On June 17, a Concord, California Police officer drew his .40 caliber pistol and shot 13 year-old Kirby in the back. Police had entered the owner’s backyard unannounced where they surprised Kirby. Kirby’s owner Zach Grimm said they heard the jingle of someone opening their back gate. Next, they heard a bark and a subsequent gunshot. Grimm said Kirby barked “like any dog protecting its home.” According to police, the officer felt threatened by the 29 pound cocker spaniel and used lethal force even though he had pepper spray. Police claim they were looking for a burglar when they entered the backyard around 4:30pm.
One of Grimm’s roommates who saw the shooting said the officer drew his gun just to shoot Kirby. Grim said “The officer who shot at him, after it was over he just sort of had this goofy look on his face, almost like a smirk, and then he left. No explanation, no apology or anything.” Part of the .40 caliber bullet passed through Kirby’s body while the rest is logded in his spine. Grim said, “we think he’s going to make it.” “I can’t believe he’s alive, to be honest with you.”
Just about every day I read on Google how a family pet has been shot by police. The usual scenario is police are responding to a call at someone’s home. The dog is seen as a threat then shot. The first thing I would do is secure your dog as soon as possible when you know police are coming. You may think your dog is friendly and not a threat but the officer responding may not feel that way. It doesn’t matter how friendly your dog is if they suddenly jump at the officer from out of nowhere. If you are unable to secure your dog please let the officer know your have a dog(s)–at least they won’t be caught off guard. Act as calm as possible with addressing the officer. If you’re excited or anxious both your dog and the officer may become excited as well–you want to prevent that as much as possible. Take an obedience class if you haven’t already. If you demonstrate control over your dog a confrontation will be less likely.
Your pet may encounter police elsewhere. Many times dogs are shot when loose outside. It’s your responsibility to restrain your dog at all times. Also, secure your pet when traveling by automobile. Your police encounter will go much smoother and you’ll prevent your pet from escaping if the doors are open. Please feel free to add your suggestions.