Target: Mr. Bryan Hughes, Texas State Representative
Goal: Applaud efforts to require all police to have canine encounter training.
All too often when police and dogs interact it ends in tragedy, but thanks to a new law that requires police to have dog encounter training, those days may soon be over. Texas legislators have crafted a bill that requires all police officers to have a minimum of four hours of training on how to deal with dogs in the field. This new attempt at creating a safer world for animals and pets is deserving of commendation and thanks.
Last year, a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas shot a dog because he was personally afraid of them. The officer said that at the time he had had almost no interactions with dogs in his entire life and simply did not know how to deal with them. While that is no excuse for killing a living creature that posed no threat, if he had received the proper training to deal with the situation the outcome may very well have been different.
Four hours of training may not seem like much on the surface, but it will go a long way towards protecting people and their pets. The training required by the bill will include learning about dog body language, something police are already adept at, types of aggression, and learning how to approach a hostile dog without using deadly force.
Legislators in Texas are finally speaking out for those without voices and they deserve our thanks. Sign here to thank Representative Bryan Hughes and all of his co-authors for working hard to protect animals.
Dear Representative Hughes,
I am writing to express my deepest gratitude to you, and your co-authors, for introducing legislation that will protect dogs, as all too often when police and dogs interact the end result is tragedy. Thanks to your bill, hopefully those days are behind us.
Last year, when an officer fatally shot a dog in Fort Worth, it was simply because he was afraid and had no training to deal with the situation. While this is not a good excuse for killing a living creature, it is very likely that the tragedy would never have occurred if he the officer in question had received dog encounter training. Meeting new animals and dogs can be an intimidating thing for even experienced dog owners and lovers, but with training that focuses on things like dog body language and how to approach dogs, it will no doubt become an easier and safer process for everyone.
I would like to thank you and your co-authors once again for fighting to protect those who truly cannot protect themselves. Please continue to protect the people you serve, and their animals, in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: West Midlands Police via Flickr