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.



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.


I gotta admit, I'm guessing the SR is loving the hits on this one. Emotion always stirs the pot. :)




Yep...anything to sell this crappy "newspaper"


Not a person in the surrounding counties that doesn't know Westerhold is anti-police. He has proved it time and time again. Shame.


Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse...

Hon.Judge James Stacey


Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.

Hon. Judge Judy


I am the LAW! Put down your weapons and prepare to be judged!

Hon. Judge Dredd

Julie R.

I didn't personally know Judge Stacey but I sure have heard an "interesting" story or two about him.

As for a judge saying that Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse ..... if that's true, why are there so many judges ~ not to mention prosecutors ~ in Erie County that FEIGN ignorance of the law?


If only the cops and justice system would be as tough with their criminals, maybe Sandusky would be the hell hole it has turned into.

Hoss McGee

All her friends are saying the cop let the dog suffer. So what they are saying he should've unloaded the gun on The MUTT then go kick the MUTT to make sure the MUTT was dead.


The posts about this are proof that our society is severely ill. Anyone who puts the value of a dog above that of a human needs their head examined. Just more proof of the decay of morals in America.


The SR...enabling an attention whor* to further Matt's longstanding agenda to discredit the SPD. One need only to watch the rally video to see that this has less to do about her dog than it does about her getting attention.

dire wolf

This city doesn't need that type of cop in this town. We deserve better. I'd rather have one less cop patroling our streets than to have to put up with these kind of actions. "I had no other choice" does not cut it in this situation. Policemen should be role models to our children, he was the opposite. Shame on the chief for agreeing with his action. I learned alot about our police department again this week. I'm not impressed again.


Large dog that is unlicensed, and running at large and has had several complaints called to the police about = careless owners. Even the mail lady spoke up and said shes avoided delivering mail because of this dog.

Blame the owners, not the cop.


This issue at large is not whether or not the dog was licensed. It's how the officer handled the situation. In my opinion, it was handled in the worst way possible. After watching the video, noone was in imminent danger and therefore the use of lethal force was not justified. Anytime an officer uses his weapon, it better be absolutely justified. I for one am not comfortable with this officer representing the Sandusky Police Department if this is a representation of the decisions that he makes.

Sandusky Register Reader's picture
Sandusky Regist...


dire wolf

well said. i couldn't agree more.


Spot on.

BULLISDEEP's picture

IT'S ON youtube .

BULLISDEEP's picture

Nothing to do with sandusky, My point was this is now world wide.


Everything to do with dog attacks. My point was this is now world wide too.


Hmmm wonder how it got o there????

BULLISDEEP's picture

To bad they didn't post the full video.


Because the dog chased a postal worker into a neighbors home when the owner was nowhere to be found, this shooting was 100% justified. I love Rotts, but they can be extremely dangerous with irresponsible owners. In this case, it its quite obvious these owners are irresponsible. Step up and take responsibility for your actions. Stop blaming the cop for your wrongdoings. So simple


Did you watch the video? I believe at the end, the officer can't even find the Postal worker who is supposedly hiding in a house. The officer approaches the dog and makes a decision to shoot the dog within 1 minute of arriving on the scene. Noone else is visible in the video while this happens. Hence the comment that NOONE WAS IN IMMINENT DANGER therefore the shooting is NOT JUSTIFIED by any means. Where was the dog warden or someone who is actually trained to handle loose animals?

We are not dealing w/ a rabid racoon here, we are dealing with a family's pet. I would've hoped the an officer would have at least attempted to contact the right personnel to do the job or attempted to control the situation before resulting to shooting.

Again, not a sign of good judgement, probably not qualified to be working as an officer.

he said she said

IMO this is what Hansen wanted: citizens in an uproar over her dog being shot because she is a repeat offender (and if I understood it correctly--hadn't paid the fine from before) and an irresponsible dog owner.

You can say all you want what your dog was like, so can I but I can guarantee that even though mine doesn't bite me, doesn't mean she won't bite someone else.

Put your big girl pants on, pay your fines, and stop blaming everyone else for what you did to your dog!!


Good luck with that....


This was so wrong it said the dog died instantly but in the video you can see the dog trying to move the whole time. I feel the dog didnt have to be shot and then to let her lay there and suffer Just wrong


Are you kidding me. This cop had his hand on his gun the moment he came into sight of the camera.

Dont we have an Erie County Dog Warden--what are we paying dog tags for.

The wild wild west cop needs time off without pay.

Super Judge

All I want to know is this, am I allowed to shoot a dog while Im out on a walk if I feel threatened? If it is I know a few dogs on my walk that could potentaly harm me.


It's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.


People are amazing defending this officers actions. Are you all postal workers or police officer friends? I just saw a white dog, looked like a pomeranian, dirty on the lower part, looks like it has been running for a couple days. It was scared to death. It had a tag on. Must have ACCIDENTLY gotten loose. I tried to get it but it kept running from me (sorta like Lucy did) Poor dog~there was no one to call for help~who? The police? I think not. Good luck around here little doggie~there are tons of animals haters around here!


Where was the dog? I'll go get it and take it to a rescue. But then again, I am a responsible pet owner.

Where is it???


If that dog gets run over by a car, I'm holding you personally responsible for its death. You did NOTHING! And you call yourself an animal lover. Pfffft


I'm totally disgusted with the way people think the way this dog was killed is just fine. Lang isn't much better.


Would you have preferred Officer Wilson to beat the dog to death with a sledgehammer? How would you have preferred he do it?

Rod Farva

What about nunchucks or a sword?

Hoss McGee

What would've you liked officer Wilson to do? Unload his gun on the dog and then beat it with his stick for a lil bit. Then kick it in the head to make sure the Mutt was dead! If she would've had the dog in the house since it was a house dog. Or maybe if her or her boyfriend would've got up off the couch instead of being lazy and not caring, the Mutt was barking it may still be alive!

Hoss McGee

Cause if I was officer Wilson I would've turned into Babe Ruth and got a baseball bat and beat the piss out of the Mutt


Now remember he was hiding from the Police :)


Donna, dump your boyfriend, he didnt retrieve your dog back in the house, He didnt care for Lucy, He probably hid in the house ,watching through the curtains, on the enclosed porch. He could have protected her. He let you down. You trusted her welfare to him,and it sure seems he was negligent to me.wake up.


I second that!!!

he said she said

A question to all: Knowing that Rots are the second most lethal dog under pits, would you all be so upset if this dog had attacked the officer (or the neighbors or the mail carrier) before they had a chance to do anything? Would you still be on the dog's side when it was deemed dangerous and put to sleep? Would you rally for the officer or the neighbor or mail carrier to help them with medical bills from the attack? Would you attend a benefit at a bar to pay for a lawyer so the officer, the neighbor or mail carrier could sue the dog owners?

Keep in mind that this could have been you, your child, your spouse...would you still rally for the dog??


Put yourself in that officers shoes. He did not know this dog or the dogs normal behavior, all he observed and heard from the calls that it was aggressively pursuing people & himself. It is VERY obvious that this dogs owner DID NOT make her dog a priority until it was an issue. That does not mean she or the family did not love Lucy. It is that officers job to protect the citizens and himself in that situation. He was responding to no less than two calls from CITIZENS with problems. If you also note from the video how long the officer was at the house BEFORE the boyfriend even bothered to come out. Again NO Priority. I am very sad for this dog. I am very sad for the coming issues (Undeserved) for the city and this officer. I do not believe in posting blame, but responsibility for this dogs life. It 100% falls on its owner for it's care and well being. Both of those where not taken care of by the owner.


Never before this many comments on any story LOL @police buddies and postal workers~great job. Just keep one thing in mind. There are people that don't come here after they buddy up that are on Lucy's side and are watching to see what happens. A couple people just called me fuming about Susana's write up. Carry on with your games. We will just wait it out. Somebodys got to answer sooner or later. Nitros law is also watching.


You must be smoking the good stuff! Keep blowing smoke while I get the Doritos!

Rod Farva

This makes no sense


Another bad Cop in Sandusky. Whats next, shoot a Cat out of a tree?

Advocate For Animals

No animals are safe in Sandusky. Read the police blotter in the newspaper and see how many wild animals are "dispatched" as they like to call it because a cop backs the animal into a corner and the animal bares its teeth which any scared to death animal will do when it's backed into a corner with no escape.

Perhaps a little training with wildlife experts at Back to the Wild should be on their training list agenda as well.

Rude McGootch

Let's see. I've been warned by authorities at least 4 times in the past because I let my big, mean, vicious dog run free. My dog has already forced a police officer to retreat to his car months ago to keep from being viciously mauled. My dog just chased a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier into someone else's house to keep from being viciously mauled. While my dog was chasing the mail carrier he was barking, slobbering, and snarling up a storm, yet I stayed inside instead of going out to get him. After the police officer arrived my dog continued his barking, snarling, and lunging at the officer yet I still stayed inside. The officer tried to control my large, snarling, growling dog with a "capture pole" but was unable to do so because of the dogs vicious nature. But still I stayed inside. Only after the officer drew his firearm and dispatched the dog to keep himself or someone else, especially a small child, from being viciously mauled did I decide to come out of my house. Damn you SPD, it's all your fault that my large, mean, vicious, snarling, people chasing dog is dead. He was just "misunderstood!"

The Hamburglar

That about sums it up.

Advocate For Animals

You're a blind idiot.


Shouldnt we question [the boyfriends ]motives for not helping out in this situation, he could have prevented this from going down. Rude Mc Gootch,I love the way you put it . .


Yes he could of...seems to me he was only worried about there is a shocker!!!


Ok while I will agree the dog should have been kept on a leash or chained up or whatever fine I will buy that.... BUT if said officer decides to use deadly force to shoot said animal then shoot to kill it and DO NOT let it just lay there in pain!! To me THAT IS animal abuse at it's finest! I can understand why these people are upset to a point about it. People will make the argument that he didn't have time and just had to shoot. BS! he knew he was gonna use his gun before he went around the corner to look for the dog! After he shot the dog he called dispatch to have someone come out and they said it was gonna be a while so maybe the dog might have had a chance but guess we will never know. I think there was a less lethal way to deal with a dog like that, pepper spray or hell even a taser would have been more humane than just shooting it and that is my problem with it. I know it falls on the people who didn't take care of the dog but still.


So youre a good enough shot that you can hit a moving dog and make sure you kill it with the first shot huh Dirty Harry?? OR are you saying he should have shot the dog AGAIN??? LOL wow, but your name says it all!!


man i'm glad i moved out of sandusky 32 years ago. what a bunch of friggin idiots. i live 10 miles north of NYC and you never hear of a cop shooting a dog. meanwhile while looking at the register online it seems like every week some dog is getting shot by some scared dumb cop. what a bunch of scared little girls.

everyone is right when they say the boyfriend is a bum and irresponsible dog owners only add to the problem BUT things do happen and to draw your weapon for any reason besides another person with a weapon is plain wrong.

i've been bitten by a dog before. so what. ouch. hell i've been punched in the face before. ouch. does that mean i can pull out a gun and take a life? any life?

i have rescued 2 dogs in my life by adopting them and the most recent is a pit bull.if i was the boyfriend in this situation this never would have happened. first off because my dog is always under control, on a leash etc. but if it had for some reason, that cop would've left with a broken face and me in handcuffs.

unexplainable. someone has to be held accountable. if the sandusky PD doesn't want to become a NATIONAL laughing stock because of it's lack of training (wait until the ASPCA and PETA find out about this. hell i might email them right after this) they better get someone in front of the cameras real fast and this officer should be disciplined.


Are you crazy?? How else do you suggest they stop an extrememly aggressive dog?? Reason with it maybe?? Maybe if everyone just stands still long enough the crazed vicious dog will just give up?? Obviously youve never been a cop, just another one of those haters......please stay away, we'll be fine...


hating what? cops? you are insane. i respect police and authority as if i were one. it's obvious here though the sandusky PD haven't had adequate training in dealing with situations like this....


dude i'm ex-military six years active. i understand the pressures etc. that might go with being a cop in my hometown (the way it's changed over the years) BUT that doesn't give the right for him to pull out his side arm and shoot the dog.

obviously you are hell bent on defending any officer no matter what so there is no trying to reason with you. hopefully where you serve they aren't as close-minded as you.


LOL the peopl in that city are such a JOKE!! If the dog would have bit a kid, then they would be whining that Brad didnt act fast enough and should have shot him....Westerhold is leading the charge of that city right down even further into the dumps and they are too ignorant to realize it...


the problem is the dog didn't bite a kid, didn't attempt to bite the officer and he still shot it. there's no shoulda, woulda coulda after you pull the trigger.

i'm sure he knows he made a mistake and his employer is now paying for his gaff with public scrutiny.

it's not just sandusky. anywhere somebody is accused of abuse of power or negligent use of force the public eye is turned onto them. what's wrong with that? a lot of things in history have been brought into light and have forced change.

obviously the loss of the animal control officer in sandusky because of budget constraints has come back to bite them in the a@@.

no pun intended.


If the SPD wanted to be responsible, they could hire the Dog Whisperer to handle these situations. I, personally, think they should invest in a crystal ball that they can take on patrol with them, in order to read the thoughts of animals, as well as people. That way, if the dog was lunging, they could pull out the crystal ball and see if the dog meant business, or if it was just trying to intimidate. Dog language classes is also an option. Simple solutions for simple problems. Hey... is there any way we can blame Obama for this fiasco?


sounds like you are the type of person that would want to blame obama.

why is it so hard for some of you to realize the cop didn't have to shoot the dog? i mean obviously you people don't believe an domestic animal's life is worth a damn. but you'll be the same people screaming pro-life when a fetus is killed.

a guess something that is capable of thought, dreams and feelings isn't really a life huh?

your whole post was nonsense. why not bring the crystal ball into every argument known to mankind? wish i had a crystal ball so we coulda known hitler was going to be a monster. wish i had a crystal ball when i dropped out of school and impregnated my 15 year toothless cousin with quadruplets.

too bad you didn't have one then huh?


Well, miktoxic, it seems as though you made my point for me. I'll disregard the Obama comment. That joke obviously went over your head. So, since he didn't "have to" shoot the dog, please enlighten us on what Ofc. Wilson should have done. Because if you think about it, he didn't even HAVE to show up.


If your going to have a dog in the City, you either fence it in or chain it so it can't run free and threaten others. I realize ther eare many dog lovers out there, but the owners irresponsability is what killed their dog. the police officer did waht he felt he had to do. If that dog had bit someone, the owner would have had a law suit against them , and more than likely the dog would have been put down anyway! It was barking and growling at people for some period if time!