Paying the Price for Police Advice

When FL resident Christine Bonelli was robbed, police suggested she get a dog.  Because, you know, a dog will scare away strangers, protect the home, etc.  So she took their advice and got a Foxhound mix named Harley.

Harley was sitting in a chair in his fenced-in backyard last week while his owner was indoors.  Two police officers approached the backyard, searching for someone related to a nearby call.  A neighbor called out to warn them there was a dog back there and they shouldn’t go in without the owner but they proceeded.  Harley did his job – trying to scare away the intruders and protect his home.  He did not bite anyone.  One of the deputies tried hitting the dog but, remarkable as it may seem, that didn’t help the situation.  So he shot Harley, whom he describes as “an aggressive Pitbull”.  Twice.

Harley survived but vet care costs money:

Within hours, Bonelli created a Facebook group called “Justice for Harley.” Unemployed for two years and already struggling with bills, Bonelli thinks the Sheriff’s Office should have to foot the medical costs.

The Sheriff’s Office however sees things differently:

Lee County Domestic Animal Services fined Bonelli $268 for what they called, Harley’s “Threatening/menacing” behavior.

Oh hello, that’s why she got the dog.  Because you guys told her that intruders would be scared off by the dog’s threatening behavior.  I guess you were half-right anyway.

Thanks Clarice for the link to this story.

70 thoughts on “Paying the Price for Police Advice

  1. So even though they ADVISED her to get a dog AND a neighbor warned them – they CHOSE to go into her backyard – PRIVATE property – WITHOUT permission. Then shot her dog. Um, yeah, ok.

    I may not be an attorney, or even know all the laws, but it seems to be that going onto private property – without the owners permission is against the law. AND to shoot a dog that is in it’s OWN backyard – well, that’s just plain idiotic. But far more idiotic is that the owner was FINED and they are refusing to pay the vet bills.

    Before anyone bashes me- I get it that police need to be able to do their job and all that – and deserve to be safe while doing it, but seems to me that IF the dog reacted like that to the police they should have shut the gate and realized that IF the person they were looking for was in that yard he/she had already become a chew toy for the dog.

    AND let’s add to the fact that we have yet ANOTHER story that labels the dog a PITBULL – great for media to continue to promote this vicious breed and at the words of a police officer no less! Just goes to show you that some people have NO IDEA about dog breeds and how to tell what a pit bull looks like. This REALLY ticks me off!

    I guess the police shouldn’t be telling people to get a dog to help keep robbers away – and then infringe upon people’s property after being warned! Every cop show I’ve seen where they are chasing someone IF they see a dog in the yard – or even signs of a dog – they either a) go knock on the door or b) avoid the yard entirely. I really hope the media picks this story up and pushes the entire issue out in front of people – from the illegal entry, to shooting her dog, AND mislabeling the breed. I hope that she gets justice for herself & her dog….that the fine gets dropped and the police department pays for the vet bills.

    Please keep us informed about this….I know quite a few people that would LOVE to write letters to someone about this!

      1. I too, am so sick of hearing another story about police usng poor judgement and killing an innocent dog! It’s an outrage, and a dent on good police officers, who do have common sense!! The “bad” cops need to be held liable in every way! There should also be some kind of education, made mandatory, and training , in these matters! If an officer shot my dog, I’d call the papers immediately, and that police department would know my lawyer, WELL! This has to stop! And another thing, even though this dog was not a Pit Bull, they said it was. Very bigoted statement! Pit Bulls can be very loving pets! Very good with children, and other dogs , cats too! So saying it was a Pit Bull—doesn’t make it Ok either! How Moronic!!!

      1. I totally agree ….. there are constant stories of where cops (and pretend-a-cops, one of whom killed Bear-Bear)are shooting dogs for no reason all over the country. It is time for the police and the cities / counties to be held accountable for these incidents. Too many cops are trigger happy.

      2. Yes, it is too bad that we have cops that are shooting dogs, because it really doesn’t help the image of every other police officer in the world. Some cities have done programs to get their police “out there” and interacting with the citizens to earn their trust. Think of what stuff like this does to that trust – completely diminishes it. If a cop if willing to shoot a dog – TWICE – after illegally entering someone’s yard while “searching for someone related to a nearby call” – doesn’t sound much like a HUGE emergency to me…and like I said if a cop opened the gate and a dog came charging at them barking – it would stand to reason that nobody else would be in that yard – OR they would’ve heard the dog BARKING like it did at them!

        These cops that are going around shooting dogs is becoming all too common. Whatever happened to AC being called in situations to handle the dog where they owner isn’t around? And whatever happened to knocking before you enter – they never once tried the front door even after being warned by a neighbor?

        Here in Columbus, OH the law states (at least in regards to pitties – and yes I know this wasn’t a pit but bare with me) that the dog must be kept in a securely locked either kennel or fenced in yard with a locked gate. Now I can see why…it’s to keep them safe from idiots with guns. I took it a step further to keep my pitties safe and put up a 6 ft privacy fence with no exterior gate…so the only way in is through my house!

        But we shouldn’t have to go through all that with dogs. We should be able to trust that our property is just that…and as such our dog deserves the right to play and lay around in its own yard. The cops are in the wrong here and I pray that she sues them AND animal services for the fines she was issued…that just added insult to injury.

  2. WHAT is wrong with the cops in the USA?? It seems every time I pick up a paper or see an article, some poor bloody pet is being massacred! Guaranteed, the gate was CLOSED – but they will maintain it was open to jusstify their behaviour. Unbelievable, really unbelievable.

  3. I’d love for Chrisine to find a civil attorney to represent her in a suit against the Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff and the deputies who entered her fenced yard and injured her dog. While I imagine that the value of her dog in Florida is not high (he’s considered property, I’m afraid), a suit would be a good way to bring what happened into the public eye and to get some information about a law enforcement culture which allows this behavior to happen.

    So types the paralegal who deals with defending law enforcement personnel every day. There’s good faith enforcment of the law and then there’s blatant disregard for the welfare of the property of another. Sue ’em.

    1. I agree with you Brie. I think if I heard someone shoot a gun, let alone my dog, in my yard that I’d be tempted to shoot back and ask questions later! These dog killing cops need to be put away! They need to go find a bad guy and earn their paycheck instead of continuously killing innocent dogs.

  4. Stories like this make me want to scream. I see so many law enforcement people go way out of their way to help dogs in distress and then idiots like this give them all a bad name. I’m not a person who is in favor of suing everyone, but apparently this is the only way to get new protocols established and better training.

  5. I remember worrying many years ago that a burglar might hurt my dog while I was at work – never happened. I was burglarized, but only after my dogs died, and I hadn’t gotten another one yet. Reading the news over the last year or so, it seems that my dogs are in greater danger of being hurt by the police (in the pursuit of their duty) than by a criminal. There is something SO WRONG with this paradigm. I believe that police can follow a suspect onto someone’s property IF in direct pursuit, but otherwise need permission. No matter – they need MY permission before they hurt or kill my dog, and I’m NOT giving them that permission. Sue the deputy, and fight the County Domestic Animal Services fine. This isn’t fair, it isn’t right, and it HAS TO STOP !!

    1. Woohoo! I agree Cj. A theif would most likely not shoot a dog, probably wouldn’t even break into a home if they hear the dog barking, but a cop shoots the dog just because he can! They literally are PIGS!

      1. Give pigs a chance, c’mon, brighten up and change your language. I’ve known some very nice pigs…don’t equate human stupidity with any other animal. We humans have it all over in the stupidity department!

  6. Gee – she’s damned if she follows their advice – raped or murdered if she doesn’t??? Then – they have the nerve to change the rules???
    BULL – she should sue the city AND the individuals. Glad her loyal companion will survive to protect her again!!!!

    Not all police are idiots – but these two certainly are!

    1. As I said, check out the video links to the police dash cams on the website I quoted above. There are many police who’ve been nothing short of heroic with people and dogs, but the system has to find a way to expunge officers such as these. They’re a danger to society.

    1. They are “claiming” that my dog is menacing. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Even after being shot, he was nothing but gentle with everyone trying to help him.

      1. Maybe he behaved menacing to them for entering the yard without notice. It is natural for a dog to want to protect its territory. I hope you sue the hell out of them ALL. I am so sorry that you have had to deal with ALL of this. If there is anything we can do to help please let us know. Do you happen to have it on a police report where the police told you that the best thing to do is get a dog? That would be perfect to hit ’em with THAT in the law suit…if only they wrote it down. Regardless, you followed their advice in getting the dog and they should have knocked on your door. I hope you rneighbor is friends with you, as he/she can testify that the police were warned piror to entering your yard. Praying that this is solved in YOUR & HARLEY’s favor. I think you’ve both suffered enough and being hit with a fine on top of it (and them not willing to pay the vet bill) is crazy. Good luck!

  7. Talk about OVER THE LINE. What’s happening with our pets and the police is something everyone needs to be highly concerned about. Think this won’t happen in your town? Your nice, safe, small town? Think again folks.

    It happened here in Des Moines just a few months ago with Rosie, the Newfoundland. And once again, we see officers being exonerated. It’s always the owners fault, isn’t it?

    Be the vehicle for change, people. Demand answers, ethics and accountability from your police department. These people are supposedly here to serve US. Taking an oath, and donning badge and uniform does NOT give these supposed “men of honor” dominion over our property and communities.

    If a cop ever enters my yard and kills one of my pets, he’d better be ready to suffer the consequences.

  8. You know – it is pretty well universal. We had this weird experience a couple of years ago – my son told me some stranger had come into our backyard (through TWO gates – I have 7 foot wooden fence and a double gate system). He was only 16 at the time but confronted the guy who gave him some garbled story about “his parents telling him (the intruder) to check something out” – Declan made him leave. When he told me when I returned from work, I called cops (as they ASK you to do -in case there was criminals targetting our neighbourhood). Got this SOB at the police station who basicaly was like ‘you’re wasting my time’ – (I was JUST trying to do my duty I pointed out!!). I mentioned in passing that it was LUCKY for this guy my dogs (2 shepherds and a terrier) were not out in the yard or he would be TOAST… and proceeded to get CRAP from the cop!! Said I would be CHARGED if my viscious dogs “attacked” someone – that i could have my dogs taken from me, that if my dogs were that “mean” then maybe he shoudl have Animal Control come and assesess them… unfrigginBELIEVABLE!! I looked up the law and YES, IF my dogs had attacked THIS man who had come UNINVITED in MY yard, I COULD be charged!! And my dogs could be taken and killed. So things are effed up in Canada as well!

  9. Hold them liable and accountable in every way! It wasn’t a Pit Bull, however, if it had been, so what. Stop using bigotry against Pit Bulls as an excuse to say that it’s Ok—it’s Not!! These ignorant “Police Officers” put “a bad light on” decent officers, who have common sense! This woman should contact a good lawyer, make sure that this stays in the media, and be totally compensated in every way that she can be! They owe her an appology! They can not take back the emotional toll, but with further training, maybe this can be avoided again!

  10. So we’re supposed to keep a dog in a caged run inside a fenced in yard to protect the rights of an intruder? And the intruder has a right to carry a gun while coming uninvited onto private property? How stupid is this?

  11. The problem is that 90% of the police would have respected the owners boundaries and the dogs safety, but there’s 10% who have a power complex, room-temperature IQs and believe that the gun and tazer are the best things since crunchy peanut butter. We had a cop in Nashua, NH who shot a Bull Terrier in front of his family and screaming children, and then the Nashua PD dismissed it as an “aggressive dog”. What, did they expect the dog to ask for a writ of Habeas Corpus? These trigger-happy, “I gotta gun and I’m gonna kill sumpin” cops must go. This is absolutely, completely inexcusable and brings the phrase “jack-booted thugs” to mind.

  12. If you live in an area were you worry about getting raped or robbed you might want to consider moving. People shouldn’t get dogs for protection – they should get a dog for companionship.

    Pet owners are responsible for protecting their pets not vice versa. Once a dog issues a warning on an intruder the pet owner’s responsibilty needs to take over.

    1. 1. Not everyone has the option of moving.

      2. NO NEIGHBORHOOD is 100% safe. This includes yours, no matter how you delude yourself.

      3. The dog is not alleged to have done anything except bark–and the police had advised her to get a dog for precisely that purpose.

      It’s the cops who ignored the rules and the facts and are in the wrong here, not the woman who has a dog who barked at intruders.

    2. Wow….You are clueless. Even the best neighborhoods get robbed and people unfortunately can be raped when they are kidnapped outside of a grocery store! Maybe you need to watch the news more often!

    3. Rapes and robberies happen anywhere. Certainly crime rates vary for a host of reasons.

      It would be nice if, like you blithely state, everyone could just pack up their things and move. Alas, it is not so simple. I am sure you understand this.

      The dog could have been lounging in the backyard with his owner in the kitchen, simmering a pot of pasta when these officers entered private property and shot her dog. A dog running at you can happen in a split second, not always enough time is available for the dog guardian to react.

      Fact is, we have a legal system that permits law enforcement agents to do what no one else is allowed to do – break and enter without permission. Certainly in clear and present danger, this is valuable. But when there is a vague call about someone who MIGHT be in the backyard, a more judicious approach should be implemented…one that perhaps involves knocking on the homeowner’s door or, if the crime is nonviolent, refrain from putting the lives of humans and family pets in danger by roaming onto private property unannounced. I don’t think that is acting a whole lot.

    4. My area is NOT high crime. I ride my bike through the neighborhood, there are children playing in the streets, people going for walks, etc.

      My dog is a pet, not a guard dog. I was told by a detective to get a dog because the bark is enough to scare off a would-be intruder. We had been thinking about getting a dog and decided that it was a good time to adopt one.

      I had only check on Harley moments before, he was sleeping in a chair. A few minutes later, I heard him bark and the shots followed immediately. I had no idea anyone was in the yard until I heard the barking because they never bothered to knock on my door.

  13. Just so ANYONE knows….If you put up a sign that says “Guard dog on duty” EVEN IF YOUR DOG BITES SOMEONE YOU DONT HAVE TO PUT THEM DOWN!!!!!!!! BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING THERE JOB!!!!! AND YOU HAVE WARNED….WHOEVER!!!!!

    1. Don’t count on it. And by putting up that sign you are setting yourself up for a lawsuit ….. “you knew your dog was viscous or you wouldn’t put up the sign”. Don’t forget a criminal (or anyone else)can come on your property and get hurt and turn around and file a suit against you and win!

      1. yep- what Phil said- by hanging ‘dangerous dog’ (or anything like that) signs you are admitting to possible aggression and opening yourself to liability

      2. Yes, I have been told (by police, AC, and a lawyer) that it is best to just hang a sign that says “DOG ON PREMISES”….otherwise you are admitting that the dog is dangerous and then, god forbid, someone got bit – they’d have a field day with the sign – and you’d get hit with all kinds of fines and they could potentially take the dog away to be euthanized. So it is best to just stick to a basic sign notifying people that you have a dog – not “beware” signs or “guard dog” signs. I have been told by all 3 sources independently, that just dog on premises is the only way to go.

      3. I have a sign that says: “PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE DOGS”, precisley because I hate those stupid attack dog signs and for reasons stated here. I hope Chris Bonelli sues the hell outta those a**holes.

  14. Randy, while I agree that dogs are primarly for compansionship, not everyone has the LUXURY of living in “great” areas. My dogs are my babies but they are ALSO a great comfort in terms of being a deterrant to break-ins, etc. and knowing my kids are safe when I’m not there (and yes, they are older kids but still). And over the years I’ve lived where I am (NOT the best area)- my dogs have in fact proved to be so – at one point, 5 different houses on my street were broken into and had things stolen – my house = never a whisper. People cross the street to avoid walking in front of it- NOT becuase my dogs are mean but becuase they are big and loud.

    It bothers the hell out of me that someone could break into my house and I coudl get CHARGED if my dogs protect myself or my house!

  15. Niamhlost,

    It’s not our pets responsibilty to protect us it’s our responsibity to protect them. Had the dog been in the house protecting it’s owner it would probably still be alive.

    Why would anyone leave their dog in the yard in a high crime area in the first place? Would you leave your child out there unsupervised?

    The police have the right and responsibilty to “chase down criminals” even if it is through private property, otherwise criminals would seek refuge in your backyard.

    It’s hard to fatham this situation involving an officer were there wouldn’t be a police car with lights flashing, probably the dog barking – where was the owner? Watching TV, answering some mindless blog on the computer?

    I never leave my dogs out unsupervised. If someone (including the police) does enter the area surrounding the house the dogs are brought back in for THEIR safety and I go out and defend/talk to the police.

    Again, people shouldn’t get and train dogs “for protection” they need to teach their dogs to be companions and that carries a responsibilty of protecting THEM from any dangerous situation their pet might get themselve into.

    No oone wants to be responsible anymore – we want to blame everybody else including the police.

    1. So, to be sure we have the “rules” straight:

      1. The dog had no business being in its own yard.

      2. The owner had an absolute responsibility to fetch the dog in the instant it barked the first time, and/or as soon as she heard a siren, and if she was on the toilet at the time, too @#$% bad; she deserved to have her dog shot.

      Randy, even though you believe it to be true, no, the police do not always run the siren when they drive through a neighborhood, not even if they’re responding to a call about a possible prowler. From what the police AND the neighbors say, the dog didn’t bark before the police entered the property.

      And while I don’t know about you, of course, it takes human beings a finite amount of time to process sounds and start to respond to them.

      1. I’d hate to think we’d label any dog owner “irresponsible” who didn’t run outside at the sound of barking. I’d qualify.

        Dogs with jobs are super A-OK by me provided they are cared for and loved by their humans.

    2. I disagree, Randy.

      I think too you are losing sight of what dogs ARE – dogs are predators, dogs protect, dogs are companions. Do I leave my dogs out constantly, of course not! They are beloved and spoiled members of my family – but they love and I believe, need outdoor time (other than their walks) – and yes, at times they are out for HOURS – it is GOOD for them!! Do I run every time I hear a whimper or a bark – nope – not unless I feel there is something “off”- the reality is that today we have forgoteen dogs are DOGS. they are not people. They are not kids.

      The notion that people like me are at fault for allowing their dogs to play in my OWN safely fenced (when I got these dogs I spent a lot of money and fenced in the yard so it was safe for them) is nonesense.

      I am not abdicating responsible. I am a VERY responsible pet owner – and that includes ongoing training to ensure my dogs are welcome members of MY society.

      However, I think one of the BIGGEST problems we face thsee days and the reason that you see so many situations where dogs attack/are put in, situations where they are at risk, is BECAUSE peope have forgotten to let dogs be DOGS. That INCLUEDES learning independence and the ability to function on their own for a while (in a safe environment, i.e. a backyard).

      Last I looked, I had democratic rights – my dogs are NEVER out when someone is not home – a quick knock on the door and they could easily be brought in (they come when called!), but I stand by my opinion that I can be charged if someone enters MY property uninvited is ridiculous!!

      and I’m glad for you that you have lived in such a utopian society that you’ve never had to deal with the realities many us face every day.

      There are good cops and BAD cops – and I’ve run into both.

    3. The dog is still alive….Wow is all I can say about you. When the police are searching for someone they rarely have their lights and sirens on because it will give away that they are in the area. I live in the same neighborhood that this happened and you don’t hear sirens very often. Regardless, it was this woman’s property that they entered illegally and went behind a closed fence to boot! They are responsible and should have had a warrant to go onto her property without permission. Rules are rules regardless!

  16. Two things

    The law allows police officers to enter your yard in puruit of or investigating a crime – would you want them NOT to?

    Two – you have responsible for supervising your pets 24 hours a day – no excuses. If you choose not to check on why the dog is barking – that’s YOUR choice.

    No one said you can’t put your dogs out IN YOUR yard – but that still doesn’t translate into not supervising their activity.

    It you can’t supervise your dog then the responsible thing would be to bring the dog in.

    1. They weren’t in hot pursuit, Randy; they were investigating a report of a prowler. And yes, shockingly enough, in those circumstances, knocking on the door is normal procedure. Why? Two reasons. One is that the homeowner may actually have seen or heard something, and be able to provide additional useful information.

      The other reason is this funny little think called the Fourth Amendment:

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      We don’t live in a police state, not yet, anyway.

      1. Actually, they were looking for a runaway teen. They didn’t knock on my door, they went straight around to the yard. Harley was sleeping in his chair, I had only checked on him moments before. He barked and immediately after the shots were fired.

        As for Randy, he knows nothing about the situation, yet he continues to make assumptions. Or perhaps he’s projecting.

  17. Since when is a police officer responsible for knocking on your door when in pursuit of a criminal?

    That criminal could have a gun – the officer might have a partner he IS responsible who’s safety he is responsible for. To blame the officer is so ridiculous, especially since you apparently are not familar with the law.

    I certainly don’t want a police officer wasting time knocking on my door checking to see if all my dogs are in – I want him going after that criminal.

    1. you know what Randy!! your a complete idiot! First of all if there is a criminal on my property he will get shot. and bit by my dog! second, they should have not proceeded unless the owner ok it!

    2. The officer was warned by the neighbor that there was a dog in that backyard…..he should not have gone through that gate and onto private property especially after being warned!

    3. You need to reread, or perhaps read for the first time, the US Constitution, most especially the Bill of Rights. I provided a link and the text, above, to the most directly relevant bit.

      Also, you keep saying “in pursuit of a criminal”–but in this case, no, they were not in hot pursuit. They were responding to a report. It’s by no means certain that there WAS anyone to find–and the police, if they were not totally incompetent, knew that.

      1. They weren’t in pursuit of a criminal, just looking for a runaway teen. They over-reacted, plain and simple. My very gentle, family pet is paying the price for it.

    4. “According to a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, deputies were responding to a domestic dispute nearby, and searching for a girl that ran off.”

      This quote from the WINK newscast says NOTHING about pursuit. Don’t change the facts to support your point of view Randy. And I saw/heard no mention of the person (a girl) being a criminal. As Americans we have historically fought to defend our rights to be free from oppression and to defend our rights, among those the right to feel secure in our homes and on our property to include being safe from the police. Just because they have a badge and are “sworn to protect and serve” does NOT make them right in all things. It is entirely possible that the officers lied, that they never knocked, that the gate was in fact closed, that they approached the dog in a threatening manner. If you were in your back yard Randy and two men with guns approached you, what would YOU think? That they came to bring you a beer or just to drop in and say “Hi”? They have NO business being back there in this case, PERIOD! If they were, as you wrote, pursuing a “criminal” the dog would have been going ape shit if said criminal were back there, as well as many other dogs in the neighborhood.

      Our dogs are pets. They are companions sure, as well as our responsibility to keep from harm. They have access to our backyard 24-7 via their own dog-door. They come and go as they please. They are also part of the family unit or “pack” if you will. That is how they view the world. If any member of the pack is threatened they will act accordingly, just as you would if your wife/child/friend was threatened. They also instinctively have what is referred to as a “territory” which they guard much the same way you would guard your house or it’s contents. I think YOU need to do a little research into canine behavior, you clearly don’t know your dogs as well as you should…

  18. Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree – I think your points are simplistic and unrealistic. The moot point here is that the OFFICERS SHOT A DOG IN ITS OWN YARD when it was doing what dogs DO. This is becoming increasingly common; there is obviously a need in police services to do some training and come up with alternate strategies to slaughtering family pets.

    I am actally VERY familiar with the law (Canadian law that is) – as I have worked for a law firm for 30+ years.

    And I’m going to end it here with you Randy as it is obvious your mind is set.

    cops in your neighbourhood are lucky to have such a slavish admirer. In my world, cops are accoutable as well.

  19. Stories like this illustrate that while it is extremely anal and really annoying in the middle of a snow storm, thunderstorm or below freezing temps, why my dogs are never ever left unattended outside. Of course mine are the dreaded “pit bulls”, two APBT’s and an American Bull. Poor christine. I do hope folks have help donate to harley’s care and will be looking into sending a few bucks myself.

  20. I believe in order for you to not be charged with these things You must Have a sign that states “BEWARE OF GUARD DOG ON DUTY” this statement is ment to mean that the dog is trained to protect and will do so, the sign that says just “BEWARE OF DOG” is considered just a sign that means you have a dog. and has been proven to be of no importance in most lawsuits.
    I agree though she should sue… If the dog barked at them it would be comon cents that the dog would have been agressive and gone after the intruder. this would have made more since for the police to tell the people there is someone in there back yard. they could have worked together. The police used VERY bad judgement!!!! She needs to sue!!!!

    1. those signs still open you up to liability as it is an admission of possible aggression or owning a dangerous animal

  21. It certainly is refreshing to see all these legal experts giving opinions but I would suggest consulting an attorney if you have questions.

    Of course, you could just read your local animal ordinance and see excactly what rights you don’t have.

    Considering how “stupid” I am – I’m the only one who has actually CHANGED an ordinance I didn’t like.

    Welcome to the “Deaf, Dumb and Blind” blog site of the month.

      1. Let’s hope “Randy” has left the building permanently as his comments are crazy at best!

    1. that’s the pot calling the kettle black- have you even READ the comments from the owner and neighbor on this blog? or are you just choosing factoids to support your theory?
      You keep saying that the police have the right to pursue a criminal into my yard. and YET in THIS SITUTATION they were looking for a RUNAWAY TEEN and not a criminal. So yes- they should’ve knocked on the door and let the owner know what they were doing.
      When my dog is outside barking i bring her in- she’s shy and barks when people walk by the house. But if someone came into my yard and shot her for barking, even though i always respond immediately to her barking, i doubt i would have sufficient time to get out there to save her.

      I work at the local Humane Society and we offer impound services for 20+ of the local communities, so i am 100% familiar with the local animal ordinances, thanksverymuch

    1. I just posted the same link above! I wanted to make sure EVERYONE saw it but was unaware you had posted it also. And, so people – like Randy know the WHOLE story I’m going to make it even easier for them…here is what the FB page says:

      “My sweet dog, Harley, was shot in cold blood this afternoon by a Lee County police officers. They were looking for a missing teenager. They started looking through yards, as they were about to enter mine, our neighbor told them that there was a dog back here. They ignored him and went back. Harley heard them and started barking. One of the officers fired two shots point blank at him, shooting him in the lower jaw and shoulder.

      Harley is the sweetest dog on the planet and has never been aggressive. I heard him bark right before he was shot. It wasn’t a threatening bark. The officer in question should not have taken such extreme measures. My poor dog has the pay the price for his overzealous aggression.

      Luckily, Harley’s injuries were not life threatening and he is recovering. But, a centimeter either way and this story would have had a very different ending.

      Harley was on his property in a fenced in yard. The officers were told he was there, so they should have proceeded with caution. Why didn’t they use their clubs to scare him, if the felt threatened, or shoot in the air to scare him off? Of they must shot, it should have been in the leg. It’s obvious they were shooting to kill and, thankfully, missed their mark.

      There is a school down the street. What if a stray bullet hit a child? Not only was this act overly-aggressive, it was careless.

      Stories like this are happening with alarming frequency. Please join this group and let the world know that we won’t tolerate this kind of behavior from the police. Next time it could be your dog… or child.”

      Great writing Chris!

  22. Chris: If there is anything we all can do to assist you in mounting a lawsuit, please let us know! The BS all over the mainstream media (MSM)about Pit Bulls is what has given stupid cops (not all are stupid) the “leverage” if you will, to do these kinds of things. They would probably call a mini-poodle or chihuahua a pit bull if they wanted to! The cops all over this country need sensitivity training and animal behaviour classes. Let us know how we can help, and give Harley a sweet kiss from all of us at Welcome Home Sanctuary Inc.!!!

  23. Very sad to hear. The dog is a pit bull mix though, from those pictures shown. A good-looking guy at that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, as pit bulls make fantastic pets, but by claiming the pit bull mix is a different breed entirely with the intention of using it as an excuse (ie. “My dog is a Foxhound, not a pit bull, so it’s not aggressive!”) is just as bad as someone that thinks pit bulls are naturally vicious. Harley’s owner could be doing her part in helping with the pit bull’s poor reputation but instead has her head in the sand.

  24. So you think keeping your dog in the house keeps them safe Randy? Wake up. There are a ton of stories of police officers shooting innocent non aggressive dogs INSIDE their own homes for various reasons, including swat teams who stormed the wrong house, breaking in without knocking first. Chris I hope Harley is doing well.

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