Canine Rights

Tragic Border Collie Shooting by Officer Prompts Police Training Course

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.

Learn more about the training course, plus meet the Bolings, in the video below:

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mara

    Apr 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    This is atrocious! We own a border collie and he is the most lovable creature I have ever seen (despite thinking he is a “lap dog”)

  2. Russ Greenberg

    Dec 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    My dog was killed- Dog shootings as writer Brandy Arnold correctly states are done needlessly and wrongfully. there are good and bad cops, some look for any reason to harm, mame, kill, torture and fire there weapons where they think they can get away with, studies and facts have proven that and many take the job for that rreason, thats not the reason we as the public seek to protect and serve us “Animals and beloved Pets” included. like myself most dog lovers consider pets our family members. by law they are not human life and considered chattels, worth is purchase price, replacement value like a table. Love has no price. My pitbull family member, great with kids and other pets at dog parks was ruthlessly shot in my yard several years ago. I wish i had video like last week in CO where the city Atty office was forced to arrest an officer and press charges when the community saw a neighbors video when he shot a pitbull 5 times who was scared trying to run away, Never was his life endangered never mind harm him. Most people are scared to sue police and fear retaliation. Well i filed a lawsuit for my son (dog) as i had witness statements and neighbor testimonies my dog did not attack an officer and attempted to run away after being shot at as they missed him endangering human life as kids were getting off schoolbus and walking home from school and bullets were flying all over, then hunted him down with a shotgun in my yard. They said shotgun was safer, Seriously? Now 12 slugs per shot are flying through the air, ricocheting off the ground. Who is the harm or threat here now? They were never harmed or threatened and had no right to use DEADLY force. My dog was laying down in front of my garage when they arrived. Never mind use any force even with alternatives available to use, club, mace, taser, catch pole, etc,, No training ever only hearsay between each other how to deal with situations. That year there were 25 dog shootings, still no policy in place or proper training ever to handle animals and we have animal control officers too who were never called for a loose dog. They were cleared and dept whitewashed it. They are now caught completely lieing on reports and depositions, fraud of court and we filed charges. Jan 15 is trial date in Palm Beach County court in FL. I would love to have support from animal activist groups and dog lovers. This has to stop! It happened again 2 months ago by same dept. The pain i suffered i cant describe, especially now reviewing, reports, photos, his blood and scratches on my door trying to get back to me in our home, hashing it all over again before trial begins. Please love, support, protect our pets. [email protected]

  3. Charles

    Nov 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    This isn’t right that police can commit what for anyone else would be a crime and get away from it, retain their career or, if “fired,” surreptitious phone call goes out from his chief to other chiefs in 50 mile radius, and he’s immediately hired on elsewhere in a few days. Legislators regard police as state/city government enforcers and are reluctant to delete power from them. I don’t know what the penalty is for a non-policeman gunning down what clearly was a non aggressive pet, but it seems as if it would be a felony. Frank Brown III I regard as a truly vicious felon. He should be fired and do time in state penitentiary and notify all other prisoners what occupation he came from and what he did. Additionally, they should all be given keys to his cell. May I also say, legislatively, there’s a link between cruel policemen needlessly shooting dogs, and money grubbing veterinarians killing pets in high risk surgeries just to get at people’s money, then they hide back of their State Board to whitewash their actions. We cannot afford policemen whose motive for being there is to express cruelty.

  4. Richard Jenkins

    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:06 am

    the lies of 9/11 have turned the country upside down and now the police have been militarized.

    to walk down any street you can fear for your life.

  5. rita lamey

    Oct 27, 2012 at 6:04 am

    What is wrong with people? Police face drug dealers, murderers, rapists the lot on a daily basis and yet here, they’re scared of a Border Collie?? I imagine the only danger they were in from dear Lily was being licked to death! I am so very sorry for the Family and am totally disgusted and reviled by the Police Officer in question. At least Lily, you may prevent so many other dogs being shot by a ‘shoot first think about it after’ Police culture. RIP Lily.x

  6. McGruff

    Oct 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Ft Worth cops are real douchebags !

    • oly graham

      Dec 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      This is just awful. I am certain the officer reacted from fear, which is unfortunate, and I sincerely hope these trainings will connect police employees to the fact that dogs are primarily viewed as family members – shooting one is tragic. Needlessly shooting one is unacceptable. To react with a lethal weapon is pretty reactive unless being in fear of one’s life or another’s. None of us were THERE – so we cannot know how quickly the dog approached, how threatening it looked or appeared, etc…

      We have two border collie adoptees and one has a blue eye – that just…stares at you. Couple that with a growl and bared teeth – yeah – I could see being reactive. Mine only does that when you take his ball, but then he attacks you with licks and wrestling. I don’t shoot him for it….

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