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Google: “Shoot Dog”
What do you find in your neighborhood?

If you give up your dog, please don't be a coward and abandon him in the parking lot of a shelter. Give your dog the dignity of bringing him inside to the shelter staff so he gets food, water, a safe place to sleep, and hopefully, a chance at adoption. There are worse things than humane euthanasia.

Case in point: This past January, a dog was left outside Save-A-Pet, an animal shelter in Grayslake, Ill. While shelter manager Dana Deutsch attempted to coax him from a field to get him inside, she saw a man in a nearby house point a gun at the dog and shoot. The dog suffered before succumbing to his injuries later that day. Deutsch confronted the dog killer, Elvin Dooley, and contacted police. Her brave testimony lead to yesterday’s sentence: 20 months in jail for Dooley.  

While searching online for coverage of this incident, I came across many more stories about dogs being shot, from other unlucky strays to even family pets. Don't believe me? Go to your local daily's website, search the phrase "shoot dog," and tell me how many stories you find about people shooting either their own dogs or strays. In every story I read, a man pulled the trigger. Why do you think this is?


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Lisa Wogan | August 11 2010 |

I was reading this morning about a couple in Maryland, who are considering suing an off-duty police officer who shot their dog at a dog-run. Apparently, the officer felt the off-leash Husky was being aggressive toward his leashed German Shepherd. He "solved" the problem with his Glock. It will be interesting to see what comes of this case.

Submitted by Rachel Simpson | August 15 2010 |

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard about dogs being shot in this area (Northeast Ohio). The more recent ones that I recall was an incident in which an alarm went off at someone's home, causing the alarm company to dispatch police to investigate. Turned out that the family's dogs had managed to break their own door open and get outside (they were inside an electric fence). When the police showed up, one of the dogs, a big yellow lab, ran at him, barking, and the policeman shot and killed him. The family, of course, was devastated, saying that this dog was friendly and would never hurt anyone. There was another instance in which hunters were issued permits to hunt deer on park land, to help reduce the population. A dog that lived on property next to the park saw one of the hunters, barked at him at the property line and was shot and killed. The hunter said the dog was behaving in an aggressive manner. This was another lab, a trained hunting dog. Then, there is the story told to me about someone who owned a beagle that she loved dearly. She lived next to an Amish farm. The children on the farm loved to play with her beagle. One day, the beagle did not return home. The woman who owned the beagle asked her neighbors if they had seen the dog, and the man told her, yes, that he had "done her a favor" and shot the dog. After all, it was getting old.
The worst story by far is the one concerning a young fireman living in the Columbus ares. He and his girlfriend owned two dogs, which they adopted from a local shelter. One day, the fireman took the dogs in his basement, tied them to an overhead pipe and shot them both. His reason? He and his girlfriend were planning on taking a vacation and did not want to be bothered with boarding the dogs or trying to find someone to care for them while they were gone. Needless to say, this young man is no longer a firefighter, although he had the nerve to appeal to get his job back.

Submitted by Ann | August 17 2010 |

I am simply speechless after reading this article and the previous posts. All that I can think to say is "what is wrong with these people!" I mean really, what is wrong with them. They have to be sick in the head to exhibit such little regard for living creatures. It reminds me of an incident that happened a few years ago when my husband was subcontracting for a commercial kennel manufacturer. He was building a large boarding facility for a small animal veterinarian in a little town in New Mexico. The construction went on for over 8 weeks so my husband got to know the vet and his staff really well. About mid way through his time working at the hospital a severely injured hunting dog, I believe a pointer, was brought into the hospital by a stranger who found the dog wandering loose out in the desert. He had been shot with a shot gun so he had an enormous wound in his chest. Shotguns are very brutal guns and are designed to do a lot of damage. Since the owner was not know, and the vet was a compassionate man, the dog was immediately taken into surgery. The hole was so big that over the time my husband was working at the hospital the dog underwent numerous skin graphs and surgeries to rebuild the dogs chest. Amazingly, the dog was a loving and trusting animal and as a result, the vet ended up adopting the dog. It was later found out that the dog's owner had taken him out to the field to go hunting and because the dog was not following the owners commands, he grew angry and shot his dog. At the time, when my husband told me about the dog, I remember how horrified and completely shocked I was at how an owner could do such a terrible thing. And now I am reading that this is not an isolated incident. My story has a positive ending but the others, well, I am not a violent person but I want to hear that these people are prosecuted for animal abuse to the full extent of the law. These stories are so upsetting!

Submitted by Carolyn | August 24 2010 |

"Why do you think this is?"

A few ideas:

A quick solution to an inconvenience

A loss of temper

Little regard for life

Lack of responsibility to see that the dog is cared for (by taking to a shelter)

A sense of power over something less powerful than you

An heinous action against other humans who care about the dog
These stories are all shocking and tragic. Even though I've managed to come up with some possible explanations, I still can't understand how people can do these things, particularly when there are options for unwanted or inconvenient animals at shelters or veterinary offices or even placed with friends, even temporarily.

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