Should Fresno Ban the use of Police K9s?

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Two weeks ago a woman was mauled by four pit bulls that had recently gotten out of their yard. A man named Johnnie L Thomas Sr. called for the city of Fresno to ban the ownership of pit bulls within the city limits. His full statement reads:

“My fellow Fresnans, due to the recent pit bull mauling of one of our female residents, I’m asking you to join me in asking local officials to enact a law banning all pit bulls from our city limits. I call on the mayor, the city manager, police department, prosecuting attorney and all council members to take action. We shouldn’t wait until one of our loved ones, maybe even a child, suffers as that lady did.”

While Johnnie may have the best intentions at heart, creating criminals out of animal lovers is neither logical nor justified. In fact you can apply this type of logic to almost any situation and believe that you have found the answer, when in reality you have just created more crime by turning regular people -pet owners- into criminals.

The H.O.P.E. Animal Foundation shared this photo of the op-ed with the caption:

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This was in the Fresno Bee recently. It made us pause and say that “any dog can bite”. In fact we at H.O.P.E. have had more “bite incidents” involving chihuahua’s than pit bulls. When a city bans a specific dog breed it will just be replaced another breed. We in Fresno already have one of the highest euthanasia rates in the state do we need to make things worse? What do you think? Punish the Deed not the Breed! We support pit bulls and Fresno Bully Rescue! ‪#‎dontbullymybreed‬

Some of us might recall a terrible incident last year when a police K9 “got loose” and attacked an innocent bystander.

It’s been eleven months to the day since a police K9 mauled 38-year-old Hanley Sell, after a chase ended in his neighborhood. After being released from the cruiser the animal went straight for him, tearing his arms apart. Afterward the police threatened his family with a lawsuit if any of the photos ended up on the internet.

After the attack someone could easily re-write Johnnies Op Ed to read,

My fellow Fresnans, due to the recent police k9 mauling of one of our male residents, I’m asking you to join me in asking local officials to enact a law banning all police k9s from our city limits. I call on the mayor, the city manager, police department, prosecuting attorney and all council members to take action. We shouldn’t wait until one of our loved ones, maybe even a child, suffers as Hanley Sell did.

Kubo, the police dog responsible for the attack was retrained by an outside agency in an attempt to make sure he is fit for a return to the streets. He wasn’t put to sleep in the same manner that the dogs who got out of their yard and mauled this lady were. Are police dogs subject to a double standard when it comes to the way that they are treated after a violent attack?

It would make more sense to ban the use of police attack dogs than it would to prohibit the population from owning certain breeds of dogs that have been classified as “vicious”. Not every pit bull is a vicious animal but all police K9’s are trained to be vicious and their brutality is celebrated all over the internet while ownership of pit bulls, dobermans and other breeds including the german shepherd (the police dog of choice) is constantly under attack.

Compilation celebrating police dogs and their brutality.