Cops Shoot Dogs; Why Don't Mailmen?

by Will Grigg
May. 21, 2014

Practically every day the public is informed of an incident in which a dog is shot and killed by a police officer, often in front of its owner's residence. In most cases, the dog doesn't pose an immediate risk to the officer or anybody else. And they're rarely held accountable because “officer safety” is regarded as the most important consideration in such episodes.

 Police officers are hardly the only people who routinely come into contact with unfamiliar dogs. Postal carriers and private couriers have occupations that involve regular visits to private homes and encounters with dogs that may or may not be friendly.

 In 2013, there were more than 5,500 incidents in which postal carriers were bitten by dogs while delivering the mail. It's likely that more than a few private couriers had similar experiences. Yet the public record is barren of stories describing a panicky mail carrier or UPS or FedEx employee gunning down a dog and then insisting it was justified because he was scared of the animal.

 Rather than killing a threatening dog, deliverymen will simply refuse to provide their services until the owner reins in his pet. Police could do likewise, but they see their role as controlling, rather than serving, the public.

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