Kickstarter Campaign Seeks Funding For 'Puppycide' DocumentarySubmitted by ron_paul_is_awesome on Tue, 10/29/2013 - 13:25
By Radley Balko
Posted: 10/29/2013 10:56 am EDT
The indie production company Ozymandias Media is asking for help to fund a documentary looking at the issue of police killing dogs. They've just launched a Kickstarter campaign with a compelling eight minute preview, which you can watch below. (Disclosure: I'm interviewed in the preview, and would presumably appear in the documentary. I also plan to donate. But that's the extent of my involvement in the project.)
I've written quite a bit on this problem. It has become something of a pet issue. (Sorry. This post needed a little levity.) It's difficult to say for certain if these shootings are happening more frequently, or if we're just more aware of them now because of social media and the ubiquity of smart phone and surveillance cameras. There's just no comprehensive data on cops shooting dogs. But several older police officers I interviewed for my recent book told me they're shocked by how often they're seeing these stories. Some said they couldn't recall a single such incident over the course of their careers in which they or a colleague had no choice but to kill a dog.
Last year, J.L. Greene and I looked at 24 cop-shoots-dog cases from recent news reports. We called the relevant police agency from each story to inquire about whether officers at those agencies receive any training on how to interact with dogs. Groups like the Humane Society and ASPCA offer such training to any police department in the country -- training on topics like how to read a dog's body language, how to distract an aggressive dog, and more generally how to handle interactions with dogs without killing them. Of the 13 police agencies that returned our calls, just one said they offered anything of the sort. Contrast that to the U.S. Postal Service, which gives its mail carriers regular training on interacting with animals. A U.S.P.S. spokesman also told me that there are vanishing few dog attacks on postal workers that require hospitalization.
link to kickstarter page: