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.



I'm amazed that this story has received all this publicity. At least 5 stories in 2 days over a dog being shot. All because its owner wasn't responsible enough to care for this animal properly and follow the law. Not once, but NINE times. This was not an isolated incident. I'm sure Officer Wilson didn't put on his uniform that morning thinking " I'll shoot a dog today just for the heck of it." As an animal lover, this story pulls at my heart strings. Just as it does when someone's dog gets hit by a car. The bottom line is, when you take out all the "what-ifs", responsibility ultimately lies on the owner.


I don't believe you--"this story pulls at my heart strings". You are attempting to justify Officer Wilson shooting the dog.

If he knew all this why didn't he go up to the door and knock.

You can try to shift the blame but the bottom line is that Officer Wilson couldn't handle the dog and didn't want to call for help so he just shot her.


It is about more than the dog. It is about LE officers making poor choices while in the field, something that we are seeing more of every day (due largely to technology being more readily available). And I do believe that the owners should be held liable, as well. But I do NOT think the officer should be given a free pass on this. The only innocent party here was the dog, who paid for the stupidity of these humans with its life.

Erie Countian

Why is it that irresponsible people always blame everyone else when something bad happens because of their own stupidity and irresponsiblity? The dog would be alive today if the owner had been a responsible owner. Period, end of story.

Second Opinion

Short and to the point,
100% right on target EC.


Sorry, doesn't justify killing the dog.

The New World Czar

The dog's behavior is a product of the environment that he/she is raised in. The officer's response is a product of the environment that he/she is trained in.

I've seen posts about why the dog wasn't tazed, and that in the long run may end up being made part of police procedures. After reading that the pet owner had not paid a previous fine from a previous dog-at-large incident, I have a hard time sympathizing with her...and I am a long-time dog owner.

Kottage Kat

She angry at the wrong people
look in the mirror and blame that person.
She needs to have a little chat with her house mate, also. He has some or maybe a lot of responsibility in this fiasco

Second Opinion

Agreeded, Maybe if she took some of her money she waisted on TAT's and bought a secure fence this dog would be alive.


C'mon Kottage Kat, dogs get out of their back yards all the time. It doesn't justify Officer Wilson killing the dog. Let's hope this isn't SPD's new protocol for rescuing dogs.


We know about the dog's pedigree, how about the owner's pedigree????

The story is really about people that violate the laws then blame others for the fallout.


no it isn't


Wow 60 people showed up. Better get the fire hose.


1st off I've never heard of a warden shooting a dog.
So why does a cop need to?
2ndly the dog retreated to her yard/territory & Barney Fife followed, for those of you that don't know dogs PROTECT what is theirs & does not know the difference between a cop or a robber because they are both strangers.
As a owner of a Rott & German Shepherds I know that if that dog was going to attack Barney she wouldn't have been barking on the sidewalk like she was.
The cop is an fool as is the person that dispatches a police officer to take care of a dog!!!!


That dog at the rescue in Port Clinton got shot too. And it was in the corner of a rescue facility, where people who handle aggressive/neglected, etc. dogs work. And they shot it! Amazing. I bet they had plenty of catch poles in the facility too. Why don't you people harass them too.

BULLISDEEP's picture

THAT dog attacked ,Lucy didn't , BIG DIFFERENCE.


No, Lucy charged a police officer and a mail carrier. She just didn't get the chance to bite. I do not blame this officer in ANY way for dropping Lucy after she retreated and then CHARGED the officer. He does NOT pull his gun until after the dog is out of his view, and he shoots her only after he is the one retreating. If a dog was coming at you, would you sit and see what was going to happen next? Everyone is saying that dog was ten feet away from him, and she was, but how long does it take a DOG to cover ten feet? Longer than it does a human to do the same. He was called to a scene where a dog has chased a mail carrier into a home, he tried talking nicely to the dog, coaxing it into the car, and pulled his gun and shot AFTER he was the one retreating. That dog was not wagging its little tail as it approached him. I'm sorry the dog is dead, it is certainly not her fault that her irresponsible owners let a scared and therefore aggressive dog run the street and harass mail ladies, but the only people to blame here are the owners. That dog is their sole responsibility, not the officers, not the neighbors. My dogs NEVER go outside without a leash unless they are in my fenced in yard. And if my dog ever approached an officer in the manner Lucy did, although I'd be sad that he/she was dead, I would NOT blame the officer. I would blame MYSELF for leaving my dog in that situation. As the owner and "family" of an animal, you are responsible for their safety.

BULLISDEEP's picture

NO ATTACK , cop killed the dog .


Fine, lets put you in with an aggressive dog. You can only defend yourself after the dog bites you.

BULLISDEEP's picture

After the bite I would be ok with shooting, but not here. THE COP KILLED THE DOG.


So you're saying he should have waited for this dog to bite him? Would you wait for a dog to bite you? I am aware that he killed the dog, I think most people with a gun and a dog coming at them would.


Should he have waited for the dog to bite a child? Or someones grandmother? Or the mail lady? And then shot the dog? Or should he have shot the dog and prevented any more damage, which he did.


So , You would wait until the dog attacked you or your child before you would do anything . God , I hope you don't have kids .


Well said Jes1413

BULLISDEEP's picture

Would a , could a , should a ,


Coulda Shoulda woulda, but won't because the cop prevented it.


My point is that officer Wilson was in a much trickier situation than the employees of the rescue, and ultimately made the same decision. The dog at the rescue was in the corner of a building. There were more people there with more catch polls, and yet instead they shot the dog. Officer Wilson was ALONE, with a dog roaming a NEIGHBORHOOD, and had ONE catch poll. And like I've said before, those who think Officer Wilson should have waited for backup would be the FIRST ones SCREAMING their heads off about his decision if while he was waiting, this dog attacked someone.

One more thing, those of you who want to compare this dog to a person, here is a scenario for you. If an officer is on a scene where a man has a gun, should the officer wait for the man to pull the trigger before he shoots him? No, the officer should wait for the gunman to point the gun at a person, and then shoot him. Same thing here folks, Officer Wilson shot this dog when the dog was moving toward Officer Wilson and Officer Wilson was moving away from it. I know a dog attack is not likely to kill an adult, but you don't wait for the worst to happen before intervening.


And I've never heard of a dog warden responding to a domestic dispute, robbery, fatal accident, etc. Your reference to Officer Wilson as "Barney Fife" and the type of dogs you own makes me prejudge you as someone who probably cooks things other than food in their house. Sad isn't it?


OK, 6 articles and counting on this issue. The front page today is the topper. Somedody has to be loving all this negativity toward the SPD. What goes around, comes around.

BillBaker1's picture

I feel this is a horrible Situation and I feel bad for the owners of the dog and also the Police officer who had to shoot it. After saying that I truly believe there are two people to blame for this situation becoming what it is. First off is the Owners of the dog. They needed to take responsibility for this dog. I myself have a dog that loves to run thru its electric fence. So I know this must be a shocker for some of the people on here but after she breaks free and runs around the neighbor I go find Her. Because its your job to control and take care of your pets. Secondly I feel that the Sandusky Register is continuing on its anti Police Officer Rampage. I have never read one article about something good that a Police Officer in any area or city has done for their community. I think its time for the Editor of the Register to grow up and stop attacking the police.