It is a story that has played out before: A dog mistakenly perceived as vicious is shot and killed by police responding to an unrelated call. Yet, the shooting of a Rhodesian Ridgeback in the Chicago suburb of Hazel Crest has prompted pet blogger Steve Dale to ask whether an epidemic is in the making.
On Thursday, Dale writes, police searching for an escaped prisoner from the Metropolitan Correctional Center were canvasing the area when they encountered a dog roaming free. One of the officers drew his service weapon and planted a bullet in the dog, killing it instantly.
The pup’s grieving owner, Chanette Weaver, insists that her dog was friendly and suspects he escaped from her yard when police opened the gate during their manhunt. As though Weaver’s pain at the loss of her beloved pooch were not already sufficient, she was slapped with a $50 citation for “having an animal at large.”
Dale notes that this is the second occurrence in a single month of Chicago police gunning down a friendly dog:
A 7-month old pup survived when an Chicago Police Officer shot at him, December 1 on the north side. According to witnesses, the puppy was busily sniffing at a tree, as the police officer was busily writing a parking ticket. What’s more those bullets aimed at the innocent puppy ricocheted and could have hit innocent people nearby, including a baby in a stroller.
As for the shooting in Hazel Crest, ABC Chicago affiliate WLS-TV reports that the police department has not returned requests for comment. Chanette Weaver, on the other hand, did have a statement for reporters. “I don’t understand,” she told them. “Isn’t there a protocol? Isn’t there mace? Isn’t there a Taser? Why would you shoot my dog, who is non-aggressive?”
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