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.