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St. Pete Police Fatally Shoot Dog
WTSP ^ | Mar 2, 2012 | Eric Glasser

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.


TOPICS: Local News; Miscellaneous; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: dogs; florida; pets

1 posted on 03/07/2012 10:51:53 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

LEO’s want to be the only ones to have guns.

Does not make me feel all fuzzy and safe.


2 posted on 03/07/2012 10:55:44 AM PST by hadaclueonce (you are paying 12% more for fuel because of Ethanol. Smile big Corn Lobby,)
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To: nickcarraway

Now this officer gets to go to those special meetings and learn the secret handshake.


3 posted on 03/07/2012 10:57:30 AM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: nickcarraway
Seems to me that in this case it was shoot or get bitten.

The part where I completely lost sympathy for Applegate and her dog was when the neighbor said that the dog was often off leash running up to people. Sweet once he got there, but scared the HELL out of people.

Domestic disturbance and the report that someone was stabbed - go into the yard and be approached by a growling pit bull? Sounds like any reasonable person would shoot.

That or pull a “Columbine” (where a small explosion made the LEO’s cower in apathetic and pathetic inaction for hours) and let a potential stabbing victim bleed out while they fetched a dog restrainer or waited for animal control.

4 posted on 03/07/2012 11:02:51 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: nickcarraway
Sorry, but no sympathies on this end. Volatile situation, big dog not on leash comes running up with neither side knowing the other: possibly bitten and severely injured, or shoot.

I'd shoot too. Owners fault for not keeping dog on leash -sadly, too often experienced from too many irresponsible owners.

5 posted on 03/07/2012 11:04:12 AM PST by Utilizer (What does not kill you... -can sometimes damage you QUITE severely.)
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To: nickcarraway

Not your typical “cop shoots dog” story.

I blame the idiot owners for ALL of this.


6 posted on 03/07/2012 11:04:37 AM PST by Responsibility2nd
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To: nickcarraway

They can’t use those tazer things or pepper spray on dogs?


7 posted on 03/07/2012 11:06:50 AM PST by fruser1
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To: nickcarraway

Next time my wife starts yelling at me I can tell her to keep it down or the cops will show up and murder our dog.


8 posted on 03/07/2012 11:08:49 AM PST by douginthearmy (Obamagebra: 1 job + 1 hope + 1 change = 0 jobs + 0 hope)
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To: allmendream

I agree with you. A dog can easily run the distance of two houses in a couple of seconds. You don’t have the time to decide if he’s a nice pitbull or not a nice pitbull.

I don’t have a problem in this situation. If the dog was in the backyard and tied up or if the dog was of a breed that isn’t known for attacking and biting people, then I would have a problem.


9 posted on 03/07/2012 11:12:57 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Woof
10 posted on 03/07/2012 11:18:43 AM PST by moose07 (The truth will out, one day.)
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To: nickcarraway

“caretaker”? How ‘bout “owner”? Oh, that’s right - dogs aren’t slaves.../s


11 posted on 03/07/2012 11:18:47 AM PST by jagusafr ("Write in Palin and prepare for war...")
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To: allmendream
That or pull a “Columbine” (where a small explosion made the LEO’s cower in apathetic and pathetic inaction for hours)

This is unfair to the cops at Columbine. They did not go into the building because they were following doctrine, which assumed the situation would turn into a hostage negotiation, and a gunfight would increase casualties.

As it turned out, the doctrine was totally wrong for a situation where the attackers were just killing people, not taking them hostage. But saying the cops were cowardly is condemning them with the benefit of hindsight.

12 posted on 03/07/2012 11:25:39 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; Shannon; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; ...
WOOOF!

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

13 posted on 03/07/2012 11:27:36 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: nickcarraway

They were fortunate they had a dog for the police to shoot. The officer did not have to shoot the owners.


14 posted on 03/07/2012 11:46:17 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: fruser1
They can’t use those tazer things or pepper spray on dogs?

That would deprive the officer of live action practice.

15 posted on 03/07/2012 11:47:52 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: Jonty30
If the dog was in the backyard and tied up

Only a douche bag or a dog fighter would tie up a dog confined in their own yard.

16 posted on 03/07/2012 11:55:58 AM PST by Eaker (Remember, the enemy tends to wise up at the least convenient moments.)
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To: hadaclueonce

I’m not shocked any longer. I’ll start paying attention to these stories again when the LEO’s are blasting family pets with their new drones.


17 posted on 03/07/2012 12:00:54 PM PST by Jay Santos CP ("Idiocracy"... It's no longer just a movie.)
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To: Sherman Logan
The “situation” was a small explosive device that went off when they opened a door.

Apparently rigging a cherrybomb to a door is sufficient to cut the legs out from under a “hot entry” by the Police - as they patiently wait for a bomb squad - while people were being killed.

That is not so much hindsight criticism of the Police as it is ridiculing them being outsmarted emasculated and rendered powerless by two psycho High Schoolers and a small pipe bomb.

Then let us not forget the brave brave officers at Virginia Tech - cowering behind trees as students stood out in the open recording with cell phones. The students with cell phones were displaying more bravery ‘under fire’ than the LEO’s hired to defend them.

One of my favorite lines in Battlestar Galactica is when Apollo advises the President that they have been boarded by Cylons and to ... ‘keep moving, stay away from main corridors, and head away from gunfire.’. The President agreed and was about to turn away when she grew concerned “What about you?” she asked. With a grin he replied “We are headed TOWARDS the gunfire.”.

That is what those charged with protecting the citizenry should do - head towards the gunfire.

My point being that if there was a report of a stabbing - the officers were obliged to go through a bit of danger (a yard with a pit bull) to see if there was in fact a citizen bleeding to death; rather than retreating to wait for animal control - much as the Police at Columbine thought they should wait for the bomb squad.

18 posted on 03/07/2012 12:01:13 PM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: Eaker

I think you understand what I’m saying here, without having to spell it out.

I was differentiating between a dog that is obviously no danger to the officers and a dog that was.

And no, with doggy doors, some dogs would be free to come and go from house to backyard, so it really wasn’t that silly of a point, despite your efforts to try and make it so.


19 posted on 03/07/2012 12:02:43 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Eaker

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.


20 posted on 03/07/2012 12:04:41 PM PST by Don W (You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.)
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To: Eaker

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.


21 posted on 03/07/2012 12:05:06 PM PST by Don W (You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.)
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To: Don W

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).


22 posted on 03/07/2012 12:11:47 PM PST by Don W (You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.)
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To: nickcarraway
"The St. Petersburg police did the right thing, I'm sorry," said Benson. "I mean, what if that dog attacked them?"

Then he would have had a reason to shoot it. What reason did he have for shooting a dog that didn't attack?

23 posted on 03/07/2012 12:13:01 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: allmendream

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.


24 posted on 03/07/2012 1:29:58 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: nickcarraway

How are tens of thousands of mail deliverers able to do their jobs without shooting dogs on a routine basis?


25 posted on 03/07/2012 1:34:07 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Sherman Logan
AFAIK, this was the first major situation of its type in America

Charles Whitman?

26 posted on 03/07/2012 1:36:48 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

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.


27 posted on 03/07/2012 1:42:32 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Jay Santos CP

if LEO’s get drones they would never have to leave the coffee shop.

Then they would complain about folks shooting their drones down.


28 posted on 03/07/2012 2:08:46 PM PST by hadaclueonce (you are paying 12% more for fuel because of Ethanol. Smile big Corn Lobby,)
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To: Sherman Logan
The reports from the people coming out was that they were killing people, not taking hostages.

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.

29 posted on 03/07/2012 2:20:26 PM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: hadaclueonce
if LEO’s get drones...

It's no longer a question of IF LEO's get drones: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2855068/posts
30 posted on 03/07/2012 8:08:36 PM PST by Jay Santos CP ("Idiocracy"... It's no longer just a movie.)
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