Police in Buffalo, New York, have killed more than 70 dogs during arrests or raids since 2011, according to numbers obtained by a local news station through a Freedom of Information Act request.
More than 90 dogs were involved in shootings across Buffalo during that time, according to WGRZ-TV's investigation. One Iraq War veteran told the station he wants justice for his 2-year-old pit bull, Cindy.
"These dogs become part of your family," Adam Arroyo said. "She was my first dog ever, and she was a great dog."
Cindy was killed during a raid in June 2013 when law enforcement officials entered Arroyo's home while he was out. Police didn't find the cocaine they were searching for, but they did find Cindy, who was barely 50 pounds at the time. They shot and killed her, and realized later they had entered the wrong apartment.
According to use of force reports obtained by station, Buffalo police shot a total of 92 dogs from Jan. 1, 2011 through September 2014. Seventy-three of the dogs died; 19 survived.
By comparison, Cincinnati police have shot seven dogs a year since 2011, and New York City police killed 36 dogs per year in the same timeframe, meaning Buffalo racked up nearly three times the dogs killed as a municipality of similar size, and was on par with a city that has nearly eight times the total population.
WGRZ noted that Buffalo isn't the only large city with a high dog death rate: the Milwaukee Police Department shot nearly 50 dogs per year from 2000 to 2008, and the News-Press in Florida discovered 111 instances of dog shootings in southwest Florida among multiple agencies between 2009 and 2012, coming to about 37 per year. And according to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago police shot approximately 90 dogs per year between 2008 and 2013 .
Perhaps disturbingly, WGRZ found that a single officer shot 26 dogs during the entire time period analyzed; in 2011 and 2012 alone, that officer killed as many dogs as the entire New York City police department.
“The numbers are what the numbers are,” Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards told WGRZ. “Certainly, no officer takes any satisfaction in having to dispatch a dog.”
But the Buffalo PD declined to provide the station with an update on an internal investigation launched after the death of Arroyo's dog. He's since moved out of his apartment, but still wants justice for Cindy.
"How would they feel if somebody ran into their house and did that to them?" Arroyo said. "The message would be, just do your investigation correctly, realize what you're doing, and maybe have animal control or some type of non-lethal method to extract these dogs."
(H/T: Information Liberation)
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