In Oklahoma, a beautiful 2-year old pit bull lost her life on May 15 when she wandered into a neighbors yard. Sadly, the dog name Kaleah, was shot by a Waukomis Police Department officer after returning to her home on South 3rd Street.
It all started when Kaleah jumped the fence on the property belonging to her owners Tim and Chasity McFadden, and ventured into the yard of an elderly woman, who was frightened by the dog. Although the neighbor was able to shoo away the dog, she still found it necessary to call police.
Sometimes the appearance of a pit bull tends to unnerve those who don’t understand the breed. Attempts by the Waukomis Police Department officer’s to get Kaleah into a shed didn’t work. Kaleah was probably trying to get back home and didn’t want to go into the shed.
The officer followed Kaleah onto her property, where he then fired his weapon a total of five times. Kaleah was shot in her two front legs, then the officer shot her in the shoulder, then finally the head to “put her out of her misery.” The excuse he gave Christy on the death of her family dog was Kaleah was “barking, lunging, and acting aggressively.”
We who follow the cases of dogs shot by police hear that so often. Unfortunately, we hear this excuse on an almost daily basis.
In an interview with Enid News, Chief Robert Asch said officer’s were trying to put Kaleah back in her fence where she became aggressive. The chief stands by his officer’s in their decision to shoot the dog.
Tim McFadden said his dog was afraid of guns, and that is likely the reason she started barking. Tim owns Red Dirt Detail, and Kaleah spent a lot of time with him in his shop.
Tim had gone to pick up a 10-foot fence for the dog the day she was killed. Earlier in the day the dog had made an escape, and a friend of his was able to put her back in her fence.
“I think it’s animal cruelty. They shot her, in my eyes, because she was a pit bull,” Tim told Enid News.
Several questions have come up regarding the death of young Kaleah. Christy defends her dog barking, since any good dog is going to bark when someone comes onto it’s territory. But why kill a dog that has come back on its own property. This dog was killed at home. Not next door and not down the street. Kaleah died in the one place where she should have felt safe.
Why didn’t the elderly woman call the McFadden family and ask them to please come and get her dog? Was it really necessary to involve the police when a simple phone call would have solved the problem? Wouldn’t the animal control officer for the area have been a better decision?
Police have too many serious calls to answer without having to take time out for a dog who simply got loose, wasn’t hurting anyone, and had returned home.
The Waukomis police must not be very well prepared to deal with dogs. When a dog at large call came in, a well trained officer would have gathered pepper spray or mace, a Taser and perhaps a catch pole to contain the animal.
Why not open the back of the police cruiser and ask the dog if it wants to go for a ride. Many dogs welcome a car ride, and jump in the back seat any chance they get. Animal gets to live, owner gets a citation and the elderly woman feels safe again. Why does the dog always have to die on this type of call?
Why did the officer feel the need to shoot Kaleah four times? Was she still a “threat” after being shot in her two front legs? Even after the should wound, she still may have survived. It was the fatal bullet to the head that took her life. ‘
One bullet missed the dog, which at close range, is unacceptable. The time of the shooting was around 3p.m. when neighborhood children were arriving home from school.
Did Kaleah really have to die to make the neighborhood safe? And why did they have to shoot her so many times? Did officers even take into consideration that a stray bullet could have struck a neighborhood child?
So many unanswered questions. So few police officers who are willing to use non-lethal methods to contain a stray dog
For more of Elisa’s articles on dogs shot by police, click here.