Too many innocent dogs have been shot by police officers out of fear and a lack of knowledge on their part of canine behavior. It has broken the hearts of dog guardians and unnecessarily ended the lives of good dogs. A petition circulated to sign a bill into law requiring law enforcement officers to be trained in dog behavior and how to handle dog encounters so that innocent dogs are protected and understood rather than shot when barking at an officer.
I just received a notice from the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Senior Legislative attorney that Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed the Dog Protection Act bill into law this week, making Colorado the first state to mandate training in dog behavior for law enforcement officers. It will require each local law enforcement agency to provide its officers with training in how to handle encounters with dogs in the course of duty. Their training must cover how to assess a dog’s posture, barking, vocalizations and facial expressions; what options can be used to distract, escape from and safely capture a dog; and what defensive options are available in dealing with a dog.
Thank you, Colorado, for standing up to protect our canines! And thank you, Governor Hickenlooper! May the other 49 states soon follow!