Dogs & Laws

Police Officer Kills 26-Pound Miniature Pinscher Mix in Backyard Shooting

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Six years ago, a little brown dog showed up at the Topeka, Kansas doorstep of Harriette and Jim Macnish. Unable to locate an owner for the Miniature Pinscher mix, the Macnish’s gave her the wonderful, loving home she deserved.

“She was the perfect dog,” Harriette told WIBW.

Josie, as they named her, quickly became a part of the Macnish family. Harriette describes her as the friendliest creature you’ve ever met.

That’s why the family is so confused, shaken, and devastated that their four-legged family member is dead, shot twice by a Topeka Police Officer in her own backyard.

In July, an officer arrived at the Macnish home, responding to a home alarm. Harriette and Josie were home at the time, unaware that the alarm had been triggered. Officer Michael Cruse walked around to the rear of the home looking for evidence of a break-in when Harriette’s daughter called to let her mother know the alarm had been activated and police were arriving at the home.

“I went and looked in the front yard and saw a police car. I came back around and he was bent down. Josie was running toward him. It was her yard and she didn’t know him. And he shot her twice and killed her.”

In his report, Officer Cruse described Josie as threatening, running toward him barking and growling in an aggressive manner. He shot the 26-pound dog twice with his police issued gun, ending what he described as an “imminent attack.”

Update: This isn’t the first time Officer Cruse has been responsible for the unnecessary death of an innocent being. In 2002, the officer (once again responding to a false alarm) ran his police cruiser through a stop sign, striking and killing a 61-year old man. Cruse was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to a year in jail. He served 30 days of his sentence. 8-months after he was released, and while still serving probation for his crimes, he was rehired by the Topeka Police Department.

Topeka police Deputy Chief Brian Desch told WIBW that officers went through two hours of dog encounter training in 2012. The Topeka Police Department has planned a refresher course this year.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar Of Tubby

    Tubby

    says:

    Dog owners or “parents” or whatever the in vogue term is in 2015/16 don’t take responsibility for their actions. With the increasing militarization of policing in America this will become more common.

    One cannot expect any officer to make a split second decision; their body language will be tense in such a situation and off leash dogs will attack.

  2. Avatar Of Hjjbjh

    hjjbjh

    says:

    Poor woman she lost her best friend this makes me angry that cop came in his backyard protecting his property and owner.An the jacka** cop go shoot him. What a A**hole

  3. Avatar Of Pepe

    Pepe

    says:

    HAHAHA. That’s just bulshit, too dramatic for a killed coward rat. I must answer to “Luis A. Bolanos” many of his questions about.
    1. Is the Alarm company aware that their client has a dog that has complete access to the alarmed property? If yes, please share that with law enforcement when you make the notification of a ringing alarm. If “No”…why not?

    NO. Is not relevant whether or not the customer/owner of a property have a dog, cat, rat, etc, cause the animal is him/her DUTY, so if the animal have inappropriate behavior, any liability arising to owner, included the animal’s death is owner’s liability.

    2. When law enforcement receives the call advising that an alarm has been triggered from the alarm company, do they as a routine question ask/confirm if there is a dog (s) at the property? If no….why not?

    NO, cause that question mean at least 1 minute lost and it’s enough to a thief or criminal to scape of a crime scene, so they just go after a possible criminal in the site, so that question is irrelevant.

    3. Does the homeowner make it clear to their alarm company that they have a dog when they sign the alarm coverage contract? Is there a discussion that the dog may be shot and killed if law enforcement responds? If “No”…why not?

    NO, cause the dog is just owner’s liabilty, thus if animal’s must be killed in those situations, there’s not gulty but the owner only.

    4. Does the homeowner post signs on the property in very obvious places advising anyone that steps on the property something to the effect “Beware of Dog.” If “No” why not?

    It’s seems that there’re not signs of dog warning.

    5. Does the department consider maybe not sending officers that are easlly terrified by 26 pound dogs to ringing alarms? If “No” why not?

    Officers receives anti criminal training (human) not “animal care” so, the only tool they have as a survival way is the gun, in fact when a officer is in service the gun is his/her mother, father, god, air, life to care, life, all, so they in order to achieve keep order they must be alert of everithing and taking that they could be killed by a criminal, so a dog is just an obstacle in the way to get a criminal.

    6. Do we need to start worrying about the safety of 18 lb. house cats?

    NO, cause cats haven’t the same misbehavior as pinscher rats have.

    7. Is this an appropriate question for officers to ask the homeowner or alarm company BEFORE they respond to future ringing alarms?

    NO, cause that question mean at least 1 minute lost and it’s enough to a thief or criminal to scape of a crime scene, so they just go after a possible criminal in the site, so that question is irrelevant.

    “Officer:
    Thank you Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner for telling us about the ringing alarm at your house, and especially thank you for telling us about the 26 lb. dog you have running loose in the backyard. Also thank you for telling us that the dog will only bark at us, and run up to us to take a closer look. Now Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, I must tell you that if your 26 lb dog comes within 10 feet of me, I may have to shoot and kill your dog. That’s just how we handle these situations. Do you still want us to respond to your ringing alarm?”
    That comments means at least 30 seconds, enough to thief to run away.

    There were so many opportunities here to share that important piece of information. It’s seems in this particular case, like in many others, it was never discussed. The only true victim here AGAIN in the dog. I would have the same questions and concerns if the dog was a 140 lbs. pitt bull. That fact that dog was the size of large house cat just highlights even more on how out of hand these dog shootings are becoming.

    The dog was only owner´s victim cause he or her let them to surround in a way that is alarm protection so it´s just an interference.

  4. How is this possible……
    ***26 lb. dog TERRIFIES officer. Officer shoots and kills BEAST.***
    ***Please be advised this is a very difficult video to watch.***
    An officer fears for his safety and life when he is confronted by a 26 pound Miniature Pincher so he puts two bullets into the beast.
    Honestly, my feeling when the officer in this video tells the homeowner that he had to shoot the 26 pound dog because he truly feared for his life……is that this officer is telling the truth. I believe him. I don’t agree with him, but I believe that the dog really scared him. I don’t believe the dog would have scared most adults and children, but I believe it scared this particular officer.
    Could this have been preventable?
    Yes.
    1. Is the Alarm company aware that their client has a dog that has complete access to the alarmed property? If yes, please share that with law enforcement when you make the notification of a ringing alarm. If “No”…why not?
    2. When law enforcement receives the call advising that an alarm has been triggered from the alarm company, do they as a routine question ask/confirm if there is a dog (s) at the property? If no….why not?
    3. Does the homeowner make it clear to their alarm company that they have a dog when they sign the alarm coverage contract? Is there a discussion that the dog may be shot and killed if law enforcement responds? If “No”…why not?
    4. Does the homeowner post signs on the property in very obvious places advising anyone that steps on the property something to the effect “Beware of Dog.” If “No” why not?
    5. Does the department consider maybe not sending officers that are easlly terrified by 26 pound dogs to ringing alarms? If “No” why not?
    6. Do we need to start worrying about the safety of 18 lb. house cats?
    7. Is this an appropriate question for officers to ask the homeowner or alarm company BEFORE they respond to future ringing alarms?
    Officer:
    Thank you Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner for telling us about the ringing alarm at your house, and especially thank you for telling us about the 26 lb. dog you have running loose in the backyard. Also thank you for telling us that the dog will only bark at us, and run up to us to take a closer look. Now Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, I must tell you that if your 26 lb dog comes within 10 feet of me, I may have to shoot and kill your dog. That’s just how we handle these situations. Do you still want us to respond to your ringing alarm?
    There were so many opportunities here to share that important piece of information. It’s seems in this particular case, like in many others, it was never discussed. The only true victim here AGAIN in the dog. I would have the same questions and concerns if the dog was a 140 lbs. pitt bull. That fact that dog was the size of large house cat just highlights even more on how out of hand these dog shootings are becoming.

  5. Avatar Of Rebecca S,

    Rebecca s,

    says:

    I think the “cop” just made his job redundant. Apparently, 26-pound min pins present so much of a threat to invaders, they can easily replace police officers in defending homeowners domiciles. They certainly work a lot cheaper. So when is the cop shop going to replace the human officers on their force and stop wasting taxpayer dollars?

  6. Avatar Of Pat F. Pat F. says:

    I would imagine that the officer weighed over 125 lbs. He couldn’t see his way to surviving an ‘attack’ by a dog who weighed less than one-sixth of his own weight?

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