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Dog at large dies after being caught with catch pole

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On Wednesday, the Danville, Va., Police Department issued a press release about the death of a dog who died after being secured with two catchpoles.

On May 5, the police were contacted about a dog-at-large in the 100 block of Custer St. The dog, described as a large, shepherd mix, had approached someone aggressively earlier in the day.

The responding officer located the dog and attempted to use his patrol vehicle to block the dog from people in the area; the dog was barking at residents and behaving in an agitated manner. Unable to secure the dog, the officer called for help from animal control.

An animal control officer arrived and was able to capture the dog with a catchpole; the dog remained agitated and tried to break free and a second catchpole was utilized to bring the dog under control. Two officers then led the struggling dog up the ramp and into the animal control truck.

Before the poles could be removed, the dog collapsed and died.

The police department ordered a necropsy on the dog to determine the exact cause of death.

The police department wrote:

The necropsy results were consistent with a dog in good health and no signs of trauma were found on the dog’s body. In addition, no signs of trauma associated with the use of a catchpole were found on the neck area or to the trachea.

Nevertheless, the opinion of the doctor was, based on the events described above and the good health of the dog, that it died of strangulation due to the combination of the pressure of the catchpoles and the confined space of the cage that restricted the air flow in the dog’s trachea and the blood flow to the dog’s brain.

Along with an apology and promise to work towards improving their response to dog-at-large calls in the future:

The loss of a pet can be devastating and the Police Department regrets this unfortunate tragedy. The Department has extended an apology and its condolences to the dog’s owner.

While the department has successfully used a catchpole for many years, we are committed to improving our response. We have consulted with the Danville Area Humane Society to determine what steps can be taken to prevent this from happening again.

The Humane Society has offered to provide additional instruction on catchpole use to further reduce the likelihood of injury or death.

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