Nearly 150 years ago, there was a hunting dog shot by a neighbor. The dog's owner sued (and won). Here is part of what the owner's attorney said in closing argument to the jury.
Gentlemen of the jury: A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.
The dog he was specifically speaking of was Old Drum, a foxhound, who is permanently memorialized in Warrensburg, MO with a statue of his likeness.
Harley, a foxhound mix, was recently shot TWICE by a law enforcement officer in Lee County, FL. The officer was searching for someone, apparently not a criminal, just a girl who fled from a domestic situation nearby. No apparent reason to search this particular fenced yard other than the officer WANTED to. The officer claims to have knocked on the door and not gotten a response. (I don't believe he did and, even if he did, none of us has an obligation to answer a knock at the door and it is absolutely NOT a requirement to do so in order to protect our property.) A neighbor warned of the dog's possible presence but the officer entered anyway. The officer claims the yard gate was standing open. (I don't believe that for one single second either. Frankly, wouldn't matter to me if it was standing open though. Officers have no business traipsing around private property without permission or a warrant, particularly not within a clearly delineated fence line. If a dog stays within it's own property lines, it should be safe to do ANY damn thing it pleases.)
So this pissy officer goes traipsing into a fenced area without permission, without a warrant, without any circumstances that actually justify his trespassing which means he is simply a trespasser AND with knowledge that there's probably a dog in the yard. Harley starts to bark and this pissy officer should have backed his happy ass out of HARLEY'S yard; PERIOD. But, no, he stands his ground and shoots Harley, TWICE.
Now the PISSY authorities add insult to injury. First, they claim Harley is an aggressive Pit Bull who charged. I don't know what is in the "mix" for Harley and I really don't care. He could be a full blooded Pittie and I'd feel the exact same way. Harley was in HIS yard and this pissy officer was a TRESPASSER who had no business being there at all. Harley was doing his job and doing it correctly. The officer, on the other hand, was NOT doing his job properly. It is long past time for law enforcement to CEASE and DESIST with calling every dog a "Pit Bull" as code for "justified shoot" because that is NO kind of justification at all and it is perpetuating a fraud upon the public in multiple ways.
Second added insult to injury: "Lee County Domestic Animal Services fined Bonelli $268 for what they called, Harley's 'Threatening/menacing' behavior. They are now looking into why the gate door was not secured, although Bonelli maintains the gate was shut." The latter with the very likely intent to assess further fines.
In my little old opinion, every official in Lee County, FL needs to be sent to a class on the United States Constitution, forced to read and memorize it at a very minimum. Or maybe we should just send them back to Kindergarten for a refresher on keeping your hands and feet to yourself, keeping your paws OFF other people's property. You know, those very basic concepts of respecting what belongs to OTHER HUMANS and is NOT yours to play with and destroy upon a whim.
Lee County, FL officials are far from being alone. I don't know if the number of animals being harmed or killed by law enforcement is truly on the rise or these cases are just getting more attention/press these days. I don't care which but it needs to STOP and it needs to stop NOW.
To law enforcement and all other government officials out there: CEASE and DESIST, stop killing and maiming our animals. Don't mess with US; Don't mess with our CRITTERS!
Ditto to those of you humaniacs who think you have some authority to thieve animals via false accusations and seizures.
Note to ALL of you crazies who dismiss the value of our animals to US, the owners, who think you can maim, kill, steal what belongs to us and has value to us; WE outnumber you vastly and we're getting PISSED off. We are rising up, joining together, and we can and will make the last elections look like a kindly Tea Party by comparison to what we can do with our rank and file of animal owners. We animal owners are approximately 200 million strong in the US which simply dwarfs HSUS's claimed ranks of 11 million (which we know to be a grossly inflated number). We represent not only pet owners but the entire animal owning and using group in the US which is some 300 million strong. And we're rather done with ignorant people who know nothing of animals deciding on laws and rules for the care of them. Just check out what is going on in Missouri and you'll know what will sweep the nation soon enough.
Don't mess with US; Don't mess with our CRITTERS!