Gary Copeland Lilley, The Smalltown Daily, Metro Section, Page 8, Below the Fold: Police Shooting, Black Lab Mistaken for Coyote


Another fatal shooting of a black lab Tuesday
night, September 2, by police officers who had
mistaken the congenial family pet for the male
coyote being sought as a “subject of interest.”
Police Officers were responding to an anonymous
tip concerning a suspicious animal that was
mounting a local champion female border collie
on Lawrence Street and urinating in multiple
locations. The animal was engaged in the latter
activity when the police officers arrived.

Animal Control Officer Jim Locke, who also
responded to the call, stated, “The animal really
didn’t give the officers a choice; when the officers
pulled up with their flashing red and blue lights,
and someone had the siren on, the dog tried to
bolt. I understand that he was 17 years old, quite
elderly, so it was a slow run.”

There have been five fatal domestic dog shootings
so far this year, as compared to two in the
previous year. “This incident is an unfortunate
tragedy,” stated Police Spokesperson, Sandy
Shaw, “The animal refused to obey the officers’
commands to stop running and to stop urinating,
and fearing for the safety of their fellow officers,
and for the safety of the community, the officers
then employed deadly force.”

The dog, identified as Buster, was struck 17
times. All six officers at the scene discharged
their weapons and have been placed on
administrative leave.