There's no exact count for how many dogs are killed by police every year, though, in 2014, an official with the Department Of Justice declared the shooting of dogs by police an "epidemic." But, hell, no one really knows how many human beings are killed by cops each year, so it's not exactly surprising that we're even less sure about man's best friend. Still, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that as many as half of all police firearm discharges involve a dog. When we brought that statistic up to "Tim," a police officer for 16 years, he said that sounded about right.
Police dogs become very good at changing the subject whenever their moms ask how work's going.
So, why would police get into so many gun battles with canines? Well, for one thing, the threshold for an officer to fire on a dog is ridiculously low: If the cop feels threatened, he's justified in shooting. That sounds reasonable on the surface, but you have to realize how low the threshold is for "threatening" behavior in some of these cases. Our source, Tiffanie, learned that firsthand when the state police showed up at her house for a domestic disturbance. This wasn't some situation where they were confronted by a snarling pit bull protecting a drug den -- it was her family dog, chained up in the front yard, barking at strangers the way dogs do.