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.