting the dog AFTER it retreats away from them? no. I'm not ok with that, at all. I don't care how much barking was going on at the time. :(
    Daisy2015 likes this.
  3. I3rendanG

    I3rendanG Member

    I guess "totality of the circumstance" would go on to include a search warrant pertaining to potential drug possession.

    Had the officers entered without a warrant, or anything else pertaining to illegal activity, and the interaction resulted in the deaths of the dogs perhaps the situation would be different.

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  4. Elana P

    Elana P Active Member

    That judge should be shot!
  5. teodora

    teodora Active Member

    They should think twice about it: dogs make the community safer, not the other way around.
  6. PippatheMastiff

    PippatheMastiff Active Member


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  7. gilles

    gilles Active Member

    a dog that does defend his territory or at least bark when a stranger comes in not a dog.....stupid law...sorry to say it but in the USA from what i noticed officials and laws concerning dogs... show a complete lack of knowledge about dog behavior and very bad judgement about dog aggressiveness .
    Daisy2015 and PippatheMastiff like this.
  8. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    I was talking to my husband about this case. And we both wondered how the police officer was able to walk out of that house without being forced to kill the owner of the dog as well. Because if someone were to shoot my dog I am fairly certain I would lose my mind and try to kill them. My husband feels the exact same way. There is zero chance either of us would let that officer leave our home unharmed as long as we could still move and breath. Family is family whether furry or not and nobody hurts my family and gets to walk away.
    Daisy2015 and wtfdskin like this.
  9. gilles

    gilles Active Member

    if any one shoots any of my dogs i will let the others eat him alive:) leaving no witness around:)
  10. amandakay2

    amandakay2 Member

    From what I've seen of my threes temperaments if a cop shot one of them the others wouldn't give him a chance to make it out

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  11. wtfdskin

    wtfdskin New Member

  12. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    If someone shot my dog, they would be shooting my child. That's how I feel, and I would lose my mind. I do not think that I'd be able to contain my wrath and grief. I imagine that someone else would die from their wounds that day. I'm a mild mannered person, and my child/dog is gentle and non-aggressive, but I feel if someone harmed her, it would be murder and nothing but murder. There would be no excuse and I would never rest until I had avenged her.
    Sorry, this is visceral. I know it sounds dramatic and over the top but, I have never loved any pet as deeply as I love my girl. Death wouldn't be good enough for the perpetrator....death would be too easy.
    Daisy2015 likes this.
  13. Daisy2015

    Daisy2015 Member

    It doesn't sound dramatic and over the top to me , I know exactly what you mean. Its upsetting just thinking about it.....those poor people and their dogs!

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