Cleveland Police (UK) received a call on January 21, 2018 about an abandoned dog tied to a telegraph pole. The dog was an elderly German Shepherd abandoned in the cold.
The officers failed to locate the owner and claim the dog was aggressive and increasing as time went on. Upon consultation with RSPCA and veterinary professionals, the officers shot and killed the dog. Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin said, “We are always saddened by the death of an animal, but the difficult decision to destroy the dog was taken in partnership with animal welfare experts.”
“All attempts to calm the dog failed,” states Cleveland Police. “Vets advised that they were unable to sedate the dog due to not being able to approach it and not having equipment to sedate from a distance.” They went on to say, “This has been a difficult decision and one that we had hoped we wouldn’t have to make.”
The killing of this dog has outraged many on social media with over 2500 comments on Facebook. According to Independent, “More than 5,000 people have since signed a petition seeking justice for the deceased dog.”
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Many felt that the dog should have been tranquilized and then assessed. Hundreds of people stated the dog was afraid, cold, hungry, and surrounded by strangers, all things that may agitate a dog.
Louise Lloyd comments, “Absolute rubbish – the poor dog was probably frightened, nervous, hungry, anxious – all these emotions rolled into one . Tied to a post left to rot . No one knows what this poor dog endured before hand . No the wonder it was unsettled . I don’t believe anyone would choose to shot [sic] dead a dog rather than tranquillise it . I say it’s a poor way out of a situation.”
RSPCA told Independent, “This was a difficult and distressing police-led incident with an outcome which no one wanted. We attended to help the police and dog warden and sought independent vet advice to try and find a non-lethal solution.”
A witness at the scene describes how he tried to help in the video below.
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