Target: Chief of Police John D. Doughty
Goal: Call for police officer-canine interaction training
Police officers from Hammond, Indiana need elementary education on the humane treatment of canines. Last June, a two-year-old pit bull was shot in the face near children at a barbecue. In May, an officer was caught on camera hitting a K-9 dog and hanging him in the air by his leash. We demand that the Hammond Police Department instate a program to educate its officers on how to humanely interact with dogs.
In June, Hammond police officer Timothy L. Kreischer was dispatched to look into a complaint regarding an untethered dog in violation of the city’s leash law. After arriving to the address and somehow missing the posted notices of a pit bull kept on the premises by an electric fence, failing to notice the nearby children playing in the yard, and choosing not to summon an adult about the issue, Officer Kreischer summarily attempted to execute Lily, the family pet. In complete disregard for the children’s safety, ages 11 months to 16 years old and playing only several feet behind the dog, the officer should at the very least be reprimanded for what could have been a much more devastating tragedy.
Lily survived the shooting but needed expensive surgery for her damaged sinus cavities. Lily’s owner, Norma Maldonado, is filing a lawsuit against the HPD with which we hope she will receive financial reimbursement for the officer’s mistake. The officer who abused the K-9 dog was put on administrative leave.
When a police officer shows no compassion for an animal, it is apparent what level of respect and restraint they might have for possible lawbreakers. This is not simply an animal rights case, but an alarming insight into the tolerance of police brutality by institutions and the lack of moral rectitude among those with badges and guns.
By signing the petition below, you will be urging the Hammond Police Department to establish a canine training program to help prevent future abuse against family pets and K-9s.
Dear Chief Doughty,
All too often a dog loved by families is transformed into a life-threatening beast and quickly put down by officers insulated from culpability by pitiless police departments. It is natural for a dog to growl, bark at and even approach an intruder yet, somehow, postmen, parcel deliverers, and solicitors have not found the need or been given the impunity to carry handguns to confront this problem.
It seems that officers today are quick to use their handguns as a first resort on all kinds of calls. This legalization of lethal force ex post facto in the vast majority of shootings paves the way for more unwarranted, unnoticed, and unpunished murders of canines and humans alike.
Citizens are tired of police department-sanctioned animal abuse. Teach your officers how to pacify dogs, respect their role as property defenders, and admit fault when they’ve wrongly assaulted a family pet. I urge you to adopt new educational programs to teach your officers how to deal with innocent canines.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: West Midlands Police via Flickr