Why are police so much more frail than meter readers?

… or are the police merely less well-trained?

One of the many atrocities covered by Radley Balko is “Puppycides” – the killing of dogs by police (usually dogs who were friendly family pets). In pretty much every case, the officer’s actions are considered “justified” because he or she was “threatened.” (See the bottom of Balko’s latest puppycide post for a guide to threatening dog behavior.)

If these dogs in people’s yards are so dangerous, what about meter readers, mail carriers, and other professionals who have to regularly approach houses as part of their job? We don’t even issue them weapons! Why aren’t we daily hearing about gas company employees being mauled to death by family pets?

Do they have some secret? Are they made of tougher stuff?

I spent a couple of years working for a company that delivered coupons and shoppers door-to-door. In order to be efficient, you couldn’t go back out to the sidewalk each time – you cut across the lawn to the next house. Oftentimes I’d reach the corner of the house and suddenly find myself face-to-face with a guard dog that had another 20 feet of chain. I never shot a single dog, nor did a single dog bite me.

I figured out how to negotiate with threatening dogs (without killing them) all on my own.

Maybe the police should receive some training that doesn’t involve pulling out a gun if Daisy barks.

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22 Responses to Why are police so much more frail than meter readers?

  1. Benjamin says:

    Why should the cops change policy? They’re allowed to kill dogs currently, and no one really seems to mind. Well, except the dogs’ owners, but f*ck them. They’re probably criminals anyway. You want them to have to work harder??? You must be on the criminals’ side.

  2. claygooding says:

    I have heard of many dog killings but never any police being mauled by dogs,,anyone have any stories on cops being mauled or seriously wounded by a dog during a gestapo raid?

    • Francis says:

      Careful, clay, they’ll probably use the relative lack of dog-caused injuries as evidence that their shoot-first policies are “working.” And what could be more important than officer safety? Obviously not preventing the needless suffering of innocent creatures and the people who love them.

  3. darkcycle says:

    The police have special problems with animals, as is clearly shown in the photo below:

  4. Cannabis says:

    Where is the civilian control of our law enforcement?

  5. Nunavut Tripper says:

    Killing dogs is simply part of the ” shock and awe ” tactics after the door has been kicked in.
    It could increase the risk for the police as it may cause the homeowners who are in the possession of firearms to literally loose it after their pet has been brutally murdered. Of course cops will blame it on “drugs”.

  6. kaptinemo says:

    Every time I hear about this crap, I get ticked.

    The dogs are only doing what dogs are supposed to do…as any of these cops who have dogs would know, and those who don’t could be filled in by those who do.

    I worked with SAR dogs in the Civil Air Patrol many, many years ago, and learned a lot then besides what I had learned already in life.

    I haven’t had a job that caused me to do door-to-door, but every new place that I’ve gone to, in many cases the residence had a dog, whose first reaction in a few instances was borderline threatening, as that’s what some dogs do when confronted with strangers.

    In every instance, I was able to calm the animal down by just standing still and talking softly to it, not showing fear but attempting to communicate via body language and tone that I wasn’t a threat.

    And I was never, ever bitten, not once; either the owner showed up and took the animal out of sight, or the dog itself realized I was non-threatening and eventually came forward to sniff me and soon was wagging its’ tail and licking my hand. And I am not talking about toy breeds, but working ones, like Shepherds, Dobes and Rotts. Outdoor dogs, with solid muscle under their hide, and quick reflexes backed up by sharp teeth.

    If I, a ‘civilian’ can calm down an excited or frightened dog, then what’s up with the cops?

  7. Rita says:

    As I commented on Radley’s column, police don’t need more training. They need fewer weapons and less impunity for the crimes they commit. And for columnists to stop making excuses for them.

  8. Francis says:

    Maybe dogs really can sense evil. That would explain why they apparently pose a greater danger to so many cops.

    • darkcycle says:

      …but at least their horses love them.

    • kaptinemo says:

      Dogs…and little kids, too.

      I seem to become an ‘honorary uncle’ everywhere I go, as strange kids and animals will come right up to me without any encouragement on my part. I guess they can tell I’m fairly ‘harmless’.

      But in one case, one of those neighbor kids actively avoided an acquaintance I knew, and the kid’s dog, a lovable, goofy, beat-you-to-death-with-it’s-tail Black Lab, got between the man and the child, raised its’ hackles and growled the kind of growl that means it’s five heartbeats away from going for the throat.

      I thought it very strange at the time, as I knew the dog and knew it wasn’t normally aggressive; anything but. He almost knocked me down, trying to lick my face when I first met it. Typical Lab, an analog of a 2 year old kid with 4 feet and fur.

      Years later, after many travels, I returned to my old stomping grounds and I found out from my old neighbors that that person had wound up in prison for child abuse.

      Oh yes, little kids and animals can instinctively sense things adults are not generally aware of. It’s usually a good idea to pay attention to that…

      • claygooding says:

        I do,,if my dog don’t like you,and she thinks humans were put here to pet her,then I don’t like you and you won’t be in my home very long.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      The squirrels yet to be relocated are entirely mistaken in their belief that I want to eat them for dinner. Not even for a midnight snack. Conversely they seem to have no fear of the neighborhood hawk that does enjoy squirrel for dinner from time to time. I was very surprised the first time I saw a squirrel fly by. It doesn’t seem a very pleasant way to go because it appears that the birds prefer to slaughter them after taking them home.

      Entirely by happenstance I’ve observed that male squirrels have (relatively) enormous nut sacks. Managing those things makes their acrobatic ability significantly more impressive. I think that jock straps would be a big hit in the squirrel community.

      Doesn’t the intimate relationship between dogs who enthusiastically work in a forensic investigations and their police masters render the argument in favor of a dog’s ability to “sense evil” ludicrous?

  9. scott morgan says:

    well maybe they shouldnt own dogs.besides the police have the right to defend themselves.I am sick and tired of doped out refomers bitching and moaning,about not having the right to get FUBAR,shut the fujck up seriously. You lose your liberty soon as you ingest a substance that is illegal. You’re risking everyone elses freedoms just so you can be a selfish fucking little prick,assuming “oh it’s my body I can do what i want with it” wrong weiner slobbers! drugs are illegal for a fucking reason. You just got chickens stuffed up your asses.You just wanna talk shit about the government and claim they’re “lieing” only one problem. You’re the ones who believe your own retarded fasist Bullshit. You realize how many kids are in rehab becouse they got addicted to weed. Jesus would be ashamed of this. To claim prohibition doesnt work is a delusional rant, with no fucking evidence to back it up. Where as the Government has published thousands apond thousands of research and studys that still to this day proves the harms of marijuana. so do america a favor and find a god fucking damn issue that has real value to this country.not so half ass retarded monkey shit,like “legalize drugs” fucking seriously people grow the fuck up,get some proper haircuts,take a shower,and before I forget…GET A FUCKING LIFE.oh and a JOB. police put their lives on the line.it’s not their fault those dogs are dead. Its the home owner’s problem and their libilty.Meaning their at fault. If they were not involved in illegal transactions they wouldnt have dead dogs. dont get me wrong i love dogs.personally i wish the officers would have just shot the home owner insteed.thats the problems drugs cause use. drugs harmless think again. just say no.and one more thing. MMJ is a fraud a joke and disrespect for the CSA .we were close to winning this war,till you reformer Nazis had to go all 9/11 on us and claim bulshit medicinal value to marijuana. You’ve confused alot of people and now kids in states that have legalized marijuana have easyer access.crime has fucking skyrocketed to an all time high,rape is up 86%,murder has risen 75% and child abuse and child molestion has increased by 200% even withstanding how every new user of marijuana comes to try weed for the first time.a child is raped and kill becouse of them trying weed. all the evidence you need is in Penn state. go look it up.

    • Peter says:

      Bridge! NOW!!

      • Duncan20903 says:

        It’s a damn shame that the wiggler’s parents reproduced. Even worse, it appears that it happened more than once.

        • Kimbal S. Pierce says:

          Is this guy an example of what might be called a right wing religious conservative?

          Ok, so he wants Jesus to get a haircut and get a job? Okay but I suppose we should leave the haircut up to Jesus though doncha think? It is a free country(TM) you know!

          And about that job? Forgive me (oops, that’s part of it I heard, but only if you are a Christian…so I be screwed, no? Well since all you have to do is *SAY* you believe I guess I’m good (don’t have to mess with helping the poor, hungry, drug addicted, single parents and such…never catch HIM doing that liberal crap would you? Do what you can for yourself! That’ the way isn’t it Scott? I got mine, you got yours…fuck those lazy unemployed scum out there ruining the view of our beautiful city parks by cluttering the view with their damned tents. Besides, everyone know that helping out a “welfare quessn: just makes them dependant on the system when they would be far better off working for $0.50/hr.. 89 hrs./week. Same with those lazy kids. The way to build a strong country is to put em to work and let them pay for their education if they want one that badly!

          Now I see ya’lls points and by golly, they do say a lot. I wish i could say I’ll be seeing you up in the clouds, watching everyone that was left behind below suffer, but alas I believe I fall short of being “saved.”

          You see, for some reason I can’t undersyand, I care about my fellow human beings and apparently. to you and your god, that is a sin. How sad.

    • Kimbal S. Pierce says:

      “MMJ is a fraud a joke and disrespect for the CSA .”

      Oooops! Sorry. I have been mistaken all these years. I thought the CSA (authored by Richard Nixon) was intended to be used as a political weapon against a bunch of dirty hippies who were exercising their Constitutional right of a redress against grievances against the government they saw at the time as violating international and domestic law in it’s pursuance of the Viet Nam War.

      Guess what? They were right! If you doubt my word watch the documentary “The Fog of War” featuring then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamera. Look…..awwww Pete’s right. You just can’t talk or argue with a Bush (both kinds with better luck probably on the plant type.)

      BTW, I hope Jesus gets that haircut along with a real job…somewhere like Wall Street. Just look how those selfless, hard working, super intelligent kazillionaires keep this country booming!

  10. A Critic says:

    Cops are bullies, bullies are cowards.

    Also, many cops nowadays are psychopaths or imitation-psychos in training. Once kill-the-dog becomes SOP then they can start playing the fun game kill-the-citizen.

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