Posted: May 6th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
Mili Note: I think you all know what I would do in this situation (or afterwards), so I won’t spell it out. We have three dogs in our house and I am Director of a local animal rescue. Woe be unto the idiot who messes with my family.
Hello Freedomphiles! If you are a dog-lover, maybe Missouri isn’t the place for you. Yesterday, I posted the disturbing video
of a SWAT team who broke into a house and killed the family dog over a weed pipe and some shake, and today I find this article
in The Riverfront Times,
concerning a woman and her dog in a Saint Louis suburb:
Billie Alvarez was on her back patio eating breakfast the morning of Friday, April 16, when a man dressed in all black jumped out from behind a tree. Her dog, Jade, a two-year-old terrier mix, woke up from a nap and sauntered over to the man.
“Her tail was wagging and she was smiling at him,” recounts Alvarez, who says the man soon identified himself as a cop with the north St. Louis County suburb of Bellefontaine Neighbors. He said he was investigating a report of a vicious dog on the loose.
“I tried to tell him that Jade had never bit a soul and that she wasn’t violent, but he didn’t give me a chance,” says Alvarez. “He drew his gun, and said, ‘I have to shoot her. I have to shoot her.'”
Within seconds Alvarez says the officer squeezed the trigger dispensing a round from his department issued .40 caliber Glock right between Jade’s eyes. The bullet exited though the canine’s neck.
“I couldn’t believe it,” continues Alvarez, who says she attempted to grab Jade moments before the shooting but fell to the ground when her newly reconstructed knees buckled. “I had knee replacement surgery in January. I was lying on the ground wailing, and he just shot her. Just like that. My seven-year-old daughter was home sick that day and came running out to see her dog dying in the backyard. That dog was her baby — and mine.”
Alvarez admits that Jade looked similar to a pit bull, but said the dog was not such breed. “She was trained as a service animal,” she says.
The officer claims that he was responding to a call from her neighbor that her dogs were roaming the streets, and that the dog was trying to attack him when he shot it. Chief Robert Pruitt commented: “The dogs need to be in a fenced yard or on a leash, and that wasn’t the case here. Our officer says the dog was charging at him, she says something different. The point is, we have dog ordinances to protect both parties.”
Something doesn’t smell right about this, though. First of all, the complaint wasn’t that the dogs were violent or dangerous – just loose. Alvarez says she has an invisible fence (actual fences are banned in her neighborhood), but that it was broken. If that is true, I find it hard to believe the dogs were roaming the neighborhood. The point of invisible fences aren’t to torture the family pet when it slips outside the boundary, but to condition it to stay within the yard. The dogs would be conditioned to the point where they wouldn’t even test it anymore, broken or not.
Second, what was the cop doing skulking around in her backyard, anyway? Did he have a warrant? If he was following up on a call that the dog was doing something dangerous in the back yard, he would have probable cause to enter, but this was a nuisance complaint by one nosy neighbor. Why didn’t he knock on the front door and ask questions? Even if the dog did attack him, it was his fault for trespassing on her property without justification.
The police department has not issued a statement on the incident, and it has been over a week. That alone is pretty telling.
UPDATE: An alert reader who calls himself Raoul Duke gave me this link
to another story of impropriety by the Bellefontaine Police Department, where a man claims to have had a taser forced into his mouth and then driven to Illinois and stranded.