Sep 20 2007
08:45 pm
By: Pam Strickland


I just realized that the police shot the pit bull less than a block from my house. No body at my house was home that day, but we had realized the dog was gone and we had wondered what happened to it. We obviously don't read the KNS as closely as we could have. One of us did see two men in short-sleeved white shirts talking to a person who was apparently Smith sometime that week.

From what I know, which is observation from semi-close, the police were probably within their rights to shoot the poor thing.

Yes, the poor thing. They moved in last fall, I believe. I know it was at least late summer. The dog was chained to a tree. He had an igloo hut, but it was turned over more than it was upright. He had water, and I suppose was feed regularly. But he barked and lunged at everything that pretended to walk near the back yard. A friend with a big lab mix had rerouted their regular walk because the pit was so loud and mean. I never saw anyone pet him or play with him or give him any positive attention. They yelled at him to be quiet. The chain had worn the grass off the back yard. The yard is not fenced.

I had called the city at one point, and was told that so long as the dog had water and was contained within the property that they really couldn't do anything. I feel bad that I didn't do more. He was just pitiful. I've known well-cared for pits and rotweillers who were good pets. This poor thing never had a chance to be good.

I never saw a second dog outside, until the last week or so. This one appears to be younger and healthier. But we'd already been wondering how long that would last. I was on campus when I checked in on the KNS website this afternoon, and on a fluke read the story. When I came home, I couldn't tell if the new dog was still there.

We've often wondered just who lived there because of all the cars and people coming and going. This is a very unsettling way to find out.

Factchecker's picture

By coincidence, we were just

By coincidence, we were just talking about that episode while taking our neighborhood walk tonight. Lots of dogs were barking everywhere and it dawned on me that the old practice of getting a dog as a cheap and reliable burglar alarm has come to backfire on modern society. It has come down to too many little incessantly yappy nuisances and too many neglected, abused, or vicious dogs like the one above.

So many people are the pits of the world. We're doomed.

Pam Strickland's picture

Yeah, the last time I saw

Yeah, the last time I saw this poor thing, I was out in the street on the day of the lunar eclipse, trying to get far enough away from the trees in my yard that blocked it. When he saw me, he started barking and that caused every dog in the neighborhood to start barking. I guess standing out in the street in my nightgown wasn't the best idea....


Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Carole Borges's picture

I walk my dog every morning and see this every day

I can't believe people still think it's okay to leave a dog outside night and day or worse yet chained to a stake in an unfenced yard. One corner I pass has two dogs who never seem to be allowed in the house. They are sweet dogs and don't bark that often, only when someone gets close to their territory. Across the alley from them are two dogs who yap furiously day and night. I once called the police at 3 a.m. because it sounded like one of them was yelping in away that seemed like some kind of emergency. By the time they arrived (of course) you could have heard a pin drop.

I know several responsible pit bull owners who have reared very gentle dogs, but I can't help feel wary around pits I don't know well. The ones who are tied up all the time, must feel so frustrated and angry.

I think the police were probably within their rights to shoot your neighbor's dog, but from the newspaper descriptions it also sounds like they were pretty typically unconcerned about anything other than law and order.

Maybe the other dog will be treated better, but I doubt it.

Sam's picture

Kns has another story about Kobe's irresponsible owners today!

ma am's picture

No way was KPD right!

The dog was CHAINED. KPD entered its territory at their own peril. If I remember correctly the biting was over when the officer shot the dog.

Rather, I believe that KPD had (has?) an attitude that the owner was a (perceived) criminal or an associate thereof, and therefore that it was OK for them to teach the dog's owner a lesson, by proxy. I believe they chose the rear entrance, entered the chained dog's well-marked and signed territory, to provoke a reaction. Remember the Cookeville incident? Same thing. The owners warned the cops of the danger of the dog leaving the vehicle and repeatedly asked them to close the car door. Typical Blackwater behavoir.

I am glad to see some press on this again. Note the owner had to bury the dog w/o its head. Regardless of the responsibility or lack thereof by the owner, KPD's actions were inexcusable. This could easily happen to you or me in the case of mistaken address or identity.

Last night on my walk in the same hood, I encountered a fenced dog who was also chained to a concrete block. Will be calling Animal Control today.

Stan G's picture

I Disagree

I think the police were probably within their rights to shoot your neighbor's dog,....

Not to defend the dog owner since this particular owner appears to treat his dogs as something less than a family pets; however, I have to believe that the dog was barking as the officers approached giving them ample opportunity to avoid the situation.

Pam Strickland's picture


I don't advocate cops shooting dogs, or anyone else for that matter. This was a strong dog who lunged as much as possible, and could easily leave the impression he was going to pull the chain from it's anchor. From my knowledge of animals, it would have been unlikely he could have been retrained to be gentle and loving, or even neighborly.

There was a beware of dog sign, and now there is also a No Trespassing sign. The last day or two the new dog hasn't been there.

As for entering from the rear, that is the entrance used by the residents of the house. There's no parking space in front of the house, and a ditch on the side of the house so the front of the house is not easily accessible.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Pit Bulls

The Pit Bull has gotten a really bad rap. I used to live next door to a woman who owned two PBs, who were brother and sister. They were well fed, well cared for, and knew they were loved. As a result, they were very happy and friendly with just about everyone. The female used to run out of the house when I was mowing our yard and playfully try to untie my shoelaces. As soon as I acknowledged her, she'd roll over for a belly rub.

Fortunately no K-ville cops were around, or they would have probably shot her before she got to me.

Joe328's picture

Police Report

Has anyone read the police report by Officer Coffey? He states that he shot the dog from ten feet away, while it was attacking the other officer. Ten feet is a long shot on a moving target with friendly forces that close. I just don't see anyone taking a chance of hitting a friend. Also, there were no bite wounds, the hospital treated a scrape or abrasion. He fired two shots and both hit the moving target. If you look at other police shootings, they usually fire thirteen rounds each with about two or three hitting the target.

The first press release from the police stated the the other driver was injured. The accident was the other drivers fault, and no injuries were reported or treated as first stated by the police.

Someone claiming to be Officer Coffey's previous supervisor. Posted on the KNS, that he has an attitude problem, especially with authority.

I believe the dog is better off dead, considering his living conditions, but I don't the truth is being told.

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