Target: Scott Cain, Mayor of Cleburne, Texas
Goal: Praise police course on how to handle aggressive animals
Police officers have been completing mandatory classes on how to deal with dog encounters in the city of Cleburne, Texas. The day-long course demonstrates how to properly handle loose and aggressive dogs in order to subdue them, rather than simply kill them. The class teaches officers how to interpret a dog’s body language and vocalizations in order to accurately assess the threat it poses, and advocates the use of non-deadly force such as pepper spray or a baton to gain control over aggressive canines.
Cleburne’s city council made the classes mandatory in response to public outrage over the shooting of a pit bull puppy by a police officer. The officer was responding to a report of a loose dog when he encountered Maximus, a young pit bull. When the dog started to growl at the officer, it was shot three times and killed. The neighboring city of Fort Worth, Texas began to require similar classes when an officer shot a friendly border collie because he was irrationally scared of the animal.
The city is also revising leash laws in hopes of cutting down on loose dog encounters altogether, and will be pushing for a statewide requirement for officers to take animal training classes. Because most police officers receive no training on how to deal with aggressive dogs, these long overdue classes will help to save the lives of many pets. Sign the petition below to praise the city of Cleburne for its efforts to protect police officers and dogs with canine safety training.
Dear Mayor Cain,
Cleburne police have begun taking mandatory animal handling classes. The class teaches officers how to read canine body language in order to assess threats, and teaches non-lethal methods to gain control of an aggressive or attacking pet. The city has also revised leash laws in order to reduce the number of loose pets roaming the streets.
The classes will deter situations similar to one that occurred earlier this year when an officer fatally shot a family’s pet. The dog was running loose and began to growl at the officer, who felt the dog was a threat to his safety. Another family dog, this time a friendly border collie, was killed by a Fort Worth officer who was scared of dogs.
These situations can be easily avoided with proper training on how to handle aggressive animals. We, the undersigned, applaud your efforts to protect dogs by mandating that police be trained in evaluating and dealing with canine threats.
[Your Name Here]