Sandusky police deal with fallout in dog shooting

(UPDATED WITH PROTEST VIDEO) Police chief getting nasty emails from people upset about officer shooting dog
Sandusky Register Staff
Feb 27, 2013

Sandusky police Chief Jim Lang said his department has been receiving (click here) emails from people angry about last week's fatal shooting of a dog on Washington Court.

Officer Brad Wilson shot the dog after responding to a complaint about a dog running loose in the area. Police said the dog chased after the mailman and two residents (read here). The incident was recorded by a camera in Wilson's police cruiser (view here).

The dog's owner, Donna Hansen, has launched a grassroots movement to protest the shooting. Hansen appeared in Sandusky Municipal Court Wednesday, where she pleaded not guilty to citations for dog at large and unlicensed dog. Afterward, she appeared on Between the Lines Live, the Register's online news program (view here).

For more on this story — and for coverage of Wednesday's community protest outside the municipal court — pick up Thursday's Register or subscribe to the epaper here.

Also, click on the PDF below to read the emails some angry folks sent to the police department. There was one email expressing support for Wilson's decision to shoot the dog.

Comments

Bluto

Ms Hansen is the only one responsible for her dogs death . She has a history of not being able to control her dog , and failed to obtain a licence for the same dog . She had every opportunity to make this right yet didn't . Now she wants to blame others for her neglect of Lucy . Poor dog never had a chance . Ms Hansen should never be allowed to own pets ever again .

Ithink

That doesn't constitute the right to shoot the dog. If a mother was neglectful, can we shoot the children?

meowmix

Oh for god's sake--get real. Your comment isn't insightful, nor thought provoking, just ridiculous.

Bluto

If this were a child running around unattended they would have arrested them both for child neglect . Besides a child wouldn't be chasing people down and growling at them . Your comment is asinine .

arnmcrmn

@Bluto....welcome to Merica 2013, where everyone tries so hard to compare apples to oranges and fails (talking about the post above about kids and dogs).

BULLISDEEP's picture
BULLISDEEP

Three cats, that dog must have been real mean to live in the same house.
COP KILLED THAT DOG .

BytheBy

Yep he did. He had every reason to kill it!

sam88marie

The thing here is, The women should have had the dog inside and tags, so on so on, but Dogs get out, they do it all over, they are animals that can get out, The police officer should of handled this differently in a huge way, they are all at fault, DOGS or animals do not have a voice, we are their voice. My brother is a police officer and still disagree with what this police officer did. Im sorry but he could have done something different, and the women could have done something different. There will always be someone that agrees to disagree. That dog suffered for what we as humans did!!!! End of story.

somethingaboutmo

That is what the human race does best... Blames others for their problems.

dontknowmuch

When will the dog's owner accept the responsibility for having an unlicensed dog running at large? If the dog is secured, this never becomes a story.

grandmasgirl

These comments will keep coming. Ms. Hansen is like a martyr to irresponsible pet lovers. Reminds me of Middle Eastern countries where the more irresponsible you are, the more you are looked up to. I still am not 100% sure what happened. I do know that this has turned into way more than it should have. Until people stop commenting and let this story die, then Ms. Hansen will keep getting the attention that she wants.

DGMutley

I disagree with you. Ms. Hansen hasn't been shown to be an irresponsible pet lover. Just the opposite.

The sad situation here is that Officer Wilson should have found someone who could have handled Lucy. He could have waited.

KnuckleDragger

The only reason this has turned into the fiasco that it has is because she is being used by Matt Westerhold to further his agenda against SPD. In a week, no one will know or even care about Ms. Hansen nor her criminal boyfriend.

BillBaker1's picture
BillBaker1

You are correct. Matt Westerhold is a disgrace to the city of Sandusky and all surrounding communities. He attacks every Law Enforcement agency he can find. He has a agenda against all police and it needs to be controled. Someday he is going to need them and if he keeps it up no one will come.

Amythe K

Not true Knuckle Dragger..Donna has massive support from many who are unconcerned with Matt Westerhold's agenda. There was a facebook page up and running well before her interview.

BytheBy

Donna created the page and then had her thug friends posting about killing police officers.

Figures YOU would have no problem with that!

margaritaville88

We are responsible dog owners. We put our 13 yr old girl down last year. We keep our dogs inside and constrained when out. We get our tags every year and respect our neighbors. We now have a Golden Retriever we adopted and she is cared for the proper way. END OF STORY, wake up people....YOU try and be an officer in this crazy town once !!

BW1's picture
BW1

I raise my kids to behave and not break the law, but that doesn't mean I'd defend executing someone else's kid for spraypainting his name on a building. That's essentially what you're saying. Dogs get loose - chains break, fences get damaged, stuff happens. Show me where the law specifies that the penalty for dog at large is the savage killing of the dog, AND without any due process.

Bluto

Her boyfriend could have got off his a$$ and retrieved Lucy , who had been barking her head off , but no . He didn't show his face until after she had been shot . She could have a been hit by a car , attacked a small child , or even just ran off and got lost . How much neglect should she have suffered before you people see Ms Hansen as the real bad guy here ? A child blames others for their failures , an adult accepts , and learns from them.

margaritaville88

Thanks Bluto..some people don't get it..so sad

EdO's

Some people don't get it is right. You. Bluto and the others clamoring that the owner got what was coming to her.

There is the "law". People who have animals who get out or people who don't get animal licenses get fined. They have to pay. That is the required penalty by law. They don't get their animal killed.

The man who chose vigilante justice happens to be a person entrusted with upholding the law. He is paid by the taxpayers to uphold our laws.

That is what is wrong with this situation - the man who is paid to uphold our laws completely ignored them. The man who shot the dog did wrong. And, the chief who defends wrong doing cannot be held in a position of honor by the people who know better.

Justice for the people; justice for the dog.

Bluto

You are wrong . If this dog had attacked a small child and killed it , you people would be calling for the owner's heads right now . If they had secure their dog NONE of this would have happened . Given the situation the officer did what he had to , to keep the public safe . It may not have been pretty , but Ms. Hansen and her boyfriend could have saved Lucy by simply being there for her . Responsibility can be a bitter pill and sometimes you don't come out looking like the good guy . These people have been ignoring their responsibilities to Lucy for a long time , and now they have to deal with the repercussions . Eventually they will have to grow up and act like adults .

BW1's picture
BW1

No one's holding her blameless - blame is not always a zero sum thing. The kid painting graffiti probably doesn't have the best parents in the world either. That doesn't justify the senseless violence of the subsequent actions of the officer.

Regardless of how irresponsible she is, that doesn't erase the issue of an appropriate, proportional response to her irresponsibility. Last time I checked, we didn't send people to the gas chamber for stealing a candy bar, or hang jaywalkers. You're so all fired adamant that SHE was responsible, but the inevitable corollary to that is that the dog was NOT responsible, and the dog is the one who was summarily executed.

This is not an isolated incident. It's part of a growing trend of gratuitous police shootings of dogs, always with the excuse that the officer felt threatened, including two full grown male officers who saw the need for a .40 semiautomatic to deal with an 8 pound Yorkshire terrier.

No one who meets the physical requirements to be a police officer needs a gun to deal with any lone dog. I dispatched a larger male Rottweiler that was specifically trained to attack anyone and everyone, with nothing more than a rolled up newspaper as a 130 lb. decidely unathletic 14 year old.

http://reason.com/tags/puppycide

princedenny

You're comparing an aggressive, barking dog to children spray painting graffiti? That is so STUPID, it's almost funny.

A) Ms. Hansen repeatedly broke the law since the day she owned the dog,
B) She obviously didn't learn from previous citations,
C) The dog had a history of aggressive behavior,
D) The dog was barking and moving aggressively at Officer Wilson. Why else would he have been backing up?

If she ever gets another dog, maybe she'll learn from the mistakes she made while owning this one.

Licorice Schtick

IT's not true, BW, that "no one's holding her blameless." She has showed little sign of accepting her contribution to this outcome, or that of her boyfriend's, and most of her defender don't, either.

DGMutley

Really the issue is the justification for shooting the dog. I didn't see it or hear it in the video.

BW1's picture
BW1

"SHE" may not accept responsibility, but none of the people condemning the shooting are holding her blameless. We're saying that the response was not appropriate to the admittedly problematic situation.

princedenny

You're comparing an aggressive, barking dog to children spray painting graffiti? That is so STUPID, it's almost funny.

A) Ms. Hansen repeatedly broke the law since the day she owned the dog,
B) She obviously didn't learn from previous citations,
C) The dog had a history of aggressive behavior,
D) The dog was barking and moving aggressively at Officer Wilson. Why else would he have been backing up?

If she ever gets another dog, maybe she'll learn from the mistakes she made while owning this one.

Bluto

It is too bad the dog had to die , but the owners put that dog in that situation thus putting the officer in a situation where he had to choose between public safety or the dog's life . He obviously regretted having to shoot Lucy , but if the dog would have bolted he would not have been able to keep up with it . That could have lead to it encountering a small child who would be defenseless to protect themselves . He has to think of human life before the dog's . Like I said before the dog should have NEVER been out alone without a leash . That was Ms. Hansen's and her boyfriend's doing . To find blame they should look in the mirror .

BW1's picture
BW1

EVERY person who breaks the law puts themselves in a situation requiring police intervention. That doesn't mean we have Dirty Harry running around gunning down jaywalkers. The dog showed no inclination to venture more than 100 feet from its house.

You can theorize all the hypothetical outcomes you want, but in this country, we don't go all guns a'blazing over hypothetical outcomes. We require IMMINENT danger to people. Yes, the dog COULD HAVE run off and encountered a child, and COULD HAVE attacked that child, but that's chain of three unfounded assumptions. EVERY drunk leaving Daly's COULD get behind the wheel of a car and slam into a family leaving Cedar Point, but that doesn't mean we breathalyze and arrest them at the door to the bar, let alone execute them.

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