Two solutions to avoid future dog shootings |

Two solutions to avoid future dog shootings

Laurie Raymond

Dear Editor,

Jenny, the lab from New Castle, paid a high price for a few hours of freedom, and her story will haunt more than just her immediate family until we understand what actually happened.

Jenny’s family asks how their gentle and much-loved pet could have been mislabeled vicious. A dog in pain, or frantic with terror, may behave “viciously” toward a perceived threat. “Control sticks” can panic a frightened dog into a frenzy.

Our dogs are valued members of our families. We have a right to expect that they will be handled with skill and sensitivity when an accidental lapse lands them in the custody of the law. The Garfield County animal control officer, the staff of the Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) shelter, and the Rifle shelter staff and animal control personnel have this expertise.

Jenny’s tragedy was that the officers who had to cope with her panicky behavior evidently didn’t know where to go for help.

The solution is two-fold: responsible, educated pet owners can protect their animals more effectively from getting lost and creating a nuisance. And all law enforcement personnel in the field should be equipped, at a bare minimum, with adequate referral protocols and a basic level of training in safe and humane dog handling methods.

We at CARE will work with the county and municipalities to reach this standard. Compassion and safety are achievable goals, worthy of the 10,000-year bond between people and dogs.

Laurie Raymond

Colorado Animal Rescue board

Glenwood Springs

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