Saturday, October 20, 2007

Giving Paws...

Boy! When I chose to use this picture of Bacchus as a puppy to indicate a "what are they thinking" topic, little did I expect to use it three times in the first week!

Today it was brought about by a teaser on the front page of the Coeur d'Alene Press under the heading OUR BEST (no kidding). It reads "Pet Killed: Police shoot dog in backyard". I'd hate to see their worst!

Yesterday was a wet blustery day. Often times alarm systems malfunction in such weather. This time it cost a dog it's life.

Answering such an alarm, a police officer entered the fenced backyard of the home and was accosted by the Lab who lived there. "I heard it bark", the officer is quoted as saying, "It jumped on me and grabbed my arm and started thrashing." He was unable to taser it because the dog was blocking his access to it so he shot the dog dead.

The owner blamed the alarm company, not the police. A neighbor said the alarm goes off every time it's windy. I think I'd be inclined to blame the owner!

The police confirmed the response was standard but had they known there was a dog there they'd have done things differently. Indeed. A lot of things could have been done differently.

Did they look over the fence to see if there was any sign of a pet? We had a similar situation in Bellevue; the officers spotted our dog's dish (yes, another Saint) and determined from its size it might not be prudent to enter. There was no apparent evidence of a break-in that could noted from outside the fence. The officer left his card in our door with a note explaining what had happened and to please call. Which we did; apologized for the malfunction and had the alarm company make the necessary repairs. And we still had our dog.

The dog's owners understand. Even the owner's two young daughters ages 2 and 6 understand. The two year old is too young to have a clue. But the six year old? I wonder if they would be so blase if they had witnessed the incident. I don't understand! Was the dog not protecting his property? Did he deserve to die for that?

The photo accompanying the story shows three people leaving the property including the animal control officer. Could they not have done something other than killing the dog? Should tasering and shooting not be the last resort?

It's a far cry from the emotionalism over the Iggy/DeGeneres flap. The recent issue around here about the banning of certain breeds has pretty much been laid to rest. I can think of a few places we might turn that attention.!

1 comment:

Bill McCrory said...

Yes, shooting and tasering should have been a last resort. I wonder if there were any signs of a dog's presence (dishes, feces, chew toys, etc.) visible to the officer before he chose to enter the back yard. I hope he looked before he entered, because those same pre-entry observations might have helped him avoid harm if there had been an intruder present.

Don't be too easy on the alarm companies. Most of the national companies do a barely adequate survey of local conditions before they start writing things down on your sales/lease contract with them. A properly designed system (not necessarily the one advertised at an attractive introductory price) with properly selected and installed sensors will not indicate an intrusion alarm on stimuli such as wind, lightening, power interruption, low battery, signal line interruption, etc. Nuisance alarms based on environmental factors are nearly always the fault of the alarm system designer and installer.

In some instances nuisance alarms based on environmental factors are the fault of the alarm manufacturer's design. I recall spending a week sleeping nights in our Honolulu office trying to figure out why the alarm system would occasionally "trip" for no cause. It turned out to be the "go to sleep" circuit that automatically turned off an office photocopier. The "turn off" signal in the photocopier was fed back into the power line and got into our alarm system because the alarm equipment manufacturer had poorly designed the power supply filter circuit. We went back to the manufacturer and forced the company to redesign its power supply and correct all our alarm control panels nationwide at the company's cost.