Pit Bull Shot and Killed in New York by Police: Were they Right?
Pit bulls once again find themselves to be the center of animal news controversy.Published August 14, 2012
Do you feel that pit bulls are inherently dangerous? The question is one that lingers among animal lovers, and is once again at the center of an animal news case concerning the much maligned breed. Yesterday, news broke that police shot and killed a pit bull in New York's Lower East side, fearing the dog to be a danger to the public.
While the facts are murky, this much is known: police responded yesterday to an emergency call where they found a homeless person passed out on a sidewalk on 14th Street and Second Avenue. Looming over the man was a pit bull, which according to a CBS New York story was the homeless man's. While police tried to approach the man to give him care, the dog stood it's ground. According to some at the scene, the dog appeared to lunge at police, warding them away from the unconscious man.
How the events transpired exactly isn't crystal clear. On one hand, witnesses at the scene seemed to think the dog was not posing a danger to the public. Rather, they believe that the dog was just protecting his owner from unknown passersby, a logical conclusion given the devout loyalty of the breed. On the other hand, though, some witnesses did feel the pit bull posed a credible threat. The CBS story quoted one source named Mark Anthony as saying that the dog wasn't on his leash, that he was growling at onlookers and went so far as to snap at a nearby woman.
Regardless of the interpretations of the onlookers, the conclusion is the same. Fearing the dog that appeared to be lunging at them and bystanders on the sidewalk, police shot and killed the pit bull. Afterwards, police indicated that in this type of scenario, they have no other course of action other than the one they carried out.
As someone who was not personally there, it is difficult to say whether or not police were in the right. What can be said though is that, in all likelihood, the reputation of the pit bull had as much to do with the shooting as anything. I find it difficult to believe that police would have taken the same course of action if they were dealing with a breed perceived as more docile, such as a Golden Retriever.
What are your thoughts? Did the police act accordingly? Tell us in a comment and in the poll below!