Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Arvada, CO police getting dog behavior training to prevent dog shootings.

ARVADA, Colo. - Most of the headlines with police and pets lately have been negative, with officer investigations in Adams County and Commerce City, where dogs were killed.

However, one local police force is being preemptive in preventing dog shootings.

Arvada police officer Jason Ammons was finishing a day on bike patrol when the unexpected happened.

"I saw a pit bull that was racing toward me on the street," he said. "It started going after my left leg."

Ammons was able to use his Taser to subdue the pit bull, instead of pulling his service revolver, and that's what Arvada is teaching its officers.

All Arvada police officers are getting dog behavior training by some of the city's most knowledgeable: their K-9 unit's animal and management officers.

"We can be a good resource for them and offer a different perspective," said Jennie Whittle.

The goal is to do everything you can to not kill someone's pet.

"Even our patrol officers are, I don't want to say scared, but intimated at times when we go around our own canine police dogs," Ammons said.

And the more comfortable the officers can be around dogs, the better chance at avoiding a dog death like those that have hit Commerce City and Adams County lately.

"Fido just came out here and he isn't necessarily trying to attack me and if I just give that dog some space then we don't have any further issue with that dog," said Ron Avila.

State Senator David Balmer is set to introduce a bill that would make mandatory dog training for all police officers.

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