Dog killing spurs change

Mar 2, 2013

It seems to us the question must be: Is shooting a dog and allowing it to die slowly the proper and appropriate way to respond to a loose dog call?

It's not.

Click here for previous stories about the incident and follow the links.

Sandusky police chief Jim Lang said on Thursday he is developing a training program for officers in how to handle loose dog complaints. That's good, but there are legitimate questions whether it's appropriate to even have police officers in charge of loose dog complaints, given the enormity of the usual and important responsibilities officers already have. In the past, dog wardens and animal control officers were assigned these responsibilities, and were trained in the tasks.

Sandusky city commissioners are likely to claim budget constraints forced them to eliminate the job. But the city has a $15 million annual budget, and we're convinced there are still responsible ways to spend taxpayer dollars that have not been explored, given the waste that is ever present in the city budget.

We're glad Lang has decided to develop better animal control response practices. This incident should be viewed as an opportunity to correct bad practices; not endorse them.

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SR can't you give this story a rest already?

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment aaa_zzz. There continues to be a great deal of interest in this coverage, but the "story fatigue" you suggest is understandable. The posting here is an editorial viewpoint scheduled to be published in tommorow's Register. The SR editorial board generally offers viewpoints on the editorial page regarding local news events that garner the public's interest.


This has certainly garnered much interest. Although all the facts have been published, clearly some readers fail to consider them all. This of course makes the comments more interesting.

BULLISDEEP's picture

MATT I see that the Sandusky Register has a Youtube account/ Channel.
Any reason why your videos aren't published ,in full length on there ?


Not wanting to make light of this issue, but due to overwhelming number of comments, six out of the seven stories listed down the right hand side of this page pertain to the dog killing.

Would be nice if commenters would get as riled up about other aspects of how this City is being run into the ground.


What is it going to be? The SR sticking up for her. The people in this town are getting sick and tired of hearing about the mistake she made.


Viewpoints that are completely unbias right?.....pfffft haha. Your paper is about as unbias as a dog turd is square.

BW1's picture

aaa_zzz, exactly who forced you to read? Do you need assistance understanding how your web browser works?

The Brownie Elf

Why in the world would anyone want to be a police officer in Sandusky? There is SOOOOO much support for them. I have two dogs (which are not vicious) but if they got out of my fenced yard and were threatening somebody, I would be responsible. They have to go home to their families and not have a piece of their arm taken off or their jugular bitten.


Double post.

Yellow Snow

As dog owners, are we not responsible for assuring our beloved pet is socialized? This needs to happen at a very young age. Dogs are intelligent. They quickly learn what is acceptable behavior and what is not. But you have to teach this. It's no different than teaching a child what limits are acceptable.


Bingo! The dogs as well as humans need to be good citizens and neighbors. Lucy was not a dog I would want for a neighbor. I do not begrudge anyone wanting a big guard dog in Sandusky but do as Yellow says and train it. Take the puppy to Walmart and sit on a bench outside and let everyone pet it for some early socialization.


This particular dog owner said Lucy was a "house pet". Who gets a Rottweiler for a house pet? Clearly someone who knows nothing about caring for a dog.


Pardon me Mum, but I have a Rottweiler for a house pet. I also have a 125lb Mastiff. My dogs are well trained and socialized. I sent the Rottie to North Coast Canine for 2 weeks to be formally trained. I know how to care for a dog. Just because my preference for dogs happens to be for large breeds does not make me ignorant. My Rottweiler is a very good dog. He is friendly, and loves people. I feel bad for Lucy, but the owner should have kept her under control. My feelings are that when you become the owner of a large breed dog, you should take accountability and get the dog trained properly, otherwise you should not own a large breed. I do not agree, however, that shooting the dog was the answer. Why wasn't the dog warden called? That is what she is there for. Please do not pass judgement on owners of large breeds for pets. Rottweilers are actually more well behaved and friendlier than a lot of small breed dogs. Thanks.


My point is that Ms Hansen indicated that Lucy was not taken out on regular walks because she was a house pet. That is like having a fish and keeping it in a cage instead of water.

bored reader

we had a rotti and she was an indoor dog. She went for walks regularly but we don't believe in keeping our dog outside in a cage. Just because it's a rotti doesn't mean he/she shouldn't be a house pet.


As mine is currently flipped over on his back on my couch!! He would protect me if I needed him to, but for the most part he thinks he is a lap dog!! Both my dogs have cages but they are in the house (we kennel trained them as pups) They only go in there now if I need to keep them out of the way, i.e. when the painter came over....I just wish this whole thing had not happened.. I can't even watch the video. I really hope that ALL involved learned from it.

nosey rosey

Are you serious? All domesticated dogs should be a house pet. I certainly hope you do not have a dog because you are clearly uneducated.

Mr. Touchdown

The dog would not have suffered if the owner would've been responsible enough to abide by the law & keep the dog tied up! Not to mention the previous dog at large charges & no dog license. This wasn't a one time occurrence.The cop responded to a complaint about an aggressive dog & took care of business when he had to!Sure he could've pumped another round into the dog but shooting a gun in a residential area is not safe.The 1st shot put the dog down & removed the threat before it attacked him or another person. A 2nd shot was unnecessary & could've put a person at risk w/ a ricochet etc. If that was a person instead of a dog the cop would you expect the cop to shoot again to put the person out of their misery? He used reasonable force IMO.


As I understand it, keeping a dog tied up also creates "bad dogs". You can't get a dog just because you want one. If you have to leave it tied up and can't walk it regularly, or supervise it properly, don't have one. It is not fair to the animal. So many dog owners on here feel it is ok to tie up their dogs.

Darwin's choice

So, the first shot was made without any "risk of a ricochet etc." , but "shooting a gun in a residential area is not safe" comes into play after officer quickdraw determines that a second shot isn't needed because of his extensive training in determining what a dangerous situation is?

BW1's picture

Mr. Touchdown, the clear implication of your first sentence is "if your dog gets loose it will be shot."

Now, does that sound like a reasonable position?

Mr. Touchdown

Don't assume I'm implying anything! If your dog get's loose & acts aggressive & threatens another person they can legally shoot your dog too! My point is control your dog & things like this won't happen.


Implying? You aren't implying anything, you are making it very clear--if your dog gets off his lease in Sandusky, he's dead unless you get there before the cops.

Swamp Fox

Once again the Register displays its excellence in biased anti law enforcement journalism.


Any time any police officer gets to have more job training its a bonus, but perhaps this story, if anything, should be a warning to individuals to keep their "pets" on leashes, within fences and to get a license for their dogs.

A little training for that dog wouldn't be a bad idea either. Perhaps training for the police officers isn't the only thing needed here, but training for dog owners and dogs as well. Be a little responsible as a pet owner yourself before criticizing those who have to take over when you fail to do what is necessary to control your pet.

BW1's picture

@wiredmama:"perhaps this story, if anything, should be a warning to individuals to keep their "pets" on leashes, within fences"

THAT'S RIGHT - MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF HER!!!!!!! Let this be your only warning people, if your dog gets out we'll KILL it.

What a charming expression of the relationship between people and their government. And you want to run for office. Wow.


Unfortunately for Lucy , Ms. Hansen failed repeatedly to heed the warnings.

BW1's picture

That is unfortunate, but it's also unfortunate that the officer's first impulse was to go for his gun. Her idea of good dog care is a problem, but his idea of an appropriate response to the situation is a bigger problem. Like I said in another comment, your favorite president isn't getting all worked up about curbing dog violence.

You're very quick to talk about a HYPOTHETICAL child the dog could have threatened, but based on a recent police raid in Sandusky county, said child would be in more danger from the cop's bullet than from the dog (you'll recall the police in that story shot at the dog and hit a person.) If I was a resident of that neighborhood, I'd have a real problem with an officer using a firearm against a potentially fast moving target like that. Go back and watch the video again - he fired one handed, with the gun below his line of sight, from a non-planted stance. That's a long odds shot, with a high powered handgun, in a residential neighborhood. Also in the video, he remarks that the dog "doesn't want me anywhere near him" - not exactly a charging menace to the officer. The dog shows no inclination to leave the area. Finally, in his first encounter he says the dog was "growling and opening its mouth like it was going to charge" - NOT that it was charging.


Hey here is a thought, how about don't let VERY UNEDUCATED people own dogs! If she was smart she would have figured out that however she was "chaining up" her dog wasn't working. Having her dog get loose multiple times and getting ticketed for it multiple times would give you a clue that you need to change something right?!! Obviously common sense isn't so common with some people! How about educating dog owners to have common sense and not be idiots.