Skip to comments.St. Pete Police Fatally Shoot Dog
Posted on 03/07/2012 10:51:42 AM PST by nickcarraway
Despite improved training and new set of policies when it comes to confronting animals, St. Petersburg Police say they had no choice but to shoot and kill another dog Thursday.
It happened when a couple's loud fighting prompted several calls to 911.
"He was dead before he even hit the ground," said a sobbing Keilli Applegate.
Applegate, the dog's caretaker, was upset, but neighbors say it was an argument between Applegate and her husband that brought officers to the address on 10th Avenue North near 4th street.
And ultimately it was Phero, a pit bull that was well-known and well-liked in the neighborhood, that got the worst of it.
"The cop went - boom boom. Just like that, quick fast and in a hurry," said Applegate, "And I told the cop, 'You didn't have to do that. You didn't have to shoot him like that!'"
Phero was killed. He becomes the latest in a long list of dogs shot dead by St. Pete police officers over the past year.
There were seven of them in 2011.
The public outcry even prompted Chief Chuck Harmon to put new policies in place this past November. But in this case, police say the improved animal behavior training and new equipment, including noose-like catch poles, would not have made a difference.
The officers were responding to a domestic call with reports of a possible stabbing, and had no idea they would be facing Phero.
"Things happened so fast, the officer only had a chance to shoot," said department spokesman Bill Proffitt. "The officers heard a growling, snarling, charging dog and they had just a second or two to respond to that."
"Actually he's a sweet dog. I feel really bad," said neighbor Paulette Benson.
But Benson also said Phero was often off a leash, running up to people. That, she said, could be intimidating at first, but ultimately Phero was very gentle. It's a quality she admits the responding officers had no way of knowing.
"The St. Petersburg police did the right thing, I'm sorry," said Benson. "I mean, what if that dog attacked them?"
Still, in a city with a seemingly disproportionate number of canine killings, Phero's death is hard for Applegate to accept.
"I have never seen anything like that," she said. "I have never seen a life taken just like that."
St. Petersburg police are conducting an internal affairs investigation, which is considered standard anytime an officer's weapon is fired.
Investigators say the officer who shot Phero will remain on active duty.
Many backyards aren’t fenced: mine for instance.
I do agree that anyone who both fences in AND ties their dog up either doesn’t know how to train a dog, or has serious control issues. Either one or both of these scenarios lead to a poorly socialized and potentially dangerous creature.
Stupid owners are the ultimate reason for this dog’s death. Pity the poor pitty.
Sorry about the double post, my mouse is getting old and unpredictable...
Oh, I DO have a fenced off area for my dogs, mind you: it’s about 80’ X 40’, with a 5’ high wire mesh, 2’ deep posts every 10 feet. It might not hold back a German Shepherd in full flight, but it’s more than adequate for my Peke-Pom-Sheltie (25lbs) and my Teacup Chihuahua (2.5lbs).
Then he would have had a reason to shoot it. What reason did he have for shooting a dog that didn't attack?
I don’t claim to be an expert on Columbine, but my understanding is that the bombs going off was not the problem, it was the tactical doctrine of the time that “ordinary cops” charging into a “hostage situation” would just make things worse and get more people killed.
AFAIK, this was the first major situation of its type in America. Prior to this they really were hostage situations where the appropriate response was to establish a perimeter and try to talk them out. Problem, of course, was that wasn’t what these kids had in mind.
IOW, it was the doctrine that was at fault, not the cops who followed it.
This is similar to what happened on 9/11. Doctrine, entirely reasonably to that point, was to follow the hijacker’s instructions, fly around for a few hours or days and then be released. Nobody knew they were scheduled to be part of a missile.
Once those on flight 93 found this out, it took them less than half an hour to toss the old doctrine, develop a new one appropriate to the changed situation, and implement it.
But let’s not take those on the earlier flights, or the cops at Columbine, to task for not being prescient enough to know a surprise attack wasn’t following the well-known script.
How are tens of thousands of mail deliverers able to do their jobs without shooting dogs on a routine basis?
Whitman wasn’t inside a building with a bunch of “hostages.”
Per Columbine, as I understand it, shots were fired by two cops at the perps as they approached the school.
I want you to just think about what would have happened to the cops had they stood their ground and killed those “children.”
Such action would have been considered appropriate by many only to prevent what happened, which of course we wouldn’t know about because they prevented it.
if LEO’s get drones they would never have to leave the coffee shop.
Then they would complain about folks shooting their drones down.
The decision was made to go in there. When they opened the front door a pipe bomb went off, without any damage to any person. At that point the decision to go in was halted and they called the bomb squad. Meanwhile gunshots were still going off inside, and people coming out were still saying they were murdering people inside.
My point was that the Police can either move forward into the situation, or allow small incidentals to nearly indefinitely delay them - while they wait for the bomb squad or animal control.
Or just be worthless campus cops and cower behind a tree because guns are going off (OMG! Who would have imagined?) - while students stand around you with cell phones filming the action that is causing the campus cops to cower.
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