CA Police Officer Shoots Caged Dogs to Death

Selma, CA is one of the many cities where the pound falls under the police department.  Selma Police Chief Myron Dyck says “that the record of the Selma Animal Shelter speaks for itself,” citing a live release rate in excess of 98% for 2012.  I am guessing there is a relationship with volunteers and other pet advocates to credit for that success.  Because it doesn’t seem like the chief or his officers – one of them, at least – are particularly committed to lifesaving:

Selma’s top cop defends the action of one of his officers who shot and killed five caged dogs inside the city’s animal shelter.

The five dogs, described as Pitbulls, were apparently marked for killing, although the article does not state why.  The officer reportedly called a vet to come out to the shelter to kill the dogs but later learned the vet couldn’t make it.  So the officer intended to bring the dogs to the vet’s office.  But that didn’t happen:

“As soon as they went to open the gate the dogs rushed the gate,” Dyck said “They felt if they opened it up they would be bitten at minimum and if opened all the way they would be knocked down and mauled.”

The officer then shot all five caged dogs to death.  And the police chief is all over defending the killings:

The officer feared for his life, Dyck said. He even mentioned the recent mauling of a Selma man, who was found dead last month.

Right.  A Selma man was tragically mauled to death last month.  But not this police officer.  In fact, this officer wasn’t bitten or even side-eyed from what the article states.  This officer was “rushed” by five dogs who saw a chance to get out of a cage door being opened.  Why five dogs were in one cage at a shelter, I have no idea.  But I know my own friendly dogs rush the gate every day when I let them out from the small yard to the big yard.  I consider it normal.

At any rate, it seems clear to me that the caged dogs did not in any way represent a threat to the officer, never mind a lethal threat.  Because they were locked in a cage and he was outside it.  So screw that “feared for his life” excuse.  And he wasn’t mauled, despite the fact that another man in a completely different set of circumstances was mauled recently.  Red herring.

The officer could have called a different vet, waited until the first vet became available or used humane, non-lethal methods to move the dogs.  He did none of these things.  I see no other reasonable explanation for the killing of these dogs except that the officer wanted to shoot them.  Which is weird because I’ve heard that no one in the animal sheltering business wants to kill animals.

Local pet advocates expressed their upset to the chief during a meeting:

Shelter volunteers also say Dyck assured them that no dogs at the shelter would ever be shot by an officer again, unless it was a life or death situation.

No mention of any investigation into the killing of these five dogs.  Cased closed, I guess.

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23 Comments

  1. I read this with disgust earlier this week. This POS cop had not right to shoot these dogs. They were no threat to him or anyone, as you say, they were locked in the cage and they could have waited for the vet to come. There was no immediate to kill them at that moment. How anyone can defend such a barbaric act is beyond me.

    Reply
  2. KarenJ

     /  February 1, 2013

    Again with a Cops shooting dogs and NO formal leave or investigation for discharging a firearm. Although – time off with pay and investigational reporting is mandatory for any officer who discharges a firearm in the “line of duty” in every single incidence I’ve read about or been involved in. Shelters are made of cinderblock and cement. Can you say ricochet. Can you say reckless endangerment? Feared for his life from 5 dogs in a cage. THIS guy is an on duty peace officer who works with a gun and with crime everyday? I sure wouldn’t think this officer would be able to handle a real crime situation if this makes him fear for his life.

    I’ve written them as I always do. Please join me. I never hear anything back. There’s always a chance…

    Reply
  3. deborah simpkins

     /  February 1, 2013

    I too am disgusted with the actions of the police officer and this “so called shelter”. This should be put all over the internet and letters written, and in no way swept under the rug!!!!

    Reply
  4. mikken

     /  February 1, 2013

    Obviously there’s no excuse. And obviously that officer not only endangered his own life with potential ricochets, but the lives of those around him. We won’t even get into the needless and cruel slaughter of dogs…

    Reply
  5. Jim

     /  February 1, 2013

    I can’t justify defending an officer on this. What a doofus! But what I can say is that a well-placed bullet to the brain is a much more humane method of killing an animal than all the handling by strangers that it takes to kill one by lethal injection. They know they are being handled, they feel that needle going in, and the fluid it injects! With a bullet (well-placed) they don’t even know what hit them.

    I don’t mean to sound barbaric, but when you talk about humanely killing something, you really should have an idea what that something would consider ‘humane’.

    Reply
    • Humane euthanasia includes sedation before the injection of Fatal Plus.

      Reply
      • Jim

         /  February 1, 2013

        Exactly how is that “sedation” carried out? There is handling and I believe there is an injection involved.

      • mikken

         /  February 1, 2013

        Jim, an animal can be sedated with drugs mixed into food. No handling needed.

      • KarenJ

         /  February 1, 2013

        You don’t want to know – but everyone should. As with any other protocol of any type in life – there is a training style by the instructor, there is a management style by a Director, and there is a performance style by the Technician or the Vet involved. Rarely are animals sedated Per Os (orally – put into their food). Many reasons – but mostly because the animal may not eat the food, the animal may get sick, and if either does successfully happen – it can take 3 or 4 times as long to take effect (read: 20 to 30 minutes) – compared to intramuscular injection or subcutaneous. IV can be done as well but it doesn’t last as long and most Techs cannot do this method.

        That’s only step one. If you’re like me, or trained by me, it’s a process. A loving compassionate process with no time limit. Sick and injured animals should be held and kept warm and talked to and stroked while wrapped in a comforter in a warm room. Once sedated they cannot keep themselves warm. Sedated animals should never be left alone or with any other animall. Is this “normal” protocol. No folks – it’s NOT.

        Here’s what VetStream says as well:

        General rules for sedation of canines

        Allow adequate time for onset of action of the sedative after administration.
        During this time it is very important to keep the dog in a quiet environment to get maximum sedative effect.
        Always monitor a dog that has been sedated.
        Intravenous administration generally produces the greatest sedative effect in the shortest time.
        The time to peak sedation is longer after intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (SC) administration, but the effect generally lasts longer.
        Depressive effects on the CNS may be additive or synergistic with other agents

      • I just had two dogs euthanized by my vet late last year, very close together. Each one was sedated with a SQ injection. The vet said there was a sting to it but neither of my dogs reacted. Obviously I didn’t time the sedation to full effect (unconscious) but I would estimate it was 10 minutes. The dog I had euthanized previous to those two was at the emergency clinic where they place an IV catheter and give IV sedation. I think that took a little less time for full effect.

        A drug hidden in a meatball would be my choice if I was in a position where I needed to sedate a dog without an injection.

    • mikken

       /  February 1, 2013

      But *someone* got these dogs into this cage to begin with and was presumably feeding and watering them, so they were not unhandle-able. I would also like to think that they were scanned for a chip, but that’s neither here nor there now.

      What we have here is clearly a man who for whatever reason wanted these dogs dead, opened the cage, they rushed to greet/maul/whatever him and he closed the door and said, “Whoa, that’s not going to work.” and then pulled out his gun (presumably through a closed cage door where the dogs represented ZERO threat to him) and shot them one by one so that there was the maximum fear and panic (and one wonders how much pain since a panicked animal is hard to shoot to death in one shot – how many bullets were fired, exactly? Did they all die immediately or did they linger?) instilled in the dogs. Their last moments were horrific simply because some jerk decided that he was going to have his cowboy moment and safety, humane treatment, and sanity be damned.

      The fact that his actions are being defended by his superior is reprehensible.

      Reply
  6. If someone could publish the proper contact information, more people would respond to authorities in charge with calls, emails, faxes and letters regarding this reprehensible incident. I know Texas isn’t considered by many to be very animal-centric, but if these murders had happened here, the media would be all over it – my newspaper included. Shame on this trigger-happy law enforcement officer.

    Reply
  7. KarenJ

     /  February 1, 2013

    This is who I contacted:
    Myron Dyck
    Chief of Police
    (559) 891-2228
    myrond@cityofselma.com

    and

    For more information about animal services,
    contact Sgt. Terry Reid at (559) 891-2281 (voice mail only) or e-mail to terryr@cityofselma.com
    or call (559) 896-2525.

    Reply
  8. Heidemarie

     /  February 1, 2013

    This is horrible. “Thou shall not kill” applies only to humans? Where is the compassion? And what will happen?…Nothing! The horror will continue, after all they are just animals, right?…We need a petition.

    Reply
  9. The news story is false. A volunteer was informed that evening that the dogs were going to be shot. It was premeditated and the Police Chief was also involved. There was never any danger to the officer, real or imagined. They cold bloodedly shot all 5 dogs – 2 were shot in the front of the cages and the rest ran to the back in fear before they were killed. (volunteer got pictures of the aftermath) Because no one actually witnessed the shooting, the lawyer that was consulted does not believe that the DA will make any charges against the department. This is complete and total bullshit and I am beyond angry at this outrageous behavior – inhumane and illegal.

    Reply
    • db

       /  February 2, 2013

      That volunteer needs to come forward then – or see an attorney or do something. I know that it’s hard to fight city hall, but to not do anything is so very wrong. Perhaps there is an investigative reporter? someone? Those poor dogs – how awful that must have been for them.

      Reply
  10. Jolie

     /  February 2, 2013

    There is currently a petition circulating, asking for justice for these animals. This happened not far from where I live. The volunteers are devastated but dare not rock the boat for fear of being locked out, as police departments are wont to do when their cruel practices are exposed. Here is a link to the petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/277/198/601/justice-for-5-caged-pittbulls-shot-and-killed-by-selma-ca-police-officer/

    Reply
  11. The volunteer did contact an attorney, and there is a letter being sent to the City of Selma…since no one actually witnessed the incident, the attorney does not believe the DA will prosecute or file charges against the department.

    Reply
    • db

       /  February 4, 2013

      They aren’t going to do their killing in front of anyone – but that does not mean that it didn’t happen. I hope that someone can do something to expose these sicko folks who take pleasure in shooting caged dogs.

      Reply
  12. KarenJ

     /  February 4, 2013

    I have gone to the DAs office with cases that had MULTIPLE witnesses and photos and my AC report on cruelty and they still refused to take my cases.

    Reply
    • ezbuddy

       /  February 6, 2013

      We, as a group of concerned citizens for the welfare of “mere” dogs & cats, are no more than a thorn in their shoe. I have no idea what it takes to get through to these a..holes that are running the show. They certainly do not give a rats ass for animals or we the people, unless it concerns lots of funds/cash/donations/money/proceeds/bank additions. Our talk is too cheap.

      Reply
      • KarenJ

         /  February 6, 2013

        AGEED. What it takes is Citizens in large numbers that are voters to tell them they either represent us or get voted out. BUT as citizens we do NOT band together and follow through as is necessary. I’ve formed a group for shelter reform – we are three counties working together – 8 months now. Doing the due dilligence research, getting FOIA docs, etc. We meet every week. It’s the ONLY way,. It literally took me SEVEN emails, 3 phone calls and TWO staff members to get a copy of the job descriptions and salary ranges for the Animal Control Staff !!!!! There is NO transparency.

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