Danville ACO and Police Officer Strangle Dog to Death

Chokepoles are one of the most misused tools in our broken animal shelter system, thus my chosen moniker for the things.  While they have the potential to be used safely in rare instances when a regular leash won’t work, too many ACOs seem to use them instead of leashes and sometimes, as torture devices.  Because of the widespread misuse of chokepoles, I am generally opposed to their use, especially by anyone not trained in how and when to use them humanely and safely.

Broody, as pictured on the WSET website.

Broody, as pictured on the WSET website.

On May 5, 2014, the Danville police department in VA says it responded to a report of a loose dog who had nipped at a person’s pants leg.  The officer cornered the border collie mix and called AC for assistance.  When the ACO arrived, she used a chokepole on the dog, who had been barking.  It sounds like the cornered dog became frightened at having a metal noose tightened around his neck and began biting at the chokepole.

Rather than defusing the situation at hand – dog freaking out on a chokepole – the police officer then put a second chokepole on the dog.  The pair chokepoled “the struggling dog up the ramp and into the cage on the truck” where he collapsed and died while still ensnared in both nooses.  A veterinarian performed a necropsy and determined the dog “died of strangulation due to the combination of the pressure of the catchpoles and the confined space of the cage that restricted the air flow in the dog’s trachea and the blood flow to the dog’s brain.”

The dog was named Broody.  He was 7 years old, in good health and loved by owners Beth and Edward Warren.  The owners are heartbroken:

“I just didn’t know why he had to go like that,” said Edward Warren.

The Danville police department stands by its use of chokepoles and intends to continue using them.  Because tasers might kill loose dogs.  And those are the only two tools in the toolkit.

Danville Police apologize but say they did everything that they’re trained to do.

See, that’s your problem right there.

And I hate to have to resort to the A word but where is the accountability?  Public servants paid by taxpayers strangled a family’s pet to death.  Because he was loose and barking.  Any charges forthcoming?  Suspensions?  Reprimands?  Sort of stern glances?

The Danville Area Humane Society is going to give the police department some tips on basic chokepole use.  Yay for a day late and a dollar short.  How about training them how to catch scared dogs without use of a chokepole (or taser)?  Because that is an actual thing, too.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

 

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57 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  May 9, 2014

    God almighty. If an ACO is incapable of safely maneuvering a BC mix on a rabies pole, then that ACO is not competent. If an ACO is incapable of knowing what else to do, anything else other than reach for the pole first thing for a dog who has been (idiotically) cornered, then that ACO is not competent. To reach for a *second* pole…and make the situation worse…shit.

    That poor dog died in terror and pain. But I guess it’s all okay because this is what these people were trained to do.

    Reply
  2. Katherine Goard

     /  May 9, 2014

    If this is Danville, VA, I know these idiots!! They will shoot your dog in given the chance!! I HATE THEM ALL AND THEY ALL NEED TO BE FIRED!! May they all burn in HELL for what they do!

    Reply
  3. The animal control here is required to move all dogs on catch poles. All of them. It’s embarrassing (and maddening) seeing them often dragging a small harmless dog on a pole that could just as easily have a leash put on it. Catch poles are definitely a valuable tool. But there is a time and place for them. And an appropriate way to use them. But their abuse is far too commonplace.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  May 9, 2014

      “Dragging”. Why do all of these ACO think that a catch pole is to be used to DRAG a dog?

      Correct use puts the dog IN FRONT of the handler, not behind.

      It’s more than embarrassing and maddening, Brent, it’s wrong and needs to stop. Is there no one in your area who can at least train your ACO’s to use them correctly?

      Reply
  4. Willie

     /  May 9, 2014

    Unforgivable!!!!!

    Reply
  5. Willie

     /  May 9, 2014

    Blessings Broody!!!!! In the arms of the angels now <3

    Reply
  6. vida

     /  May 9, 2014

    I find it strange that someone like Randy Grim or other people who rescue can lure scared and sometimes injured dogs with bits of hot dog. Perhaps this could be part of the standard kit that police and aco staff bring along? I’ve corralled strays with tofu pups even, it can work.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  May 9, 2014

      You’re talking about competent, compassionate people.

      Most ACOs are, generally speaking, neither.

      Reply
    • Do not feed soy to dogs. Especially tofu. I learned the hard way. And I can’t believe it is in pet foods.

      Reply
  7. Kathryn Hargreaves

     /  May 9, 2014

    Maybe some training in noticing that an animal is being strangled would also be in order.

    Reply
  8. Arlene

     /  May 9, 2014

    The hot dogs and even cheese burgers would definitely work. However, the idiots that use choke poles would first have to make up their minds that it will take some time. Apparently they are too stupid to wait to use a few minutes to do that. Thjey would also have to use their soft voices instead of screaming at the poor dogs who are so scared in the first place.

    Reply
  9. Lisa

     /  May 9, 2014

    Has a petition been started to fire these people? If there’s enough public pressure, we can also demand training. This is outrageous! Broody CANNOT die in vain!

    Reply
  10. KateH

     /  May 10, 2014

    Every aco in the country should be forced to sit through two dozen videos of the people from Villalobos, and Stray Rescue of St. Louis catching strays on regular leashes and then they should be required to do three catches on their own before their allowed in the field. But hey, it’s not like this is a job that requires any skills, smarts, or sense, so it doesn’t require any training, either, right?

    Reply
  11. KateH

     /  May 10, 2014

    Oh my dog, that should be “before they’re allowed in the field.” I know how to use and spell homonyms!

    Reply
  12. Lori

     /  May 10, 2014

    It sounds like this city has a bunch of scaredy cats working for them in animal control…or just plum lazy. Take the time to try and coax the dog before chocking the dog to death. Sickening and there’s no excuse for 1 much less 2 choke poles on a defenseless dog. Keep the pressure on this city to reprehend these guys.

    Reply
  13. The people in that town need to start going to that town meeting and start speaking up for those animals and keep at it until true change happens.

    Reply
  14. Kittypurr

     /  May 12, 2014

    Guess if you are alive and just show up for work that’s all you need to work in Danville- dumb and dumber from the elected officials down to their employees.
    I would think taxpayers would be at least embarrassed (if not outraged) to have such ignorant people representing them. Maybe I’m wrong and Danville loves their idiots.

    Reply
  15. Pitbull lover

     /  May 13, 2014

    Man, you people are stupid……..a choke pole is used to help contain a dog if the dog is getting uncontrollable. how else are you suppost to control it without getting bit? Use a dog leash??? I agree 2 poles on a collie mix is unnessary and you should NEVER use the poles to lift a dog in a vehicle I was a aco and aci for over 20 yrs. in NJ and it was very RARE that 2 poles were used on a LARGE VICIOUS dog, not on a collie x …….I am not saying its ok what happened BUT accidents DO happen, and its a shame the dog lost its life in the end. But lets also look at the owners where were they when the dog bit? I don’t think the dog was even on a leash

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  May 13, 2014

      .a choke pole is used to help contain a dog if the dog is getting uncontrollable. ”

      And yet, it seems to be the VERY FIRST tool they reach for – why is that?

      Reply
  16. Kim

     /  May 13, 2014

    Its called a control pole not a “chokepole” so please get it right, and in the properly trained hands it is a very effective tool for animal control and police officers.

    For officer safety reasons this why officees use the pole most times, don’t forget people all animals can bite, even when you might not think so. Their are roughly over 83 million dogs in the United States, over 4.5 million people get bitten each year and on the average 33 people die from these bites so being cautious is very smart for his safety and also the publics.

    Now with that said first you never choke a dog out on a pole for any reason, second you never shoot a dog period when they are on a pole and third you never use a control pole unless you are properly trained to use it, and that goes for any equipment used in any line of work.

    Reply
    • KateH

       /  May 13, 2014

      Well, Kim, I think it’s pretty obvious that that the jerks who used two chokepoles (that’s how they were used, they weren’t used to control, therefore calling them chokepoles is perfectly legitimate), violated your very own ‘first rule’ and that they violated your third rule, and therefore they should NOT have been using the equipment.

      As for your statistics, they have so little to do with this particular case, it’s sad. Most bites happen to children, who don’t understand dog behavior and act inappropriately around them. If acos were properly trained then they would use control poles correctly, but so often they don’t, and it’s AFTER they act inappropriately around a dog that they have a greater risk of getting bitten. Thousands of rescuers catch stray dogs every year using nothing but patience, food, and plain leashes. Even when they get bit they don’t respond by choking dogs out (which can by done on a plain leash if someone tries – and is a sadist), so why can’t ‘professionals’ do any better?

      Reply
  17. KimG15_VA

     /  May 13, 2014

    FIrst of all, the author of this article seems like a very bitter person. Second, the person who wrote this article was not there and did not see what happened. 3rd, it is very common for a dog, even a healthy dog, to choke its own self on a catch pole….. if the dog is not used to having any type of a leash around its neck, a dog is going to flip out and do a barrel/gator roll and choke itself. instead of putting the blame on the ACO and police officer, why not blame the owners for allowing their dog to run loose and bite somebody.

    Reply
    • I am loving all this “bite somebody” bullshit. You guys are doing a good job making my point here. Keep going.

      Reply
    • Kathryn Hargreaves

       /  May 13, 2014

      If it’s that common for dogs to choke to death on catch poles, then perhaps officers should be using “animal graspers” instead (see the lower half of http://www.discountwildlifesupplies.com/store/AnimalHandling/CatchPolesAnimalGraspers/).

      Reply
    • mikken

       /  May 13, 2014

      “3rd, it is very common for a dog, even a healthy dog, to choke its own self on a catch pole”

      Hm, I’d like to see the stats on that one. Because from what I’ve seen, I’d say it’s WAY more common for an ACO to not know how to use a catch pole properly and any resulting injuries/deaths are from that ignorance rather than the nature of the dog.

      BTW, the dog in the story bit NO ONE. He nipped at someone’s pant leg (herding breed, duh). The officers involved escalated a no-harm situation into a deadly one. Something that is also, unfortunately, extremely common.

      Reply
  18. Pitbull lover

     /  May 13, 2014

    Sounds like there are some educated aco’s on here that really know what the pole is for …Good for you guys…Its ashame that the public doesn’t see it that way. ACO’s ROCK !!

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  May 13, 2014

      Some ACO’s do indeed “rock”. For some reason, they seem to be in the vast minority of the group…

      Reply
    • KateH

       /  May 13, 2014

      Actually, it sounds like there are some defensive acos on here, since they’re trying to make it seem as if what happened was perfectly normal and acceptable. Defending poor job performance that results in harm helps no one think better of those who committed the harm, and it could cause us to wonder what kind of things they think ARE perfectly acceptable.

      Reply
  19. Him

     /  May 13, 2014

    Mikken what do you do? How are you invloved in animal control?

    Reply
    • I’m not mikken but just so you know Fakey, we don’t play the “you can only criticize if you are willing to strangle pets to death yourself” game here.

      Reply
    • mikken

       /  May 13, 2014

      Well, “Him”, let’s just say that I haven’t strangled any dogs to death this whole month. And yet I’ve handled pits, pit mixes, and one very large Bulldog, all completely unknown to me. Kind of puts me ahead of Danville’s finest, doesn’t it?

      Reply
      • Him

         /  May 13, 2014

        Just that you were making strong general comments in regards to animal control personnel. I thought you were involved in a more professional or regulatory basis. Dogs being strangled should never happen and this is an unfortunate event that should be addressed by further training and yes some type of punishment is needed. But making negative about an entire profession based on this event or 20 others you have read about doesnt make sense. Maybe your just bitter and aggressive like yesbiscuit. If you want you can come with us when we go take out some aggression on a punching bag and some pillows. WoooSAH!

      • mikken

         /  May 13, 2014

        “Maybe your just bitter and aggressive like yes biscuit.”

        Well, gosh, maybe I am. And yet I don’t recall either one of us slamming the entire profession of ACO’s. In fact, YesBiscuit seems to target very specific people/instances. And me, well, I just have a problem with animal abuse/killing in the generalized sense…

        Tell you what – how about you watch some news stories about ACO’s and see what percentage of them use catch poles correctly and what percentage use them as chokepoles. Then you can get back to us on how competent the “professionals” are in use of the one tool.

      • Him

         /  May 13, 2014

        In two different comments you stated that most ACOs are uncompassionate and incompetant. There are thousands of animals being pickup by animal control everyday. If you base your views on a couple hundred articles that get published a year then you really need to consider your stats and sources. Im just glad its clarified that you get your views from the media. Thanks. Take care.

      • mikken

         /  May 13, 2014

        “Im just glad its clarified that you get your views from the media.”

        Not entirely, no. What I said was to look at the media and see what you see. Knowing that they are being filmed, knowing that they are being watched, you can regularly see ACO’s improperly using tools like catch poles. One has to wonder why that is?

        Also, I think you’re reading quite a lot into my statements – one has to wonder why you feel so defensive? Being an ACO is a very tough job – but those who do it competently and with compassion are treated with appreciation and respect here (e.g. – Spartanburg Animal Services). Unfortunately, ACO’s of that quality seem to be rather rare. If you’re among them, then take a bow, sir and we’ll applaud you.

        But if you’re more like my county’s ACO’s, then you work hard, but you’ve also done things you’re not proud of, things that eat away at your soul. Things that you say were “necessary” and “you had no choice” and “for the good of the community”, but in the late hours of the night, you can only think of as regretfully shameful. It eats away at a man “on the job” – especially if he doesn’t take steps to change. I’ve seen the damage done to people – animal cruelty hurts more than animals. That’s why kill shelters hurt *people*. Same principle.

  20. Him

     /  May 13, 2014

    Yesbiscuit, not sure why om bring called fakey but ok. She seems like shes involved in animal control. I was just wondering if she was in the field or worked with them. Maybe a police officer, rescue group, trainer, or how it was she had so much experience with animal control. She said they’re some great ACOS so I figured she worked with them on different occassions not just based on this article. I dont get where the aggression came from yesbiscuit. And why fakey? This is my first comment on here.

    Reply
    • Dear uh Him,
      Maybe you haven’t been keeping up with the most recent comments but I’m a very bitter person. Aggression is just a byproduct.

      Reply
      • Him

         /  May 13, 2014

        Yesbiscuit, I know HIM is pretty broad but I couldn’t think of anything clever. I was listening to both sides of the arguements and just wanted to know peoples background. Just to help better weight peoples arguments. On another note sorry to hear about you being bitter. Theres nothing wrong with aggression. You just have to make sure you take it out on people that deserve it and…. punching bags. : )

    • mikken

       /  May 13, 2014

      And that’s the point. If someone with absolutely no training, but equipped with compassion, some understanding of dog behavior, and a slip lead had been handling this situation, that dog would still be alive and well. The “trained professionals” created a dangerous and ultimately fatal situation by cornering, terrifying, and strangling the dog.

      To defend their actions is abhorrent.

      Reply
  21. Deanna

     /  May 13, 2014

    So the dog nipped the persons pant leg… Hahaha.. They are not crying!! .. ACO AND Police officer murdered this dog, I don’t believe they are not trains to do with choke poles.

    Reply
  22. Common sense and paying attention to what is happening would have saved this dog’s life.

    Reply
  23. CJ

     /  May 13, 2014

    I agree, this is a sad situation. What none of you seem to be willing to consider is, how many hundreds of thousands of dogs are safely controlled by a catch-pole every single year? And how many are strangled to death? I really wish that people who are so “outraged” would get up and DO something. volunteer for rescue and lure dogs with hot dogs. foster a dog. transport feral cats. walk dogs at the humane society. if you dont like how animal control does things than by all means, apply for the position and show us all how its done.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  May 14, 2014

      “I really wish that people who are so “outraged” would get up and DO something.”

      And I really wish that the decent, caring ACOs out there would stop defending and protecting the bad apples. Because staying silent is enabling abuse.

      Reply
  24. Yvonne Thies

     /  May 13, 2014

    If not in this world, then in the next, they will answer for this wanton act of violence and murder.l

    Reply
  25. I just want to add my two cents because I am a veterinarian and and ACO/ACI. I have been a veterinarian for over 15 years…What made me become an ACO/ACI was the fact that I was almost killed 7 years ago today when I contracted bacterial meningitis when the owner of a dog thought that he knew more than I and my staff on how to control his dog. His dog ripped the skin off the bone of my left arm. I washed it out and tended to it myself because the local hospital did not think that dog bites are serious and thought that I was there to just get their drugs. Um, I have a drug license…If I wanted drugs, I can write my own prescriptions. So, no, a veterinarian is trained in zoonotic/infectious diseases (diseases that are transmitted between animals and people) and knows that any bite can potentially lead to death of a person. This is why a snare pole is used to capture a dog since a scared dog can and will turn on you in a split second.

    The doctors told my parents that I was going to be dead by morning. I lived but woke up legally blind. I remained blind for 4 days. The only reason I lived was because I was able to convince the infectious disease specialist that came at 2 am to my hospital bed that there was a slight chance that this was related to the dog bite. The spinal tap results were going to be available in 4 days but I would be dead by then if they gave me the wrong treatment. So they treated me with the standard meningitis treatment and the dog bite treatment, just in case. Four days later, the results came back as Pasteurella multocida. This can only be contracted by drinking unpasteurized milk (I don’t drink milk) or from animal bites. I was bit 4 days before I showed signs of meningitis.

    During that first night, an image came to me. It was the image of the ACO that had driven me to the hospital and basically saved my life. I believed that this was a sign that if I lived, I was to go into animal control to help this ACO…It turned out that 4 years after I survived, I busted that ACO and he lost his job. So, there are some really bad ACOs out there but there are also some good ones. I was not there as to what happened to this dog so I am not sure if it was warranted to use two poles or not. I will not comment on that.

    I will give you an example of what happened to me when I did use just a leash to catch a Chow Chow that seemed friendly. I was dealing with a homeless woman who stated that the dog was hers but she seemed afraid of the dog. The other neighbors said that she did not own the dog and that she was just saying that because she thought that someone would have the dog killed if the Animal control officer took it. (That municipality had really bad ACOs; I was working there for the summer to get some experience since it was my rookie year as an officer, even though I had plenty of experience as a vet. using snare poles when necessary, and as a tech. for 8 years before that at a veterinary hospital.) I had gotten the dog to my truck and was about to lift her into the truck when the dog lunged at my leg. I managed to stretch myself out as much as possible to keep the dog away from my legs while I reached back with my other hand to grab my snare pole out of the truck. Two men heard the dog and tried to come and help me to which I had to yell at them to stay back because I am responsible for public safety when I am working as an officer. Luckily, one of the men recognized the dog and ran to get the owner of the dog. I did manage to snare the dog with my lesser dominant hand and got it on the dog to prevent the dog from getting me or any of the people watching the dog trying to attack me. When the owner came, I tried to release the dog from the pole…The dog’s hair got caught in the pole’s mechanism and began to choke the dog. I told the owner to grab the dog’s head while I released the pole and worked the hair out of the mechanism. The dog did not choke. You have to know when to let go when something is going wrong.

    The chow hair catching in the snare pole also happened in my office once…due to the possibility of a snare pole getting stuck and failing to release, I always keep bolt cutters near by when I have to use a snare pole. I told my current partner what happened in the past; we keep a bolt cutter in the truck because of this possibility also. You have little time to respond when an emergency occurs, but a properly trained person should know what to do if something goes wrong.

    I had another dog do a back flip on the pole and try to choke itself after I had to use the pole to literally fish the dog out of a pond. The dog would not approach me, I did not know why. It turned out that the dog did not like male police officers and did a back flip when I lead the dog out with the pole and the dog saw the police officer. I immediately removed the pole and threw a leash on the dog. The police officer knew I was a veterinarian so he backed off and got my equipment out of the truck while I worked on the dog. The dog did fine and did well on a leash after I left the scene with the dog. And that is the mistake that most rescuers do not understand…most dogs do not like people in uniform. It is one thing for a rescuer to go out and try to lure a dog out with treats, it is another thing for a police officer to try the same. On the other hand, there have been many a time where I have had to tell police officers to leave the scene because the dog could sense they were afraid and I was able to better control the dog with a simple leash when the police officer was away.

    And most towns have a policy that if a dog did bite someone, the dog needs to be snared. The reason for this is that if that dog chews out of the leash and gets away, the person that was bitten will have to receive multiple injections to prevent them from getting rabies. So, it is not that they (ACOs) always grab for the pole first; it is the circumstance that dictates whether or not you use a pole or not. Public safety always must come first; the police call ACOs to handle the situation in order to try and bring the animal in alive. It would be very easy for a police officer to draw their weapon and kill a dog they see as a threat….ACOs are supposed to try to save the animal as well as protect the public.

    The outcome of my bite resulted in the State taking a more serious approach to animal bites. Even minor scratches are now treated as if they are bites since many have heard of what occurred to me.

    Reply
  26. CountryGirl

     /  May 14, 2014

    It’s unfortunate that this happened. But sometimes these things are a result of Animal Control Officers doing their job. Maybe this dog owner will think twice before letting their aggressive dog run at large. If the Officer did anything wrong, they should be reprimanded as seen fit by their agency. It is not our place to judge when we were not in fact there.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  May 14, 2014

      “It is not our place to judge when we were not in fact there.”

      Actually, in a free society, it is our place and our obligation to stand up and speak out against cruelty and abuse. This dog was not “aggressive”. This dog bit no one. This dog was cornered, terrified, and strangled to death by people who should have known better.

      And your little bit of victim blaming there is callous and I’ll thank you to remember that next time you have to deal with someone who has suffered a heartrending loss.

      Reply
  27. Jessica Hamilton

     /  May 14, 2014

    I have plenty of experience using catchpoles and I am an ACO. Catchpoles are leashes, enabling officer to catch untrustworthy/aggressive dog safely. Based on the temperment (i.e. fearful), I will spend hours trying to catch a dog before ever getting my pole out. If you have not used one, this is how it works: you get the loop over the dogs head, you tighten the loop so that it is snug about the neck (like a collar) and there you go, the dog cannot come towards you and bite — you can safely move a dog (and it dosen’t have to get shot at by police). Some dogs lay down on a pole others will resist and it looks absolutely dramatic but I assure you, the ACO is not hurting the dog the dog is doing the behaviors itself. Some dogs will fight–scream, bite their lip/tounge (blood), circle, flip etc….The issue if when dogs flip on the pole the loop automatically gets a tiny bit tighter abound the neck. So, if you have a dog that is hyserical and have to be very alert and turn the pole to to unloosen that kink/twist. With long haired dogs you do not always know what direction to turn (and it happens realllyy fast) . It is a high stress situation for everyone – dog and ACO- I’ve been there,it sucks. What a horrible outcome for this particular case, however and ACO has to do his/her job with the tools there are given to the best of their knowledge. Lets not forget the dog –nipped or bit or viciously attacked a person (who knows the truth as the author calls catchpoles “chokepoles” so i am inlined to believe she minimized the attack to further her own argument.

    Reply
  28. Marie

     /  May 14, 2014

    I have plenty of experience using catchpoles and I am an ACO. Catchpoles are leashes, enabling officer to catch untrustworthy/aggressive dog safely. Based on the temperment (i.e. fearful), I will spend hours trying to catch a dog before ever getting my pole out. If you have not used one, this is how it works: you get the loop over the dogs head, you tighten the loop so that it is snug about the neck (like a collar) and there you go, the dog cannot come towards you and bite — you can safely move a dog (and it dosen’t have to get shot at by police). Some dogs lay down on a pole others will resist and it looks absolutely dramatic but I assure you, the ACO is not hurting the dog the dog is doing the behaviors itself. Some dogs will fight–scream, bite their lip/tounge (blood), circle, flip etc….The issue if when dogs flip on the pole the loop automatically gets a tiny bit tighter abound the neck. So, if you have a dog that is hyserical and have to be very alert and turn the pole to to unloosen that kink/twist. With long haired dogs you do not always know what direction to turn (and it happens realllyy fast) . It is a high stress situation for everyone – dog and ACO- I’ve been there,it sucks. What a horrible outcome for this particular case, however and ACO has to do his/her job with the tools there are given to the best of their knowledge.

    Lets not forget the dog –nipped or bit or viciously attacked a person (who knows the truth as the author calls catchpoles “chokepoles” so i am inlined to believe she minimized the attack to further her own argument.

    Reply
    • Gosh “Marie”, you sound an awful lot like “Jessica”. As for the rest of your comment, tuh. Banned for trolling.

      Reply
  29. Marie

     /  May 14, 2014

    I have plenty of experience using catchpoles and I am an ACO. Catchpoles are leashes, enabling officer to catch untrustworthy/aggressive dog safely. Based on the temperment (i.e. fearful), I will spend hours trying to catch a dog before ever getting my pole out. If you have not used one, this is how it works: you get the loop over the dogs head, you tighten the loop so that it is snug about the neck (like a collar) and there you go, the dog cannot come towards you and bite — you can safely move a dog (and it dosen’t have to get shot at by police). Some dogs lay down on a pole others will resist and it looks absolutely dramatic but I assure you, the ACO is not hurting the dog the dog is doing the behaviors itself. Some dogs will fight–scream, bite their lip/tounge (blood), circle, flip etc….The issue if when dogs flip on the pole the loop automatically gets a tiny bit tighter abound the neck. So, if you have a dog that is hyserical and have to be very alert and turn the pole to to unloosen that kink/twist. With long haired dogs you do not always know what direction to turn (and it happens realllyy fast) . It is a high stress situation for everyone – dog and ACO- I’ve been there,it sucks. What a horrible outcome for this particular case, however, an ACO has to do his/her job with the tools there are given to the best of their knowledge. Accidents happen and could happen to anyone trained or not.

    Lets not forget the dog –nipped or bit or viciously attacked a person (who knows the truth as the author calls catchpoles “chokepoles” so i am inlined to believe she minimized the attack to further her own argument.

    Reply
  30. Pitbull lover

     /  May 15, 2014

    I agree with you totally Marie I am also a ACO/ACI and have been using the pole for over 20 yrs. You have to keep the community and the dog safe at the same time. Poles are used for a purpose.! You can not always put a leash on a dog, and yes sometimes the situation can look scary when a dog is not cooperating on the pole. But professionals do know how and what to look for when a dog is on the pole. It is truly a shame that the public is NOT educated. But I do get a kick out of people, who knock ACO’s but when the dog is a problem in THIER area we are one of the first ones who are called out to remove the animal no matter what it takes, weather it be by a leash or a pole, just as long as the problem is resolved in THIER area.
    If people do not like the way that ACO’s handle a situation then let them learn the job. Aco work is NOT for everybody. There is a lot of training that goes with this profession. You just don’t jump in a truck and catch dogs. Remember they have 4 legs we only have 2 . and yes some dogs MUST be cornored to be able to be captured they are not all going to run up to you where you can just put a leash on them. Many of them can be scared and will bite !! So lets see the average “joe blow” do our job, than complain when the pole is being used.

    Reply
    • db

       /  May 15, 2014

      It appears this is one dog that certainly was kept safe. I applaud all of the really compassionate, skilled animal loving ACOs out there. For the rest of you, find another line of work where you don’t deal with living beings. This dog did not need to be killed, should not have been killed, period.

      Reply
    • KatieRose50

       /  May 15, 2014

      DITTO mikken! If you all are what you call “Professionals”, you would KNOW that the dog was in distress and use another means of capture of the animal that eventually DIED from your PROFESSIONAL use of that POLE! If you are truly professionals, you would KNOW that you did not do this the correct way. Now we have a poor pitiful DEAD DOG on our hands that is simply UNCALLED FOR! You so called professionals need to go back to school and learn how to USE this pole correctly and not use it to MURDER an animal with! Your EXCUSE is just that. An EXCUSE!! One that THIS lady does NOT BUY INTO! Your excuses have gotten tot the point of the sheriffs department are allowed to MURDER an animal in cold blood only to not even be held accountable for it. All of you need to wake up and admit that you don’t know how to use this piece of equipment correctly. It’s as simple as that. be honest. Get your heads out of your butts and be HONEST about it. Do you actually think we are that stupid?

      Reply
  31. mikken

     /  May 15, 2014

    “But professionals do know how and what to look for when a dog is on the pole.”

    If that were true, this dog would not be dead.

    Reply
  32. Mikken, since I am a veterinarian, I reread the article. The veterinarian said the dog died of strangulation. It does not say what caused the strangulation. By that, I mean if the dog was struggling with the catch pole on, the dog could have strangled itself simply by being on the pole. A year ago, I had a dog that bit a fraternity member in the face, took off running and jumped into a lake. I was called in as the ACO. I was able to get my pole on the dog and lead the dog out from under the bushes where it crawled out from the water. There was some water still separating me from the dog. If I was not able to get the dog out, the dog was more than likely going to be shot since they needed the dog for quarantine or testing for rabies. That is simply the law. We must quarantine a dog and/or test it for rabies if a human is bitten. I had to reach over the water to get the dog out and almost fell into the water. The dog did not resist when I led her out on the pole but for some reason, the dog did not like the police officer that was holding me from falling into the water. The dog resisted when I handed the pole to the police officer so that I could get out from my position near the water. The dog did a back flip while on the pole and passed out on me. I grabbed the pole back from the officer, quickly released the pole, threw a leash on the dog in case the dog regained consciousness and stayed with her while the police officer went back for my truck. (We left my truck behind while the police officer and I gave chase in the squad car.) By the time the police officer came back with my truck, the dog was conscious. I did put the pole back on the dog because she did not like the police officer and led her to my truck without resistance. I gave the pole back to the police officer only so that he could control her head while I lifted her into the truck. Once in the truck, I released the pole and we did fine. The reason I mention this story is simply because the dog in my case turned out to be a sweet dog who did not like the police simply because he was a man. This is also why she did not like the frat member. She only liked her male owner; no other men. She was better with strange women. It was my job to protect those around me. She was not attacking me but was attacking anyone who came near me to help me get her. It sometimes takes more than one person to do a job and public safety must come first. When I told the owner what happened, he was glad that I was able to get his dog back to him alive and that I was not afraid to take the pole off the dog to save her. Dogs will act differently when they are scared. It is in their nature to do so. Sometimes, an ACO can get the dog under control without using deadly force. Sometimes, it happens. The few times that a dog does die, it is usually not intentional. And if anything, it is the fault of the owner that the dog got out in the first place. Although not every owner intentionally lets their dog get loose, they are still responsible for the consequences of their dog’s actions.

    Reply
  33. sue tackett

     /  September 1, 2014

    my pit bull was strangled by commerce city co police 3 catch poles and 3 officers it took over 20 minutes to kill him they would not let me help.they are banned in that in that town and I was passing through they heard it was a pit bull and decided to murder him they have killed some many pit bulls there when the hell will It stop there was 10 cops in the parking lot th e night before if just one cop would have done his job they are getting paid to do and told me pit bulls were banned there I would have took Zeus and left COMMERCE CITY CO that night but no they waited until tradegy happened the next night they said he alledgely bit a child I was in the bathroom when this happened I had a guy I know watching him and when I came out they were putting those poles around his neck 3 grown men with all the strength murdered him they said he was being aggressive if you were being strangled and knew you were dying you would do anything to get out of it he just wanted to live they took a beautiful companion animal from me im dying of cancer but ill fight this until I die so Zeus gets justice……..rest in peace my beautiful baby boy Zeus the almighty tackett

    Reply

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