Tuesday, March 29, 2011

There is no reason why the police should be using deadly force against our pets.

I was saddened to read March 22nd on WLOX’s website that Melmo had been murdered in Gulfport, MS, and likely her killer will not be held accountable for Melmo’s death. Why? Because Melmo, an eleven-year-old dog that was properly chained in her own yard, was shot by a police officer six times. According to WLOX the police officer is still on active duty. Melmo joins a long line of pet victims of police shootings. Perhaps the most well-known shooting of a family’s pets was when Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Mayor Cheye Calvo’s two dogs were shot and killed by police officers inside Mayor Calvo’s home.

Most of us probably think it can’t happen to our pets, but sadly the evidence shows that it can happen to anyone. Journalist Radley Balko, who covers police misconduct, has noticed an increase of reports of police shooting the family pet with a notable lack of reasonable cause, remorse or subsequent disciplinary consequences. Pets have been killed by police who were merely questioning neighbors about a crime in the area, cutting across private property while in pursuit of a suspect, or after responding to a false burglar alarm. It doesn’t matter if the dog is in your house, in your fenced- in yard, leashed or loose. It doesn’t matter what size or breed your dog is.

For example in Oklahoma, security camera footage captured police shooting Tammy Christopher’s wheaten terrier to death in its own yard after they stopped to ask for directions. In another chilling case, video footage taken from a police cruiser shows (Des Moines) police officers talking about how to entice Rosie, a Newfoundland, to come out of her yard so they could kill her because they didn’t want to shoot Rosie in her own yard. They even discuss tasering a second dog that was inside the fenced-in backyard because it “might” come over the fence. You can watch the YouTube video here

All of this begs the question: Why are the very people who are supposed to protect and serve us killing our pets? What can we do? A start would be to send a strong message to the Gulfport Police Department that the killing of Melmo was uncalled for and that we demand the officer be held accountable for taking Melmo’s life. You can sign a petition demanding that here

You can also call you elected representatives and demand that laws be enacted that prevent police from arbitrarily using deadly force against our pets. Demand that when anyone in law enforcement uses deadly force against a pet they be held accountable. Insist that all members of law enforcement be trained on how to deal with pets, especially dogs. A U.S. Postal Service spokesman told Radley Balko that all of their employees get annual training on interaction with dogs, unlike most police departments. Price isn’t even an issue as a spokesman for the Humane Society stated that his organization offers free training to any police department that requests it but could only think of a few that had taken advantage of the offer. There is no reason why the police should be using deadly force against our pets.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why Police Don't Need Guns



Keep in mind the video was made by the police. They knew Rosie was in her own yard, talked about how to get her out of her yard because "they hated to shoot her in her own yard" and even discussed tsaring her St Bernard brother who was in the fenced in back yard.

Friday, March 25, 2011

How can we get Justice for Melmo?

I was saddened to read that Melmo had been murdered in Gulfport, MS and likely her killer will not be held accountable for Melmo’s death. Why? Because Melmo was a dog, an eleven year old dog who was properly chained in her own yard when a police officer shot her six times. Melmo joins a long line of victims of police shootings of pets.

Perhaps the most well-known shooting of a family’s pets was when Mayor Cheye Calvo’s dogs were shot and killed by police officers in Maryland.

Radley Balko a journalist whose beat includes police misconduct has noticed

an increase in media accounts of police officers shooting the family pet—with a notable lack of remorse or disciplinary consequences. This sad trend appears to be a side effect of the new SWAT, paramilitary focus in many police departments, which has supplanted the idea of being an “officer of the peace.””

Think it can’t happen to your pet Mr. Balko states
“Last year, for example, a local news station in Oklahoma aired security-camera footage of a police officer pulling into driveway of dog owner Tammy Christopher—just to ask for directions. In the video, Christopher's wheaten terrier runs out from the house, and it's difficult to tell whether the dog is charging the officer or bounding out to greet him. But the officer was on the dog's property. And instead of merely getting back into his car, he pulled out his gun and shot the dog dead. The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Police have recently killed pets while merely questioning neighbors about a crime in the area, cutting across private property while in pursuit of a suspect, and after responding to a false burglar alarm. It doesn't matter if your dog is loose or leashed, or if you've posted "Beware of Dog Warnings." Last August in Colorado Springs, police entered a woman's house after her children let them in to look for a fugitive. The children locked the family dog in the bathroom with their mother, who was showering, and warned the police that the dog was defensive. The police opened the bathroom door anyway, the dog bit one of them, and they shot and killed it, inches from where the woman was showering. The fugitive wasn't in the home, and the owner said she's never heard of him.”

What can we do to protect our pets from trigger happy police officers? How do we get laws enacted to protect our pets from deadly force? How can we get Justice for Melmo.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another pet died needlessly

Melmo's owner left Melmo chained up in his back yard while he took a shower after cutting grass. A female police office responding to a call next door placed SIX rounds in Melmo. The officer is still on active duty after KILLING Melmo.

I am incredible sad that there are people that think it is perfectly OK to MURDER someones dog.

Read more @ The Sun Herald and WLOX.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reflecting

I guess one of the hardest things about Whiskers' death is the guilt I feel over it. I choose the petfood that caused his kidney failure.

I still have a hard time buying cat food. I research to make sure I am picking a "safe" food and use a variety of brands so if one is recalled I still have something my cats will eat available. But..........................................the lingering fear remains, is the pet food supply safe?  for that matter is the human food supply safe? How can we as consumers make smarter choices for ourselves and our families.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Whiskers is Wonderful



The Mom had a hard time choosing just one word for me. When she thinks of me she thinks of LOVE and so that was the word she started to choose. But one of my nicknames when I was alive was Whiskers the Wonder cat, so I told her in a dream I would like the word WONDERFUL.

The flowers in the background of my picture are special. They grow on my grave and Mommy has never seen them growing any where else on the property, and she hasn't been able to find them in a book. Since she doesn't know their name she calls them Whiskers' Flowers and knows I sent them to cheer her up. You can't tell well from the pictures, but they are a pale blue and very small. Mommy says blue flowers are very rare.

We didn't know about cat and dog blogging when I was alive. I would have loved it, I loved making new friends and having my pictures taken. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me ~Love, Whiskers (The Supreme Ruler of the Universe)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

4 Years Ago

Four years ago tainted petfood claimed the life of Whiskers and many other pets. Sadly the people responsible were never really punished for killing our pets,  Menu Foods, the company responsible for producing and selling the tainted petfood is still in business, there have been no systemic changes that would prevent contaminated food ingredients from entering this country undetected once again and the dead pets have been mostly forgotten by the mainstream media and those who were fortunate enough not to loose a pet to the melamine laced petfood.

Whiskers I will never forget you! and I will never forgive the people responsible for killing you and all the other pets who died in 2007 due to the melamine laced petfood.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Wellness Recall

Petfood recalls always upset me as they remind me of Whiskers death from tainted petfood in 2007. But I had thought the folks at Wellness were doing it right. They issued a voluntary recall before any pets died, things seemed to be on the right track. Then I read this today.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

This is Sickening

Whitney Knowlton, founder of Last Chance Animal Rescue Fund, said the two dogs were found Friday at a landfill. She said she believes that the dogs were from the county-run shelter and that they were killed by animal control officers.

I hope these animal control officers are punished.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bear-Bear's Bill

Maryland has two bills in the legislature that should protect pets.

H.B. 294 (pdf), known as "Bear-Bear's Bill," would create a new offense of shooting an animal (legal hunting is excluded) or otherwise injuring an animal with a weapon. It would also increase the penalty for "inflicting unnecessary suffering or pain on an animal" (as in the case of Phoenix, the dog who was set on fire). Sen. John Astle (D-Anne Arundel) has introduced a companion bill, S.B. 425 (pdf), in the state senate.

Now if only other states would get serious about protecting our pets.

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