Dog Shot To Death In New Hampshire park

This incident occurred on Sunday, March 28th.
I thought I should put it in MPSIMS - after all, it’s not as if I’m taking a poll on this (hence it is not IMHO material).
Basically, I’d just like to know what you think about this. An off-duty police officer (with his 2 children) in a public park on a Sunday shoots and kills a dog he determines is threatening his children (and himself I presume).

That’s really sad. It’s hard to say who’s right when we didn’t see what happened, but my initial reaction is that shooting at the dog “eight or nine times” was way excessive when the dog didn’t in fact bite anyone.

I think its a horrible situation for everyone involved. I don’t think that it was a wise decision to pull a gun in a park with kids around. I don’t like that at all. And yes to shoot the dog that many times? That just don’t make sense. Very sad for the owners as it was a 9/11 dog. :frowning:

If that dog was seriously threatening his kids, then bravo. I’m tired of dog owners who think their dogs are perfect at all times and would never, ever hurt a kid and then get all pissy and blame the victim when their dog goes postal. Too many kids have been mauled to death because some dumbass animal lover thought “not MY dog.” I’d blow away any furball that I truly thought was about to attack my child, I don’t care the dog won friggin’ Best in Show at Westminster.

As far as pointing the gun at the guy, though, I don’t know who to believe. The dog owner could be lying and just wanting to get money out of the city (he sure did make the decision to get a lawyer and sue awful quickly), but then I could see how the cop’s adrenaline could have been in overdrive and he just wasn’t thinking and did point the gun at him. He’d already protected his kids once that day, maybe he was jumpy.

And am I the only one wondering whether or not the dog is alive in the picture accompanying the article? I assume it’s an old pic of sunnier days, but the blank look in his eyes makes me wonder.

He said the dog NEVER had a history of threatening or harming children or anyone else.

Perhaps the “good” officer could have picked his daughters up first… instead of drawing his weapon. What is more traumatizing? An exuberant dog and daddy scooping them into his arms or pumping 8 or 9 rounds into a dog in front of 3 and 4 year olds? :rolleyes:

I used to work for the phone company. I have heard numerous owners say “my dog doesn’t bite” Then I’ve had said dog lunge at me. Then said owner says" hmm, he’s never done that before." Dogs do weird things, and at unexpected times. As to picking up his daughters… that’s an interesting defense against a dog… tie up your hands and make it cumbersome to walk and/or run.
Such a small percentage of the population has ever had cause to use a firearm in a public place like that, and then they go on about what he should or shouldn’t have done. If they carry 9mm’s up there, 8 or 9 shots fires in like 3 seconds. Most people can empty a 15 round clip in less than 10 seconds, and if asked later on (after a stressful situation) they will report they only fired once or twice. (Happens in New York quite a bit.) Also, as to pointing the gun at the man… well I really don’t know how it is in New Hampshire, but in some other places, pointing the gun at the man, and making him get to a prone position after he presumably let his dog potentially attack you is actually procedure. Who knows what this guys agenda is. and if he turns out to be a guy whose dog accidentally got away, well better safe than have him be a psycho.
The heartstring bit about it being a 9/11 dog is kind of annoying too. My father (recently retired from the NYPD) survived 9/11 (he was right in the middle of it) and to say that the dog must be awesome super friendly dog because he was abandoned in NY on 9/11 is not only ridiculous, but kind of insulting.

Unless adequate evidence shows otherwise, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the guy with the kids to protect.

Even if there’s no official history, that doesn’t mean squat. Heck, my stylist told me about the time a neighbor’s dog bit her daughter in the neighbor’s presence on the street. She confronted the jerk but didn’t pursue it further because he’s a policeman and she didn’t want trouble!

Of course, you who weren’t there and have never met this officer have no trouble second-guessing him or using scare quotes. And if the owner had kept the dog on the leash as required by law, the officer wouldn’t have had to make any split-second decisions.

Which is more traumatizing to 3- and 4-year-olds, seeing a dog shot or getting bitten by one? :rolleyes: I was rushed (not bitten) by a barking German Shepherd recently and I was very scared.

From the article:

I’m not amazed.

Good point.
Now suppose it was someone who was not a police officer but had children to protect and had a concealed pistol loaded and ready to shoot. (I don’t know if New Hampshire has “concealed carry” permits but let’s say they do).
Okay, so this guy perceives a threat to his children and/or himself and he proceeds to fire a half dozen shots into the dog. Would this person be thought of as someone who acted in the best interests of himself and others? Would this person be in jail or at least be brought up on charges of recklessness? Would his right to carry a concealed weapon be taken away from him?

I think the fact that whether or not you are a policeman carries a bit too much weight.

Heck, let’s suppose the off-duty officer happened to be in the park and witnessed a hypothetical citizen shooting wildly at a dog (protecting his kids. etc). Would the officer’s adrenaline start pumping and perceive that said citizen was a threat to everyone in that park and he had no choice but to shoot him? How was he to know that the guy was just defending his children?

Shoot first, ask questions later… fine.

BTW… that wasn’t directed at you, wolf_meister. On second view I thought that might be misconstrued.

if 6 was 9
No problem. I did not think your remark was directed at me.


Sad to hear.
As none of us know the details first-hand…this is all specualtion. The first thought that enters my head is that a warning shot into the ground would most likely have scared the dog off. Unless dogs are trained to ignore loud noises, guns, explosions (like police dogs are), They don’t respond well to things like that.

It’s very difficult for one to judge the shooting without having actually been there, so I won’t do that. Instead, I would like to encourage all dog owners to keep their dogs leashed at all times when their dogs are not fenced in on their own property. I am a jogger, and I have been attacked by dogs several times, including being bitten. On one occasion, I wished I had a gun when I was being attacked by a pit bull whose owner was feet away, apparently unwilling to do anything about it. I would have certainly shot that dog, and I feel I would have been justified in doing it.

Bad idea. VERY bad idea. Police (SD policemen, back me up here) are specifically trained not to fire warning shots in any direction. People firing weapons in life-or-death situations are really AMPED on adrenalin and aiming anywhere but the target’s center of mass simply increases the chances that a “stray” bullet may strike an unintended target, possibly an innocent person.

Second-guessing anyone is easy to do. If you were armed, were walking your kids through a (presumably safe) public park and a large stray animal started charging towards your offspring, would you gather them up in your arms (dogs can run at up to 45 mph, IIRC). Or would you defend your children?

Picking your kids up would not likely stop the animal. It would, however, degrade your ability to defend your kids when the animal got to you.

I like dogs. Hell, I love dogs. Dogs can, however, decide that someone they ought not to bite is a threat and needs to be bitten. If that someone is a child and the dog’s owner took no precautions to ensure he could control his canine companion (leash, anyone?) I’d choose saving the child from injury over negotiating with an angry dog.


“I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite!”

“That’s not my dog!”
My wife was bitten this weekend by an otherwise “friendly” dog. I’d also give the benefit of the doubt to the guy with the kids.

When they say this happened “in a New Hampshire Park”, I’m getting a mental picture of what any city or county park may look like…a lot of land and grass and trees. Probably a walking path. I can understand in a crowded city why you wouldn’t want to fire a warning shot, but in a park, even with some adrenaline going, I’d say without hesitation that I could safely put a bullet into the soft earth(obviously, firing at concrete is a bad idea) to see how the dog reacts. If he doesn’t back off then, sure – lead injection time.

I’m not really trying to second guess him, I understand that he was scared and his paternal instincts probably took over. I’m just thinking through what his options were, and obviously he didn’t have the luxury of several calm minutes to make a decision…he probably had a few panicked seconds.

I’ve been threatened once or twice by dogs, and I’d have unloaded a gun into them if I had the chance. I don’t blame the guy. Especially if the dog was off the leash.

I used to have a mean dog (actually, it belonged to my ex, who was ALSO a mean dog) and he bit people and other animals numerous times. The ex thought this was sofuckingcoolman.

When the ex and I broke up, he left the dog with me. I moved in with friends, and the dog attacked their kitty who came into my apartment through a missing pane in the window.

A couple weeks later, my dog was nowhere to be found. In retrospect, I hope it was the roommates who made him disappear. He had it coming.

A true story:

There’s a park near my house and I had my dog out running on a trail off-leash one day. Well, he ran up behind this guy (also running) who was dressed as a martial artist carrying a staff (a bo staff, or something).

My dog started running past him and the guy kind of whacked/poked/jabbed him with the stick. I was like “What the fuck?” and the guy says “your dog was trying to bite me.” And I really mean my dog was just running past him. He didn’t even look up at him.

While my dog should have been on a leash, this fellow clearly was looking for an excuse to hit something with his stick.

Some follow-ups (draw parallels at your own risk):

Why does a guy feel a need to carry a gun while walking with his little children in a park in Manchester, NH?

If he’s carrying his piece while out walking in the park with his kids, where DOESN’T he carry it?

**[Police Chief Jaskolka] said Manchester police have received many calls and letters about the matter; it amazes him no one is concerned about Coco’s children. **

Yeah, well, I’m concerned about them – I’m concerned that their dad is bringing them places he has such a fear of going that he carries his fucking gun.

One last thing:

Moment 1: Dog running up to you barking. Scary, but common. It’s happened to a lot of us and a lot of us have gotten over it.

Moment 2: Seeing your dad empty 8-9 shots into a barking dog.

None of us were there, so I just hope that this guy correctly judged the threat because that doesn’t seem like a memory a kid just gets over.