Save Runaway Pets From Horrific Executions

Target: Mike Moyle, Speaker of the House for Idaho

Goal: Don’t let runaway pets and stray animals be slaughtered with impunity.

When a social media post emerged detailing the deaths of two dogs on an interstate highway in Idaho, the outrage was immediate. The dogs had apparently caused a traffic jam but were otherwise reportedly posing no physical threat. Bystanders had attempted to get the dogs off the road, as had local police officers. Then the controversy began. An officer allegedly shot and killed both dogs. Their blood was strewn across the scene.

The officer defended his actions by claiming that while the dogs were not seemingly violent, they could cause a traffic accident. Therefore, the deadly action taken would be justified under Idaho law that disqualifies animal cruelty charges if the animal poses a risk of harm. Critics, however, contend that the force was excessive and unnecessary, as the animals were possibly on the verge of being apprehended and rescued safely. Independent investigations eventually exonerated the officer, but for animal welfare advocates the questions still persist.

The police department involved in the incident has vowed to offer more training and equipment for their officers in dealing with wandering animals. But other deficiencies in the Idaho legal code also present a problem. For one, the justifications of the animal posing a threat are vague. These dogs, as mentioned, were reportedly not aggressive…just frightened and attempting to run away. Moreover, the state’s animal cruelty law also seemingly makes exceptions for lethal action if the animal in question is outside of an owner’s property (the dogs had reportedly escaped from an enclosure). This part of the statute gives potential bad actors too much leeway and permission. For example, would stray animals be fair game?

Sign the petition below to urge state lawmakers to clarify and strengthen laws meant to protect vulnerable animals from preventable harm.


Dear Speaker Moyle,

In response to the deadly officer-involved shooting of two dogs in Heyburn that drew national attention, the police chief has committed to implementing better protocols in incidents involving animals. These protocols—including increased training and animal control tools—should be a statewide priority, as should an amendment to existing animal cruelty laws. This incident provoked such a strong reaction and two independent investigations because of a lack of clarity in Idaho cruelty statutes.

The defense for shooting the dogs (who were roaming an interstate) involved claims of the animals posing a threat to others (although they were apparently non-aggressive) and justification that the animals were off their home property. Both of these loopholes offer far too many passes for true and deliberate acts of cruelty to go unpunished. The language in both exemptions needs to be tightened (in the case of the harm exemption) or dropped altogether (seemingly offering animals protection only if they are pets and at their homes).

Animal protection is an issue that has no partisan divide. Please revisit animal control and animal cruelty in Idaho and propose reforms that can truly safeguard all innocent animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nadia Vasileva


  1. Those cops should have been shot dead

  2. This is bullshit that these damn f**king so call cops they are killing way to many animals hell these bastard kill there own and and get away doing but I agree a bullet in the back of there heads are between there eye so they could see the bullet coming at them

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