Dog lovers — you are about to be Vaguely Surprised and saddened. We hate to be the ones to break this information to you. A new ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals has resulted in a new law that is going to make your jaw drop.
This new law will put every single dog in jeopardy who comes in contact with a police officer. Of course, many police officers would never think of harming a dog; but this new law makes it much easier to do so.
The ruling came about from an incident in Battle Creek, Michigan. Two Pit Bulls were shot while police officers were searching the home of Mike and Cheryl Brown for drugs back in 2013.
After the dust settled from the incident, the couple sued the police department; they said that the killing of their dogs was the equivalent to “unlawful seizure of property.” This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
According to the report, when Officer Christopher Klein went onto the Brown’s property, a large Pit bull lunged at him, barking aggressively. The officer feared he was going to be attacked and shot the dog.
The officer, however, also admits that the lunge was only a couple inches before he decided to pull the trigger. Of course, there was another Pit Bull on the premises. The wounded, brown Pit Bull began crawling down the stairs, where the officers followed.
When Officer Klein went down toward the basement, he was approached by another white Pit Bull. According to the cop, he “did not feel [they] could safely clear the basement with those dogs down there.”
The brown Pit Bull continued to bark and Officer Klein shot the dog twice more. The white dog, although it was just standing there, was killed when the officer shot two times in the direction of this second dog.
After the third shot of the brown dog, it ran and hid behind a furnace. At this point, the officer noticed blood and wanted to put the dog out of its pain; he shot a fourth and fatal round.
As the case was being investigated, a judge ruled that the police officer was correct in the killing of the dogs. He says that the Brown’s rights had not been violated.
The judge said, “a police officer’s use of deadly force against a dog while executing a search warrant to search a home for illegal drug activity is reasonably under the Fourth Amendment when… the dog poses an imminent threat to the officer’s safety.”
After this incident, the public called for a clear law indicating when it was and wasn’t okay for a police officer to shoot and kill a dog. Due to this case, the law sided with the police, and not with the dog owners.
It officially passed, under Federal law, that a police officer can shoot a dog if it barks or moves when an officer enters a house. Sadly — it’s a law that is extremely dangerous for any and all dog owners
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