California bill would protect dogs confronted by police

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The U.S. Justice Department estimates that police shoot and kill 10,000 dogs each year nationwide while on the job, and there's now a law making its way through state committees in Sacramento that would require officers to undergo training in how to better handle dog encounters. (KABC)

The U.S. Justice Department estimates that police shoot and kill 10,000 dogs each year nationwide while on the job.

Now, there's a law making its way through state committees in Sacramento that would require officers to undergo training in how to better handle dog encounters.

Animal activists and lawmakers were speaking out in defense of their four-legged friends from law enforcement.

"Officers arrived at my house, actually, in Calabasas. It was a false alarm and my dog came out and one of them grabbed a gun," shared model Katie Cleary. "They did not shoot the dog, but I felt terrified."

State Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian introduced bill AB-1199, the police-canine encounters protection act, which would require mandatory canine encounter training for California peace officers.

"We cannot keep putting our excellent officers in this no-win situation," Nazarian said.

Just last week, a Los Angeles police officer shot and killed a dog who latched onto his arm in Westlake, and last year, Pomona police say they were forced to shoot a pit bull who attacked an officer.

"Attacked is one thing, but the videos of the animals being shot is far from being attacked," said Judie Mancuso, founder of Social Compassion in Legislation.

The bill calls for training that would help officers understand the behavior and body language of dogs, and how to use non-lethal force.

LAPD officials told ABC7 its officers already receive dog encounter training, and officers are encouraged to exercise restraint.

It's not yet clear how much the training would cost the state of California, and Nazarian said officials are looking into how to marginalize it to areas that will "have the most need."

Supporters said the mandatory training has been successful in Colorado and Texas, and they want to California to be next.

Related Topics:
petspoliceofficer-involved shootingdogslawscaliforniaVan NuysLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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