About 250,000 dogs are shot by police each year, almost always needlessly. Such was the case of Lily, a Border Collie and beloved family pet to Mark and Cindy Boling of Fort Worth, Texas.
Last May, a Fort Worth police officer was investigating a suspected copper theft, at the wrong address. Tragically, when the Boling’s furbaby, Lily, a sweet, gentle Border Collie, barked and headed for the officer, protecting her family’s home from an intruder, she was shot and killed.
KHOU News reported, after the tragic mistake that cost their dog her life, the Bolings decided rather than to sue the police department for the error, to demand that officers be trained to handle dogs without lethal force.
The 8-hour course teaches officers to speak calmly to dogs, to not show fear, and, when necessary, to use something other than their firearm to stop a dog from biting. Better trained officers will increase the safety of both the officers and the dogs in their cities.
It’s a shame that it took such tragedy for change to take place. Now, we just need every single police district and police academy to follow suit and provide the same training course to their officers and officers-in-training.