SAINT CLAIR SHORES, MI — When a man with dementia accidentally left a dog outside all night, neighbor’s called police to silence the dog’s barking. Police obliged by firing 8 rounds into the dog in its front yard.
Brittany Preston left her puppy, Lexie, in the care of her grandfather as she went to work an overnight shift.
Unfortunately her grandpa’s mild dementia caused his memory to be impaired. During the evening he let the dog into the yard to go to the bathroom, and forgot to let the dog back in.
Hours went by. The dog waited by the door, barking for its owner’s attention. Preston’s grandfather failed to hear the barking or remember his mistake.
Neighbors, tiring of the noise, called the police. Sometime after 7:00 a.m., police arrived and surrounded the dog in the yard. Preston’s grandfather was awake now, and opened the door to usher the dog back into the house. But the dog continued to bark at police instead of going inside.
Police asked if he was the owner of the dog. Fumbling the question, he said he was not. Of course, his granddaughter was, but he did not make this clear. Police made the assumption the dog didn’t belong there
Saint Clair Shores Police spent some time trying to lasso the dog with a dog stick, but were ultimately overcome by “fear for their lives,” a common malady in police work.
According to the police report, police officers opened fire when the dog “charged” at them. Eight rounds were fired into Lexie.
According to ABC-7 Action News, witnesses reported that as the dog cowered against the house, police kept shooting. If this is indeed true, it is hard to imagine how the excuse of “fearing for their lives” could have been at play at any point after the dog retreated or “cowered” next to the house.
“Eight shots in my dog is just horrendous,” said Preston. “You could sedate them and find out who their owners are, instead of killing them and worrying about it later.”
This death marks yet another instance of a family pet being shot by police, a trend which has grown disturbing to many who are paying attention. The phenomenon is so wide-spread that it will be the subject of an upcoming documentary, PUPPYCIDE.
This story represents another painful lesson of caution when dealing with police. Any interaction has the potential to escalate beyond one’s expectations in an instant. It would seem prudent to avoid calling the police on your neighbor unless you truly are wishing for possible violence on their doorstep.
The shooting should be investigated to see if the dog was truly cowering against the house, as witnesses stated, to determine whether any real threat was posed at the time of the gunfire. If the officers are found to be opening fire without the existence of a threat, they should be relieved of their duties for lying in a police report and abusing their authority.
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