Deb D’Andrea, Nederland. What does the Michigan, December 19, 2016, 6th Circuit Federal Court ruling giving officers nationwide authority to shoot a dog “if it barks or moves” when officers enter a home mean for us here in Colorado? If you’re not familiar with this case, Brown vs. Battle Creek Police Department, a brief summary is as officers executed a search warrant for drugs, they entered a home and encountered two dogs that were subsequently killed. Please read about the case online if you’re interested in further details.
For our beloved pups here in Colorado, the “Dog Protection Act” was signed into law April 2013, and was the first of its kind in the United States. Within this statute Legislators declared “that it is the policy of this state to prevent, whenever possible, the shooting of dogs by local law enforcement officers in the course of performing their official duties.” This Act outlines required training encompassing canine behavior; requires the adoption of lethal and nonlethal methods when dealing with dogs; allows dog owners the opportunity to control or remove their dog; and takes into consideration the “totality of the circumstances” when an officer is responding to a call.
To fully understand what this means for us, I spoke with Paul Carrill, Nederland Town Marshal. He said “During my tenure as the Nederland Town Marshal (approximately the last 2 1/2 years, and with over 29 years in law enforcement), the Nederland Police Department and its Police Officers have not had a law enforcement situation that forced the Police Officer to discharge his/her duty weapon at a domestic animal (e.g.: dog). All NPD Police Officers are compliant with the mandatory Colorado Police Officers Standardize Training (POST) requirement on the CRS 29-5-112 “Dog Protection Act” law.” “Additionally, the NPD has adopted training, equipment and Less Lethal force options that will provide options other than lethal force for dealing with wild or domestic animals.”
In our conversation, we discussed that the Colorado “Dog Protection Act” overrides the 6th Circuit Federal Court ruling; and that the Act would guide officer’s decisions when situations arise concerning dogs. So, the good news for us is that this ruling doesn’t change how officers engage with our beloved pets. If you would like to discuss concerns or thoughts with Paul Carrill, he said “I personally believe in the transparency of a communities Police Department and have an Open Door Policy and invite any community member with any question(s) regarding their Police Department, Police Officer(s) and/or Operations to stop by and ask any question(s) they may have on this matter or any other matter. (as the law and victim rights provides).”
Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch,. is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and will visit your home or Vet’s office to work with your dog.
Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2017 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.