Target: Redford Township Police Chief Eric Pahl
Goal: Provide adequate, humane training to police officers who encounter pets
A 10-month-old puppy was recently shot and killed in his own fenced yard by a police officer in Redford Township, Michigan. The police officer entered the yard while in pursuit of a suspect whom he believed was going out of the back door of the puppy’s home. The officer reportedly fired a warning shot at the puppy when he “feared for his safety,” and when the puppy continued to approach, he fired again, killing the animal. Immediately after the shot was fired, one of the puppy’s owners, Ryan Showalter, questioned the officers about the gunshots, and they ordered him back into his home. Showalter was later arrested for “interfering with an investigation,” reportedly due to his outcries of devastation over the murder of his loving companion.
Bianca Alakson and Ryan Showalter, the puppy’s owners, are distraught from the situation. They describe Rock as a friendly puppy who would never pose a threat to anyone. News reports say that a Redford Township Police Department spokesperson declared the puppy’s death unfortunate, but necessary. There were no reports of a further investigation or discussion of this disturbing issue.
It is necessary for police officers to receive adequate training to humanely deal with situations where they encounter pets. Training should provide officers with the skills necessary to easily decipher basic animal behavior, which may save precious lives. Guns are not the only form of protection carried by police officers—there are alternative ways to stop a threat from approaching, before immediately choosing the fatal option.
By signing this petition, you will help urge Redford Township Police Chief Eric Pahl to provide adequate, humane training to police officers who encounter pets and deter swift fatal police action on these precious loved ones.
Dear Chief Pahl,
The recent incident involving the death of a 10-month-old puppy named Rock has made it clear that adequate training is necessary to better equip police officers who encounter pets. This innocent puppy was in the safety of his own fenced yard when your fellow police officer shot and killed him. The owners describe Rock as a friendly puppy who would never charge at anyone. This situation is a troubling example of how too-swift action can be fatal.
We cannot reverse what has already been done, but it is necessary to work to prevent future careless slaughter. By providing adequate training, officers will be able to easily decipher basic animal behavior, which may save precious lives. Seeing as officers carry multiple weapons, guns are not their only form of protection. Please instruct your officers to resort to other measures to protect themselves, rather than immediately murdering an innocent animal.
For most, pets aren’t just animals, they are family members. Carelessness is not the proper way to address situations where precious family members’ lives are at stake. I am strongly urging you to provide proper, humane training for police officers who encounter pets and prevent future swift fatal police action against these precious loved ones.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jay Santiago via Flickr