VIDEO: Cop shoots, kills dog

A Sandusky police officer shoots, kills woman's dog.
Emil Whitis
Feb 26, 2013

The woman. Donna Hansen, 22, hopes to rally a protest at Sandusky Municipal Court Wednesday morning when she is scheduled to be arraigned on a loose dog charge at 8:30 a.m.. 

Watch the video by clicking on the player to the right

Click HERE to read more about the shooting


Julie R.



You would. Don't you have judges to protest?


The dog was loose. We have lease laws in this town. Had that animal been going after a child everyone would be singing the praises of this police officer for having shot this dog. But that is not the case here. This dog was going ofter the police officer.

I don't know who called the police about the dog: neighbor or otherwise, but someone should have known better than to allow that dog to be loose and running free. Now they are without the dog. As gruesome and awful a sight as it was to see that dog being killed, how terrible would it have been had the dog gone after a child in the absence of that cop?

I don't think he had much choice in the matter. The dog, hunched down and ready to spring shows he/she was not willing to back off. It wasn't going back into it's yard, it was going toward the officer and ready to attack. Had the dog warden been there at the time, they may have been able to catch it but I wouldn't hold my breath.

I don't think the officer had much choice at all. He did what he had to do, sad and sickening as it was. It could have been prevented had that owner kept the dog on a leash or in the house where it belonged. That is where the blame belongs. All the blame.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Hey SR, the moderation police missed a post. Or is it ok to name-call if you are dogging the police. No pun intended :)

maverick12's picture

Nothing in this video justifies killing that dog!
The Officer shows clear intent from the moment he steps in front of the camera. It is clear that no other means were ever considered.
Not one attempt was made to use the restrainer.
The distance between him and the dog clearly shows a calculated choice.

Julie R.



If the dog is tied up... this is not a problem. While its sad... gotta say the blame has to fall on its owner for not securing the dog


I totally agree with you. Especially since the law requires it without exception.

dire wolf

so you guys are saying that an unsecured dog, having not bit anybody, deserves a bullet to the head, without exception because that is the law??....really?... no exceptions? why the dog??


So we wait for the dog to maul a child?????

BW1's picture

We could at least wait for credible reason to believe a child mauling is imminent. If the dog is close enough to said child to rule out the officer intervening physically, then there's too much risk of the child taking a stray bullet.

dire wolf

"He had no other choice".................we'll let's think for a second. How about a stun gun, pepper spray, mace, b.b gun, arm padding for those situations, moving back alittle bit to defuse having to kill an unarmed dog, the stick in your hand. honking your horn to attract the owner outside, waiting until he actually growls and sets to attack, call a dog warden, bring some dog treats in your car for those situations to befriend the dog.(it works every time), a class or two of training to handle those situations you know you may be called upon to handle. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is the police department must have a policy in place that does not use a bullet to a sitting dog's head as option 1 in that situation. I still have not heard that anyone was even bit prior to the shooting. The instant death penalty to someones pet cannot be the penalty for what took place there. The time does not fit the crime. If that is standard course of action for that scenario, i'm dissapointed. A black eye for the SPD.


Very Very well said !!!!!


Yes, let's run home and get some biscuits while we are at it.

Ohio law says it is legal to shoot an animal when you fear for your safety. AND you don't even have to be an officer to do it!

THAT's called common sense!


like i said in the first article, if the cop felt that he was incapable of dealing with the dog using less than lethal force, he should have called the dog warden.

and think of it this way, if i came up to any person with a stick and a gun (all be it that the dog was probably only worried about the stick because they don't understand what a gun does) i'd bark at some one coming up on me too. i'd even try to get them to back away.

this cop was reaching for his gun the second he got out of the car. he was itching for the ability to shoot this dog. never once did it enter his mind that he could have and should have left those that are better qualified to handle the situation.

what's next? cops shooting people because they juke at them screaming? trigger happy gun toting cow boys. he had no snare, he never reached for his pepper spray, he had no business even dealing with this scenario, that's what we pay the dog wardens for... and if the dog wardens aren't going to handle these situations, why do the local citizens have to foot the bill for their office?

accidents do happen, and sometimes dogs escape their confinements, but it should never result in the death of a frightened animal.


While the police officer may have had his hand on the gun, he certainly didn't pull it or have it out until the dog came back at him. I doubt had that been a person, the cop would have handle this in the same way at all. More than likely, the stun gun would have been pulled and not the gun with ammo.

But that still does not excuse, either way, the owner who is totally responsible for the dog keeping it locked in the house, or tied up in the back yard. If you want to speculate, what if a child or youngster had been around when that dog was loose? This could have been an even worse tragedy than the dog being killed. The dog could have gone after the kids. Perhaps it would have been nice if the dog warden had been called, but that wasn't the case. All hind sight is 20/20, just as it is here. Unfortunately, for all concerned, this ended badly for everyone, including the police officer. I am pretty sure he doesn't feel good about having to do this either.


he was awfully quick to defend himself. had he no guilty conscience he wouldnt have acted so quickly to cover his rear end... if it was more than apparent that he had to use lethal force, he wouldnt be trying to convince everyone around him that it was COMPLETELY NECESSARY. when lethal force is completely necessary, it goes without explanation. he knew when he pulled the trigger on the sitting dog that he had crossed a line. by the looks of it, if he would have stayed in his car, the dog would have stayed close to the yard that it didn't leave throughout the duration of the whole video until the cop chased it around the house.

hindsight is 20/20 but we need officers that can make competent decisions in the field, not look back and say "well i could have done this." looks like the local PD botched yet another circumstance that could have been handled better... but i guess that happens when employment is a revolving door with the local PD's.

like many other posts have stated, there are plenty of ways to subdue a dog that doesnt require shooting it the second it stops moving. had he maced in right off the rip, the dog would have been cowering until personnel with the proper equipment to detain a dog could have made it to the scene. then again, had the proper office been contacts along with the police, this wouldnt have happened either... again i raise the question, where were the dog wardens with the county funded paychecks when the cops were failing at doing the dog wardens job?


Police officers are trained to be "awfully quick to defend themselves"


when i said "awfully quick to defend themselves," it was in reference to defending the actions he took, not defense of his person... but in a sense i guess you're still right, they probably are trained to quickly defend the actions they take, justifiable or not.


and it was justifiable!
he has no reason to be ashamed! He did the right thing!


if it was justifiable why is he so quick to get people on his side. like i said, anything done that's completely justifiable goes without question of further recourse. the fact that he immediately turned around looking for any sort of corroborating witness shows feelings of insecurity in his actions.

if i had to put a dog down for legitimate reasons, i wouldnt have to immediately look over my shoulder and ask the person behind me if they'd corroborate the evidence. you'd think the video should have been able to speak for itself, and in this case, i didn't. had the dog done anything other than perturb the neighbors and scare people that are just afraid of large dogs i could see shooting it... but since it showed very basic characteristics of being a scared animal, there was no reason the cop had to walk up on it, into it's own territory, and kill it.

think about it this way, let a cop stalk up on one of your pets with a stick and see how it reacts. but of course, your cop-out answer will undoubtedly be, "it wouldnt have happened to me because of reasons a,b and c...," because you know in any situation when an animal feels threatened, no mater the size, it will defend itself, which is all that the dog in the video was doing. it ran away, the cop followed, the dog tried to fend off the cop, it died. end of story. had the cop walked back to his car and let someone that is trained to handle animals do the job that our taxes pay them to do, we'd have nothing to gripe about.


Think about all of the raccoons who were shot dead. Raccoons are much smarter than dogs. Raccoons have hands. The Native Americans were right about raccoons.

dire wolf

2 questions to those that know...1) can i as a civilian chase down a dog that is unsecured and put a bullet to his head,(assuming i have a ccw/gun license), because i thought once i caught him he might be aggresive?, and 2) If the animal was a cat, and it's been hanging out in my yard?, and i don't like it,maybe even feel threatened by it(allergy possibly), may i take proper wild wild west action to justify my recent right to bear arms purchase?...I hate that cat but i never considered the "had no other options" motive. btw, i don't believe in owning a gun. i made it this far without one, and mistakes get made sometimes by people that have them, although I totally support the right to own one.


your first question is very interesting... im wondering if in the vent that you are attacked by a dog and you are carrying a gun if you'll get charged with brandishing a weapon and discharging a weapon within city limits to save your own life... i do have guns, and if cops wernt suck pricks about it i'd open carry as my right as an ohio citizen more often, but if i shot a dog in the same fashion as the cop in the video did, how would i be charged? would i be seen as doing my civic duty to protect my neighbors and myself by invoking my right to open carry and thus dispatch a dog of questionable motives, or would i be jailed?

i think a bigger question would be if one of the neighbors had handled the situation the same as the cop did what do you think the outcome would have been? video included and all. im thinking that once the dog sat down and posed less of a threat a civilian would be smacked with the big book for animal cruelty and all gun related charges as well...


Heck, in Bellevue the police sneak up in the dark, with no witnesses or video and waste you sleeping on your porch. At least this incident has video for all to judge.


I thought the exact same thing!!!


Why didn't the owner hearing their dog bark have the common sense to go outside and see why the dog was barking? No blame there! Good job SPD, you may have save a person a trip to the ER for stitches.

Amythe K

Clearly there are a lot of strong feelings about this. Pitmom I too am a pitty owner, lover and advocate..I have no idea what you are trying to say because they keep removing your comments. Im sure you don't wish anyone else pain or misery. None of us do. I do believe this officer acted recklessly out of fear. He had the wire but had no idea how to use it. He should have waited for help to arrive; the street was empty no one else was in danger at that point. Hopefully, the department can respond to this problem by properly training officers in how to handle such situations. So sad for this beautiful dogs owners, unfortunately whenever our pups get restless and wiggle out of their collars or homes its on us. Im so sorry for your loss.


1). The street was not empty, the mail lady was the first on the "empty street" to encounter this dog, and second was the older lady that comes walking by after the dog was shot. That is not an empty street, now is it?
2) When was help going to arrive and in what form? The dog warden? Who knows where he/she was at the time. Another officer? They're so busy taking crack heads off the street they don't even get off their shift on time.
3) This dog did not simply "get restless and wiggle out of its collar", they police have responded to this house five times for the dog being lose.
You should be sorry for this dog, not its owners. They are to blame. They sat in the house for how long while that dog was in other peoples yards/the street barking at the mail lady and the officer, before a gun shot got them off their butts and out of the house to see what was happening.