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Sparks fly as police officer shoots service dog after boy's birthday party

A black lab like this one was shot by police officer/Not the dog from the story.
Photo by Gary Gershoff

A police officer in Idaho is in the middle of a debate after he chose to shoot and kill a black Labrador right after a boy’s birthday party was celebrated. According to Magic Valley on Feb. 11, the dog died as a result of the officer saying that he was being threatened by his aggressive behavior. The whole incident was caught on the patrol car’s dashboard camera.

Officer Tarek Hassani from the Filer Police Department was on a call about some dogs that were on the loose in a particular neighborhood where a young boy just celebrated his ninth birthday. When officers arrived, there were several dogs roaming about, including the black Lab named Hooch. In the video, Officer Hassani was seen with his gun pulled out right away and aiming at the dog. Hooch was barking but then backed off until another dog was seen joining them.

Hassani then kicked Hooch, which got the dog barking even more. This is when everything broke loose as the officer headed towards the house, still aiming his gun at the dog. He then shoots Hooch as the other canines are running about still barking. The 7-year-old pet crawls out of the picture and then dies from his wounds.

Hooch’s owner, Rick Clubb, came storming out asking why his dog was shot as an argument pursued between the two. The officer explained what happened and went on to tell Clubb that he had no choice as the dog was growling and being aggressive. The owner said that Hooch was his trained service dog because he suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Supposedly, the dog got out during the birthday party. However, there is a ‘no leash’ law in Idaho and the owner was given a ticket. Clubb claimed that Officer Hassani was ‘trigger happy’ and said that he will fight it.

“He didn’t have to pull out his .45 and shoot my dog,” Clubb said. “It was right outside my son’s bedroom. What if it had ricocheted through the window?”

The police department is not taking any action against the officer that shot the dog. This is causing quite a controversy with many pet owners that say the officer should have chosen another way to deal with the barking dog.

What do you think? Was he justified in shooting the black Labrador in self-defense?

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