NC Sheriff’s Deputy Shoots Small Dog to Death After Suffering No Injury

Last week, Cumberland Co Sheriff’s Deputy Barbara Siau came to a home looking for the brother of Ms. Dana Anderson.  When Ms. Anderson went outside  to speak with the deputy, one of her dogs, a Pekingese/Dachshund mix called Gizmo, followed her.  Gizmo began running towards the stranger and barking.  The owner told the deputy the dog did not bite but the deputy kicked Gizmo in the head and then shot him to death without warning:

Gizmo still was moving, Anderson said, but fell on the ground.

“It didn’t really dawn on me until I walked over to him and saw blood coming out of his head,” Anderson said.

“He was wagging his tail as he was dying.”

The Internal Affairs department is investigating the killing, which seems entirely unwarranted from the description in the article:

Siau then showed Anderson the leg of her uniform pants, which had two small holes in them.

“They looked like if you get snagged on something,” Anderson said.

However, she said that when other deputies arrived, they would not let her take pictures of Siau’s pants and made her wait two hours before she could take Gizmo and bury him.

Anderson said she was told that there were no marks of any kind on Siau’s leg.

Presumably the officer believed the dog presented an imminent threat to her safety.  I wonder if she considered any options other than shooting – such as asking the owner to remove the dog, returning to her vehicle, or utilizing non-lethal force to protect herself – before she killed the dog.

Gizmo was an abandoned puppy when Ms. Anderson rescued him 5 years ago.  He was the constant companion of Ms. Anderson’s other dog, Prada.  She had to have her cat, suffering from feline leukemia, euthanized the week before Gizmo’s killing.  She is considering legal action.

Police officers must often approach private property as part of their job.  Many people own dogs.  It is normal for a dog to bark and charge toward a stranger.  There should be adequate training, protocols and penalties in place for police officers that these brutal killings don’t warrant an entire blog category all their own.

 

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41 Comments

  1. I am incensed over the repeated and frequent use of over-reaction to dogs in private homes and to those who pose no risk to the officer. Shameful, shameful!

    Reply
    • Jessica C

       /  May 27, 2012

      Exactly. I hear of way too many stories, just like this one. There needs to be better training or cops who know what they are doing or SOMETHING. That is no excuse for what this/these police officers are doing. If it were me, Id take legal action

      Reply
  2. i have 3 dogs… we just had tampa police dept out to our house 2 times last night because our neighbor has left town and locked their dog in their shed… it’s been whining, crying and howling since friday!! TPD said they can’t enter the building to retrieve the animal… as it is not a human in danger. animal control will not come out since it is a NON EMERGENCY. i doubt it has food or water and hasn’t been out to potty…
    anyways– every time i go out to greet any officer of the law i make sure to keep all my dogs INSIDE- just for this reason…
    here’s the link to the issue w/ the neighbor’s dog and the TPD report #293901 (from our second call to TPD re the NON EMERGENCY issue) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSB1KvSOVWQ

    Reply
    • It's Me

       /  May 27, 2012

      Keep calling. Tell them you think the dog may be in distress based on the sound of his/her cries. Tell them you think the dog has possibly been abandoned. Keep record of the temperatures where the shed is located and mention how hot it is when you call dispatch.

      Call your local politicians and complain (City Council, County Council, Alderman, etc). Tell them you want some confirmation that the dog is not in danger.

      Are there any windows to the shed? Can you see inside? Have you seen anyone come and go from the property?

      Reply
    • db

       /  May 27, 2012

      That is neglect, pure and simple. With the heat this time of year, I can’t believe someone can’t get the dog out of the shed. Poor dog!

      Reply
      • Jessica C

         /  May 27, 2012

        Agreed. That is awful! Having it outside the whole time in extreme weather is bad enough, but a shed?! What idiots some people can be. Thanks for sticking up for the dog though!!

    • mikken

       /  May 27, 2012

      Do you have an SPCA or Humane Society locally that will help? In my area, if a dog is in danger like this, the SPCA will do something about it (and pursue charges of neglect, if warranted).

      Reply
      • Phillip Griffin

         /  May 27, 2012

        Can you post a case or incident # and the phone # for Tampa PD….Maybe enough phone calls will spur them into action.

      • jordan

         /  May 28, 2012

        someone needs to break into that shed to help that dog!

    • This is sad. Animal control should investigate. I always say “friendly dogs”, when I approach someone. I have a large dog, 65lb. Airedale, and a 16. Shih Poo. So far the Forest Rangers love them. But, this cop is way out of line, I am sure cops get training with dogs and dog behavior. I would no have been so nice!!!

      Reply
  3. mikken

     /  May 27, 2012

    Too many cops do not know what to do with a loose dog. They cannot read dog body language, they do not know how to handle a running dog.

    It’s interesting to me that we’ve lived with dogs for so long, yet they are much better at reading us than we are at reading them.

    Clearly, the leap to violence in this situation was unwarranted. The cop first kicked the dog in the head – yeah, good plan. The owner said that she was trying to round up the dog when the cop shot him – was she very close to the dog at the time? Mightn’t the cop have accidentally shot her in the process?

    Would I sue them? Hell yeah, I would sue like my name was Sue Suesue of Sueville. That’s the only way that many police departments realize that there’s a need for cop/dog interaction training.

    Reply
  4. Jennifer

     /  May 27, 2012

    Is it too difficult for the police officer to tell the owner to come get the dog and restrain it? Do police officers get any training on how to deal with dogs? There have been too many of these incidents this year!

    Reply
  5. Jack

     /  May 27, 2012

    As someone in law enforcement I would say if the facts stated here are true, then this deputy has NO business carrying a gun. Ask the owner to restrain the dog….THERE ARE OPTIONS other than killilng. Sounds like she was having PMS and reacted without properly evaluating the situation. God help us all if she came across a thug with a weapon. Chief – you need to remove this one from the streets and give her desk duty.

    Reply
    • Karen F

       /  May 28, 2012

      Now we know why so many male law enforcement officers are killing pets. These men have PMS. Mystery solved!

      Reply
    • KateH

       /  May 28, 2012

      Jack, sounds like you’re a mysogynistic jerk.

      Reply
    • Sharon

       /  May 28, 2012

      I agree with you totally she has no business carrying a gun! I think she should be fired. Who just kills a dog I mean really she sounds unstable to me. Thank you for your comment you made me feel much better and I appreciate that.

      Reply
    • Yep, that old PMS will make you a dog killer everytime!! Seems to me like I have seen plenty of dog killings by many, many more male cops than female. What’s your excuse for the men?

      Reply
  6. Carla

     /  May 27, 2012

    I am so sickened by all these reports of dogs being shot by LEOs! I understand that there may be times when it is warranted, but not the ones that I have heard about. A Police officer in my city shot and killed a blind, toothless elderly beagle that was tethered in a persons backyard! They were looking for a man they had a warrant for, turns out they were at the wrong house. The owners of the Beagle did sue and I’m not sure what they got, it was settled out of court. I won’t even let my dogs out to pee in our privacy fenced backyard if I know there are police in the neighborhood!

    Reply
  7. This is happening way too many times and I for one am so sick of this.

    Reply
  8. I did a post on this not to long ago after another cop shooting dog story. What gets me is practically every family dog out there is trained to run and great the newcomer on the property.

    Seriously. Think about it, your dog comes running towards (inside the house or outside the house) you when you get home what do you do? You pet him, and tell him he’s a good boy and how happy you are to see him. Bet lots of your friends and family do the same thing. Presto, you’ve just trained your dog in “aggressive behavior” thats going to get him shot by the cop who accidentally walked on your property cause they have the wrong address.

    Barking and running towards the new person on the property is not nessecarly aggressive behavior. And I’m sick and tired of cops claiming it is and using it as justification to shoot dogs. And frankly, if you’re so scared of dogs that you’re scared for your life at the sight of a pek/doxie cross then you ought to hand in your badge and move to a remote island.

    Reply
    • WOW.. I never thought about it that way, but that’s exactly what my dogs do. I pray there’s never a reason for any cop to come to my property. My Celie looks aggressive when “friends” come to visit, but my “friends” all know her and know that’s the way she greets you. My God.. that would get her shot! I have an under ground fence for the dogs, but most people don’t know that.. my dogs can’t get out of my yard.. but a cop on a mission wouldn’t be noticing the collar.. Yikes. this is scary. I had a sign made up and posted it at my driveway.. this is what it says.. “If you don’t love dogs.. stay out of my yard” guess that won’t save their lives.

      Reply
      • Kinda scary isn’t it. Nobody thinks twice about it. At most, the dog is trained to sit instead of jump on greeting. But almost everyone is thrilled when their dog comes trotting to them when they get home.

        You may not have MENT to, but thats what you just did.

      • Its something I keep in the back of my head. I have two dogs, the larger/slightly older dog will be over 130lbs (we’re starting to think he’s going to go over 140) when he’s full grown, and he’s already got a hellhound bark especially when he’s alerting to someone pulling into the driveway….. He’s friendly as heck, but a stranger wouldn’t know that. I can pretty much promise, that if the cops ever had reason to walk into my house unannounced, my enthusiastic goofball would make them very uncomfortable, and that is, apparently, all it would take.

      • I believe it’s time for me to get another sign made. One that says,
        No Trespassing
        No Guns or Weapons
        This is my Dogs Yard
        If you need to speak to me
        CALL ME (number)
        If I don’t answer..
        I’m not at home
        come back later

        anyone think that will help protect my dogs?

      • Can’t hurt but I honestly don’t think it would help unfortunately.

      • Therese

         /  May 28, 2012

        Sorry Dot, won’t help. If the police or other emergency personnel have reason to be on your property, they will not read the sign, and they will not disarm themselves just to talk to you and they are not trespassing. If they have a valid reason to be there, they will not call you, and on reaching no one, leave and come back later. I can think of hundreds of scenarios where you would not went them to go away and come back later.

        To the best of any dog owner’s ability it’s important that dogs not be allowed to charge at anyone, even if you believe the dog means no harm. The threat is in the eye of the beholder. If Gizmo had been taught not to exit the house without permission, or been placed on a leash, of left in the house, he would probably still be alive.

        While I believe that the shooting of Gizmo was probably inappropriate based on his size – I wasn’t there and all we have is the owner’s story here – when are folks going to learn that you do not let your dog just “follow you out” off leash. There needs to be education on BOTH sides to reduce the number of police officers shooting dogs.

      • I’ve had dogs slip past me on more than one occasion when trying to squeeze out the door to see what a stranger wanted. It happens. Mostly now, I just don’t answer the door.

      • Therese

         /  May 28, 2012

        If you have a peep hole or window and can see that someone your dog doesn’t know is at or approaching your front door, why wouldn’t you leash up before opening the door? or train your dog not to bolt or slip out? My dog doesn’t get to “see what a stranger wants” when I’m home, that isn’t her job owing to her limited verbal skills. That she has barked at their approach/knock is enough.

        We are currently doing some remodeling. Our dog is leashed from the first knock on the door in the morning AND kept behind a gate AND attached to a long tether AND boundary trained. She will not be “slipping out” to charge or harass anyone inside or out. And for the worker’s part, they do not have to watch that she doesn’t get out (it isn’t their job). She is not released until all the exit points have been secured. Yes, she’s trained, but why take chances you don’t have to take. She is not allowed to “slip out” and visit with delivery people, solicitors, or emergency personnel doing their job.

        As someone who knows a lot of dedicated police officers and emergency personnel, I’ve also seen some horrendous totally unnecessary bites (where the dog did not end up getting shot, even thought the person would have been justified). I was bitten, while working, by a 17-pound terrier mix, received over a dozen stitches in my hand and was off work for over a month. (The owner claimed the dog had never bitten anyone before. Based on the dog’s body language that was patently a lie.) I’ve also personally seen a fair amount of totally irresponsible owner behavior, where dogs “slip out” are “let out” or “get out”. There are enough situations where the shooting is a tragic circumstance. But based on this owner’s account, training has to go both ways. Emergency personnel AND dog owners.

      • I’m glad to hear your dog is “not allowed” to ever get out your door unexpectedly. To say that the rest of us who this has happened to are irresponsible pet owners is unfair.

      • Pretty much. I think most of the readers here are reasonably good dog owners. You probly trained your dog to sit by the door instead of jumping up at the person entering the house and what not. But you know what? Accidents happen. And thats all it takes.

  9. This seems to be happening all too often. It is horrors like this that make the public believe law enforcement is out of control.

    Reply
  10. craftafarian

     /  May 27, 2012

    Also its a small dog. Peki-dach mix…very small. If I knew police officers in my area were afraid of small dogs I would not be comfortable with them in charge of my safety. It makes more sense for them to fear imminent danger from a larger dog, but a dachund mix..c’mon!

    Reply
  11. ALL COPS ARE GETTING TRIGGER HAPPY & I FEEL THIS WAS COP SHOULD LOSE HIS BADGE. FORGET INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, THEY WILL SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG TO PROTECT THEIR OWN, CARE LITTLE FOR THE PUBLIC OR THEIR PETS… TIME TO GO OVER THE HEADS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES & SEEK STATE TO FOLLOW THIS THROUGH FOR MS. ANDERSON, NOT LOCAL YAHOOS…

    COPS THINK THEY ARE GODS & WE ARE GARBAGE AND SO ARE OUR PETS TO THEM. ANY COP, WITH NO REASON TO TAKE A ACTION (A DOG RUNNING BARKING, ESPECIALLY A SMALL DOG, IS NOT A REASON FOR SUCH A VIOLENT ACTION AND DRAWING A WEAPON IS UNLAWFUL SINCE A WEAPON SHOULD NEVER BE DRAWN FOR MINOR REASON, WHICH ARE EVERYTHING BUT A HOSTAGE SITUATION WHERE ANOTHER HUMAN IS A THREAT TO A 2ND HUMAN)) AS THERE WAS NO INDICATION OF THREAT, DRAWING THEIR WEAPON ON A PRIVATE RESIDENCE IS A THREAT TO ALL IN THAT HABITAT, THIS SHOULD WARRANT IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL OF THE COP, NOT SUSPENSION, & MAKE IT UNLAWFUL FOR THAT OR ANY COP OR FORMER COP WHO ACTED IN SUCH A MANNER TO NEVER BE ALLOWED TO OWN OR DISCHARGE ANY WEAPON AGAIN!!!!!

    Reply
  12. Larry

     /  May 28, 2012

    o many cops just do not know what to do, PERIOD!! They have a few weeks of training, then with a “Senior” officer, then are on their own or maybe with a partner. If this “officer” felt threatened by this small dog, then how are they going to respond to any other kind of “perceived” threat? I myself would be afraid to leave any of my animals outside and would even think about letting my children outside when the police are anywhere within a 50 mile radius!

    This “officer” not only needs retraining, but every free day they have taking care of animals in the local shelter and a hefty fine given to the owner along with a PUBLIC apology!

    Reply
  13. Fionnuala

     /  May 28, 2012

    This shouldnt be allowed … They can’t just do anything they want cos they have a badge.

    Reply
  14. I don’t want anyone with a gun near my dogs! How do the post and package delivery people manage not to shoot any dogs in their line of work? Maybe they could give a few tips to the cops?

    Years ago we had a postman that all the neighborhood dogs liked. He trained them to like him. He would carry a bag of dog treats and as soon as a dog stopped barking at him for a moment he would toss him or her a treat. It wasn’t long that he could deliver the mail with most dogs only giving a couple of greeting barks and many would just sit and wag their tails waiting for their treat.

    Reply
  15. Barbara

     /  May 28, 2012

    Please use this website to report any and all police misconduct including killing our beloved pets and their covering for other individuals who do.

    http://​www.policemisconduct.net/

    Reply
    • Karen F

       /  May 28, 2012

      As an FYI, the Cato Institute, which runs the police misconduct reporting project, is a libertarian think tank founded in 1974 in part by money from one of the Koch brothers, best known currently for their funding of GOP political advertising. Cato’s political affiliations have generated much discussion, but its scholars have partnered with spokespeople from the left on some issues.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cato_Institute

      They took over the three-year-old police misconduct project from an independent researcher (much as the ASPCA took over its poison control operation from a university) earlier this year.

      http://www.mintpress.net/libertarian-think-tank-launches-online-police-misconduct-tracker/

      PoliceMisconduct.net tweets daily about police misconduct, and will issue both quarterly and yearly reports on the subject, supported by databases that they now maintain. Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, it seems clear that needless police shootings of pets are form of police misconduct and should be included with the other reports in this project. If there’s another national database on the subject that’s available to regular people, I’m not aware of it.

      Reply
  16. Meaghan Edwards

     /  May 28, 2012

    Cops should absolutely be forced to learn how to handle animals apropriately, be taught about body language. I don’t think it’s much to ask.

    Reply
  17. Clarice

     /  May 30, 2012

    Investigation of fatal shooting of dog by sheriff’s deputy leads to changes, but no demotion, no suspension, no demotion.

    http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2012/05/30/1181259?sac=fo.local

    Reply
  18. Gina

     /  April 5, 2013

    It has to be a special kind of idiocy and cowardice that would make someone intimidated by a Dachsund/Pekingese mix.

    Reply

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