Police Kill Dogs–Stop This Now!


I don’t often write posts that make me angrier as I go, but I have to say that this is the single pet cause I’ve written about lately that makes me the most outraged. How often lately have we read the headline “Dog Killed By Police Officer”? Way, way too often. The fact is police kill dogs. They kill them for no reason. And sometimes they even like it. When I was a kid I was taught that I could feel safe going up to a policeman on the street if I was lost or needed help—that they’re our friends and are trained to protect and serve. Later, I even dated a cop. I got an insider’s view of police culture. And I came to respect these people even more.

But these days what I see is not always to be respected.

police kill dogs

Kelsey Markou and family, and their remaining dog.

In November of 2012, Kelsey Markou was walking her dog in Champaign, Illinois when another dog came up and attacked it. A passerby called the police, and when they arrived the policeman shot both dogs. Eight times, he shot them. Kelsey’s dog died…for being attacked during a walk. The attacking dog went to the vet.

Police Kill Dogs All Over

In August of 2013, the Bullock family of Cincinnati, Ohio returned to their home after a funeral to find blood on their porch and a note to call the Blue Ash police department. It seems their 5 pound Chihuahua mix, Jack, had gotten out. When two officers tried to catch him, he fled to the front porch. Cornered, he bit one of the officers who tried to pick him up. He was then tased, then shot three times. The family described their five year old son calling to the dog every day since its murder to come back. They didn’t have the heart to tell him how Jack had died, and the boy was told he ran away. This story made me ashamed to live in Cincinnati. Here’s a video that describes what I too feel about this.

cali and girl

Cali, giving kisses.

cali and family

Cali, with the family baby.

Police Kill DogS, TheN Lie And Are Protected

In March of 2014, a policeman in Ardmore, Oklahoma shot Sarah Jo Ellen Brown’s dog because it had escaped the yard and he didn’t want to wait for animal control officers. And then he laughed. He is quoted as bragging, “Did you see her collar fly off when I shot her? That was awesome!” Although the dog, Cali, had done nothing to provoke this, the reply from the animal control officer reportedly was, “We’ll just write in the report that it tried to attack you and others in the neighborhood.” This particular police officer had already been reported several times, once even by another officer, who wrote that he suffered from, “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Other violations had previously included searching homes without a warrant and even the fatal shooting of a suspect after lying about the man having attacked him. He was later discovered to have failed the psychological tests required to become a police officer.



Police Kill Dogs, Even When They Are Already Restrained

The following is from the Facebook Page “Justice For Arzy”, created by Bayou Bullies Rescue & Rehabilitation, Louisiana:

On April 30th, 2014 two men from Maine and their dog were traveling through Calcasieu Parish, and stopped to take shelter from the rain inside a cargo truck outside the offices of the Southwest Daily News in Sulphur. The men were in the back of the truck for about ten minutes when someone from the newspaper called Sulphur Police. The dog’s owner, Brandon Carpenter, says police officer Brian Thierbach came up to them with his gun drawn and ordered them out of the truck. Brandon tied his dog, named Arzy, to the bumper of the truck and explained to the officer the dog was not going to be a problem. As Brandon and his friend were handcuffed and arrested for trespassing, the officer proceeded to search the truck, then suddenly, without warning fatally shot Arzy. A witness, who works for the Daily News, said the dog did not act out in any way. After doing some research we found out that In April 2013, Thierbach was placed on administrative leave by state police, pending an investigation, saying he “posed a significant hazard to the efficiency of the public service,” and that his conduct was “unbecoming of an officer.” It’s not clear from the documents what exactly led to the action, but three days after the notice was written, Thierbach resigned from the Louisiana State Police. On May 9th Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats said Thierbach submitted his resignation prior to final disciplinary action being taken against him. Coats said that the joint investigation found that Thierbach “violated the Sulphur Police Department’s Departmental Policy and Procedure regarding Use of Force and Personal Conduct and Behavior.” The SPD investigation is over but The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office is going forward with a criminal investigation into the shooting.

“He thought I was just a train-hopping punk, and he could shoot my dog and get away with it,” Brandon Carpenter said. “You messed with the wrong traveler.”


Officer Ike


Officer Ike On Duty

Police Officer Dog Killed By Police Officer

On April 9th of this year, a Phoenix, Arizona corrections officer left his K9 partner, Ike, a Belgian Malinois, in a car for seven hours in heat exceeding 98 degrees. (As we know, temps inside cars get significantly warmer.) How did this happen? He forgot. Another officer discovered Ike had died and of course tests determined this was due to major organ failure consistent with elevated temperatures. This officer, like at least one before him, had had a sick child on his mind—so…why was he on duty? If he was a hazard to his own partner, how could he possibly help anyone else?

Ike, running

Ike, running.

Police Kill Dogs, Even When They Are Running Away



Less than a week ago, a family in Anderson, South Carolina was enjoying time at their home with friends. Four children were playing in the driveway, when several police cars pulled in. The family dog walked out to meet them. Teeth were not bared; there was no growling. Yet officers shot the dog. And when it ran into the bushes, shot it again and killed it. Adrien Best, owner of the dog, named Cream, was later informed the police were on the track of a stolen cell phone. As it happened, one of her son’s friends was at the house and had found the phone at school, which he was carrying. Take a look at this video—does it look to you as though these people are desperados, where that many cars were needed in the first place? Let alone what happened to this poor animal?

It seems more than evident that this country has some serious issues in how it chooses and trains its cops. And when officers are routinely reprimanded and released to continue to do more harm than good in our communities, how can we any longer feel like we are safe, let alone our pets? What can we do when an officer allows his own partner to die due to neglect? The average postal delivery worker receives more training than a police officer on how to recognize and handle an actual dog attack. And when there is an average of 69,926,000 pet dogs owned in this country, that’s just crazy. Here are some resource links, if you’d like to learn how citizens can take a stand on this issue, and how to protect your pets:

Justice For Arzy FB Page

The ASPCA’s Position

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Colorado’s “Don’t Shoot My Dog” Bill

A Police Officer’s Insight On Keeping Your Dog Safe

I still have police officer friends.  I know there are good officers out there, who in no way would ever harm a pet.  I’m hoping that they, and those reading this post who love them, will pass this along with their own outrage and suggestions on where citizens can go for help.  This is not just about pets—it’s about the safety and rights of all people, as well.

 Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Anderson, Ohio. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column called The Midwestern Buddhist as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Little Known Dog Breeds

We are familiar with such dog breeds as the Poodle and Labrador retriever. There are other less-known dog breeds, especially in this country.  Below, I have given a short description of several of these less-known dog breeds. The next time you are looking to add a new dog to your household, why not take a look at one of these?



Affenpinscher  — These are small breed dogs, from the same breed which also presented us the schnauzers. One of the little known dog breeds, the affenpinscher is thought to be the most suitable for a family pet.  It is very intelligent, easy to train, and of a good demeanor. They have dark fur and have always shown affection to human beings.

Bouvier des Flandres — This dog is similar to the terrier. Their fur is generally dark and they have proven to be very calm. At the beginning, they were bred as herders in France but nowadays they are used for police and military purposes, as well as guidance for blind persons.

Lancashire Heeler

Lancashire Heeler–This is a smaller breed out of England, that was originally bred to herd cattle.  They are smart and fun companion dogs, and interestingly, develop a small mane around the neck in the winter months.

Mudi–Also a smaller of the little known dog breeds.  These dogs are from Hungary, and are great for hunting or herding.  An awesome dog for agility trials or show, and their wavy coats are easy to groom.


Peruvian Inca Orchid — This small to medium, hairless breed may actually have tufts of hair on his head, paws or tail.  Lack of fleas is a great advantage with these dogs, but their skin does require occasional care.  They can be sensitive to toxins and sometimes prone to seizures.

Pumi–Thought to have been bred from terriers originating in Germany and France, these small breed dogs from Hungary are routinely used in Scandinavia in dog dancing competitions.  This dog is high energy and barks easily.

Rat Terrier–This small US breed, believe it or not, contains bloodlines of the Beagle, Italian Greyhound and Miniature Pinscher.  Bred for speed in catching rats, squirrels and hares, it nevertheless has a cheerful personality with people and takes well to training.

Russian Toy–One of the smallest dog breeds in the world, this animal was originally bred from terriers to hunt rats.  It can be somewhat high maintenance, in that this breed often needs to see a vet for help when losing its puppy teeth and getting adult teeth.  They can also be very vocal and protective of their owners.

Medium Breed Dogs

Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd — This member of the less-known dog breeds is of a medium size and has proved to be very courageous. They’re also very powerful and loyal and are often used for military and hunting purposes.

Appenzeller Sennenhunde–These Swiss Mountain dogs are of medium size, have a distinctive tri-color coat and were originally bred as cattle herders and general farm dogs.  This is a high energy working dog, and not recommended for apartment dwellers or a more sedate lifestyle.


Azawakh–Originating in Africa, these tall sighthounds are used in their homelands to hunt gazelle and hare, and can run in short sprints up to 40mph.  Relatively uncommon in the US, they are becoming more popular, despite the fact that their temperaments vary from snuggly to fiercely protective.  They are highly emotional and sensitive dogs, which need large, fenced areas to run free off-lead.

Basenji –These are medium sized muscular dogs and are also named the African Barkless Dogs. These dogs are able to bark, they just choose not to.  Their greatest skill is hunting.


Belgian Laekenois — Hard working sheep dogs, these animals are fabulous at agility, tracking and herding trials.  They are recognized by their woolly, tweedy coats.  Interestingly, they were also used during the First and Second World Wars as messenger dogs.

Bergamasco Shepherd–Originally from Italy, these dogs were bred for herding and guarding sheep and cattle, and are of medium size.  Their most notable feature is their unique felted coat (think a dreadlock look).  Fans of the breed would enjoy agility trials, obedience and show events.  These dogs make great companions and even guardians.

Catalburun–Only two other dog breeds possess this dogs’s unusual split-nose feature. Originally from Turkey, they are known for their agility and strong scent ability as hunters.  They are considered a pointer breed.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen–like the Basset Hound, these dogs originated in France, as hunters of boar, deer and rabbit, and look like extreme furry versions of their Basset brothers.  They are pack dogs, so will do best in households with at least one other pet.

Hovawart–originally bred to be home guardians, these dogs came from Germany’s Black Forest, and are exceptional search and rescue animals.  They are best suited for those with experience in dogs, and not as a first pet.

Kai Ken–these dogs have been bred for centuries in Japan and are commonly known as “Tiger Dogs”.  They are of medium size, and full of alertness and bravery.  They are loyal, good with children, and love water.

Polish Owczarek Nizinny  — This dog is of medium size and has long fur which covers its eyes. These are devilish dogs that are known for creating chaos when left alone.

Large Breed Dogs

Asian Ovtcharka

Asian Ovtcharka  –One of the little known dog breeds from Central Asia, the Ovtcharka are large and muscular dogs. They appear to be very loyal and fearless dogs with strong protective instincts which makes them perfect as watchdogs.

Chinook — This adaptable US breed came from a cross between the Husky and the Mastiff, and is basically a big sled dog with a love of children.  They also do well with other dogs, and are often used in search and rescue and skijoring.

dogo argentino

Dogo Argentino — Developed in Argentina to hunt big game (including pumas), this dog’s ancestry comes from a large variety of fighting dogs, as well as the Great Dane. Today, they are also chosen for military and police work. They are all white, and can be prone to deafness.


Estrela Mountain Dog–Hailing from Portugal, this large breed has two coat colors, both of which have about the same texture as goat hair.  As a livestock guardian, this is not the pet for everyone, and is recommended for those with a firm handle on leadership.

Spanish Mastiff–very big and strong, this dog has a longer nose than most mastiffs, and enjoys a lumbering daily walk.  They are calm, but smart, and very loyal.  But their size and rumbling bark probably mean they are better kept in the country than city.

Wirehaired Vizsla–This medium-large dog originated in Hungary, and although they were bred for hunting, their even tempers make them great family dogs as well.  They have skills as both scent dogs and retrievers, and are lean and very rugged animals.


 Maybe you’re a pet lover who is also a writer.  And maybe you enjoyed this article and it gave you some ideas of your own.  🙂  Contact me at joy@yourpetspace.info if you’d like to join our staff.  Thanks!

What Kind Of Cat To Get–And More!

What kind of cat to get is just one of the many questions new cat adopters have. But there are many more questions, such as what are common household dangers for cats…and what do I do about that first trip to the vet?  Here’s a great book with all the answers about cats…


Book Review: Good Owners, Great Cats

A Guidebook for Humans and Their Feline Companions

by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson

owl and books

Required Reading In This Book

What Kind Of Cat To Get

I see many people agonize for months over what kind of cat to get: male or female, long or short-haired, pure or mixed breed, kitten or adult? And what about coat color? So many decisions! Here you can learn about all kinds of cats, as well as how to choose a pet that would be rejected by a breeder as “not quite perfect”, when they’re really the perfect cat for you!

Litter Boxes and Litter

Again, so many decisions, so little time! For those that have never owned a cat, you have no idea of the plethora of litter box types and litter types out there: choosing everything from the shape and height of the box to whether it should be covered or not can be overwhelming in itself. Getting into choosing types of litter gets crazy too, when you’re deciding between clay or clumping, recycled paper, pelletized corn cobs, wheat hulls or wood shavings—and forget about liners and scoops! This section will explain and help you narrow down your choices nicely.


image courtesy of Krzysztof Szkurlatowski of Poland, website: www.12frames.eu

Common Household Dangers For Cats(Holiday Hazards)

I’m a natural worry wart, but when you have a new fur baby in the house, who wouldn’t be?  Here you can learn about kitten-proofing your home, with special attention to common household dangers for cats like clothes dryers, household chemicals, antifreeze and unsteady furniture.  Windows and balconies, fireplaces, car engines and even string hazards are also covered.  In a separate section you’ll find special cautions pertaining to Christmas, Halloween, The Fourth Of July and Thanksgiving.

Feline Communication

Unlike humans, cats communicate in a variety of ways we hardly or never use, such as movement, body posture and scent, as well as voice. This book begins by teaching you how to watch your cat’s ears, eyes and tail for clues as to his mood and messages to you.



The First Day/The First Night

You’d be surprised at how complicated it can be just getting your new kitten home! I remember one harrowing trip to the country to pick up our cat Little Dingle as a kitten, and him crying piteously all the way back. You will need supplies and this section tells you what and why.

cat eating

Feeding Your Kitten

There are plenty of folks out there who know that kittens need different food from adult cats.  But here you can learn which foods have more colorings, flavorings and additives, how often to change your kitten’s water, and what to look for in a teething kitten.

cat at vet

First Trip To The Vet

If you’re adopting a kitten, you’ll find here some tips on choosing a great vet, as well as the essential vaccines you’ll want to know about on that first trip to the vet.

Tried and True Toys

Again, get ready to be overwhelmed by the incredible numbers of things that amuse felines! This will help you begin to narrow down categories of cat toys and even suggest many you can make at home, as well as what dangers to watch for when cats are playing.

Preventing Bad Habits

There’s very little worse than a bad habit any pet develops that could have been prevented by simply thinking ahead. This section goes over the most common feeding and grooming mistakes, as well as correct play and how to teach kittens to use a scratching post.

siamese cat



I can’t tell you how many jokes are out there about the proper way to groom a cat! But here, there’s no joking going on. Just common sense tips about grooming long or short-haired cats, and even tips on removing mats from fur. You can also learn about how to care for the skin of the varieties of hairless cats, the best way to clip cat nails and how to bathe a cat—no, really!

Cat Training

One way to strengthen the bond between you and your cat is with training. Help with tone of voice and your body language is in this section, as well as learning how to motivate your cat. You can also read about whether positive or negative reinforcement training is best, and all about training your cat to a carrier. And yes, there are even tricks you can learn in this section, such as sit, stay, down, come when called—just like dogs!

cat and dog fighting

Dogs and Cats

Speaking of dogs, if you already have a canine when you get your cat, is that a problem? Not if you have this book. Here, the writers handle common problems such as scratching at eyes, stealing of each other’s food, litter box raiding, or your dog playing too roughly. You can also learn how to handle when your cat intimidates your dog, and jealousy between the dog and cat.

cat claws

photo courtesy of Sofi Gamache of Canada, http://www.redbubble.com/people/animanikati

Solving Feline Behavior Problems

Your Behavior Changing Arsenal

You’ve heard of them all, these deterrents to feline misbehavior. But how are they used? Learn how to use items like spray bottles, shake cans, air-horns, pressurized air—even contact paper and mousetraps to keep your kitties in line.

The Great Declaw Debate

Here, learn the facts about whether to declaw or not. Then, move on to causes of and dealing with feline aggression, as well as treatment of abscesses which can develop from fighting among cats.

cat eating plants

Plant Eating

Even in the wild, cats eat more than meat. But this section will help you deal with finicky eaters as well as keeping kitty off your houseplants. There’s even a recipe for cat salad!

Making An Outdoor Cat An Indoor One

Our cat, Cash, lived the first six months of his life outdoors…so I can tell you this can be a tedious process.  This section explains the entire transition process, though, including using positive reinforcement to correct the cat, dealing with his stress, and keeping his mind active.

About The Authors Brian Kilcommons has had pre-veterinary training at Iowa State University, and now owns a training and obedience school in Gardiner, New York. Sarah Wilson graduated from Lesley University with a Master’s degree focused on the human-animal relationship.

More About The Book I have only highlighted the bare bones of the wealth of information this book contains. But I find it such a comprehensive guide to cats that if you want to know if your question is in this book, feel free to e-mail me or ping me with our new chat feature here on the site.

Buy This Book At Amazon

Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Anderson, Ohio. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column called The Midwestern Buddhist as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.