A new California bill is attempting to save dogs’ lives from a threat that no one could begin to anticipate.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, approximately 10,000 dogs are shot and killed each year by American police officers.
A new California bill hopes to see these numbers decrease by making additional dog safety training a mandatory course for police joining the force.
This bill is coming after several incidents where civilian dogs have rushed in to protect their owner, feeling that the police was a threat to their owner.
Dogs that tend to have anxiety around other people or have been trained to protect their home are at a higher risk of being seen as a threat by police.
Animal activists and lawmakers were speaking out in defense of their four-legged friends from law enforcement.
“Officers arrived at my house, actually, in Calabasas. It was a false alarm and my dog came out and one of them grabbed a gun,” shared model Katie Cleary.
“They did not shoot the dog, but I felt terrified.”
In April, a dog was shot and killed by LAPD after biting an officer’s arm. It was as a means of protecting itself and its family.
Last year, another story garnered attention.
It was when a family’s pit bull was also shot by officers for displaying aggressive behavior and attacking an officer.
However, the LAPD claims that their officers already undergo specialized dog handling instruction.
The bill aims to make this training mandatory, focusing on dog body language and learning non-lethal ways to subdue an animal.
“We cannot put our excellent officers in this no-win situation,” says Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian.
A bill similar to this has already been making progress in Texas and Colorado.
It’s helping officers to be better equipped with dealing with civilian dogs without lethal force.
Supporters said the mandatory training has been successful in Colorado and Texas, and they want to California to be next.
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