In recent months we’ve seen any number of cases of what can only be called abuse of power by police across the United States. But as a dog owner, this one was especially painful for me to read about.
The setting is San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities in the country, and the incident started innocently enough: A child in the home of Jeffrey and Madonna Stancil was playing with the phone and happened to dial 911 by accident. As those of us with children know, they can do some crazy things.
Officers showed up at the Stancil’s house and shot the Stancil’s dog, Zoey. As Mr. Stancil recalls with sadness:
?Six shots, for a dog? I mean, what can you say??
A witness to the incident told local media that he did hear Zoey growl at the officers, but added:
?She growled and I’m like ?no, no, no.? He starts shooting, boom, boom, boom and when he got done shooting, he shot like six times, he ended up right here.”
And as those of us who own dogs know, they will often growl at strangers who come into the home unannounced. My pit bull mix once growled at the pastor of my church when he walked into my yard. My dog meant no harm; she was merely doing what comes naturally to her. When I assured her the man was a friend, she happily walked up to him and licked his hand.
In the Stancil’s case, the family admits that their dog did bite the officer one time, but argue the whole thing could have been avoided had the officer not overreacted. Madonna Stancil said:
?I understand that they were doing their job. That’s understandable, but the fact that they didn’t give us a chance to put her in safety, you know, and we did say ?stop, we’ll get her,? they didn’t give us the chance.”
The San Francisco Police Department reports that Zoey actually bit one of their officers multiple times.
And now the Stancil family is mourning the loss of their beloved friend and pet. To which Ms. Stancil could only remark:
?She was our pet. We’ve had her for over 10 years so, it’s really heartbreaking.”
The Stancil’s are now considering filing a lawsuit over the death of their dog.