I didn’t post this soon enough, but here is the Teton county’s response to the dog shot by one of their officers:
Teton County Sheriff’s office responds to tort claim in dog shooting case – Idaho Statesman
Edition Date: 11/28/07
The Teton County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Monday in response to the shooting of a pet dog by a deputy earlier this month.
The dog’s owner, Leonel Barboza of Felt, had his attorney issue a statement Friday saying deputy Joseph Gutierrez acted improperly in attempting to destroy the animal. Gutierrez is suspended pending the investigation, though the Sheriff’s Office has not acknowledged any wrongdoing on his part.
We all appreciate the fact that officers of the law keep us safe and work toward keeping criminals off the streets, but to try and make it seem as though this officer did not act improperly is ridiculous.
An official statement from the Sheriff’s Office said that Gutierrez was responding to reports of a vicious dog. It asserted: “The dog was shot at that time in accordance with Section 8 and 11.4 of the Teton County Ordinances.”
Section 8 states that if a vicious animal found at large cannot be safely taken to impound, the animal may be destroyed by the Animal Care Control Officer or TCSO.
According to this the officer was allowed to “destroy” the dog? First, I don’t see how the dog was so vicious they couldn’t take it in if it had attacked someone and second the officer did not destroy the dog. Instead he left three gaping holes in the dog’s body which is simply cruel and unusual punishment. How is a dog tied to a pole sitting in front of it’s owners “found at large”? It seems to me that the dog was restrained and could have easily been taken into custody.
Garner also said he called the county to see if there was an order to destroy the dog and insists there was no such order. But in the release, the Sheriff’s Office said that the dog had previously attacked a mentally disabled woman, biting her and ripping her clothes.
“The alleged owners of the unregistered dog were warned that if the dog attacked the mentally disabled woman again, it may be destroyed. They did not heed these warnings,” read the release.
If this dog did attack a mentally disabled women that’s horrible, though I’d feel the same about it attacking anyone. I’m not sure if the sheriff’s office is trying to gain sympathy by stating this dog attacked a mentally disabled person or if this was conveniently added in. Are there laws that make it a more atrocious offense if the person is mentally disabled and why would it matter who the second person it attacked was? If a dog viciously attacks anyone then we have to look into the dog’s history and see what can be done to deter that behavior. I don’t advocate destroying an animal for any reason. There are certainly ways of restraining an animal that does attack people if that is necessary. Unfortunately when you train an animal as a guard dog or the dog becomes very protective of it’s owners (which is why many people have dogs as pets) then they may attack people they feel are invading their homes or their territory. Just as with the story of Congo the German Shepard we have to respect a dog’s home just as the owners of the dog have to respect the public.
Here’s another article that contains more text from the sheriff’s response:
Teton County Sheriff Responds to Dog Shooting Complaint
Posted: Nov 26, 2007 11:59 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2007 05:09 PM
The Teton County, Idaho Sheriff is responding to media fallout over the shooting of a dog in his county.
A Teton County family says a sheriff’s deputy shot his dog three times. The dog survived and is recuperating.
The owner of the dog, Leo Barboza, filed a tort claim against Teton County. Barboza’s attorney says the deputy went to his house on November 12th and told Barboza the dog bit someone.