In light of a police incident involving the shooting of a dog on Tuesday, the Battle Creek Police Department wants to educate residents on how officers handle such incidents.
The incident on Tuesday night involved a man beating a dog with a baseball bat and shooting it with a pellet gun, police said. It was alleged that the dog was acting aggressive prior to those actions. The 54-year-old man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty.
Responding officers reported that the dog appeared to be distressed – they said it was struggling to breathe and could not stand. Based on the dog’s condition, officers determined that the humane decision was to put the dog down immediately.
If an animal appears to have a broken leg, or appears to not be in immediate distress, officers may choose to seek medical help from a veterinarian. In this case and others, however, severe pain or aggression may lead officers to put down the animals at the scene of the incident, so as not to further the animal’s suffering.
“A lot of police officers are animal lovers ourselves,” said Major Jim Grafton. “It hurts us to put an animal down.”