Dear PoP – Dog Shot at Adams Morgan Day

“Dear PoP,

Just overheard reporters discussing what happened;

poodle and rottweiler Ed. Note: We’ve since learned it was a pit bull mix get in fight, owners break up dogs, but the owner of the Rottweiler’s Pit Bull mix’s dog bit him in the hands…cops tell owner to let go of dog and when he does they throw it down window recess in front of the brass knob and an officer shoots/kills dog in the window recess. I’m sure people are wondering what happened.”

What a terribly sad unfortunate incident during a normally joyous festival.

More details as they become available.

The Post reports:

“D.C. police shot and killed a dog in the middle of 18th Street in Adams Morgan. The circumstances of the shooting remain unclear, but the dog was shot and killed in the 2300 block of 18th Street around 1:40 p.m., D.C. police said.”

UPDATE from MPD 9:53pm:

“Earlier this afternoon, during the Adams Morgan Day events, an MPD officer encountered a dog in the crowded pedestrian area that got out of the control of it’s handler. The dog attacked another dog and also bit it handler. The officer, after making several attempts to subdue the dog by training tactics, had to finally shoot one time to stop the dog.

Captain Aubrey P. Mongal
Third District”

166 Comment

  • Stupid cops.

  • I just came from this with my 2 dogs in hand seconds after the dog was shot. I’ve gotten a few stories, not sure if cops were in the wrong or not. Several said the dog was vicious (but they all said it was a pitbull not a rottweiler, I did not take a look because I’m not interested in seeing dead dogs). Cops said the dogs were fighting and it took a while to break it up. The dog that bit the dog owner was still in fight mode and getting ready to charge. Another guy said the dog was completely subdued, so who knows. All I know is I decided to take my dogs home.

  • What the hell??!?

    Almost impossible this should have happened this way. Dammit.

  • If the dog would have really tore into someone, people would complain that the cops didn’t do something. Get over it.

    • Can’t agree more. It’s a dog.

      • I’m not even addressing this news story, but your commentary of “It’s a dog”, like dogs are inferior and disposable is disgusting.

        • Sorry Liz, but when stacked against the safety of humans, dogs are inferior. And I say that as a crazy dog lady myself. Shame on that dog’s owner/handler for putting it in a situation that would make it act out.

        • yes, dogs ARE inferior.
          disposable? hell no.

        • of course human trumps dog any day, but saying ‘Its a dog’ or ‘get over it’ is pretty ridiculously callous. would you say ‘Oh, Michael Vick didn’t do anything wrong, they were just dogs’? If a human life was in danger, I think we can all agree that this was the right action, if not, it becomes less clear. Also, ‘its just a dog’ overlooks the questions of whether it was safe for the officer to discharge his weapon with out it being absolutely necessary, and whether, if the cop did over react, he would react similarly with a human subject.

        • Actually people are better than dogs.

  • This is the second time that I have witness a dog been shot by police in DC.

    I wonder if there is any other way to solve these kind of situations. Are they really trained to react this way?
    Do they need to be so violent and use a gun in the middle of a festival?????? Very disappointing…

    I mean if two humans get involve in a fight is the police going to separate both of them and after that throw one of them in the window recess and shoot him too?????

    I think we should all try to be better and not always be so violent or extremist.Even if we are dealing with an animal that for some reason is been aggressive.

    • You cannot reason with a dog. If humans are fighting, it is clear that at some point you can have a conversation with them. No matter what anyone says, you cannot reason with a dog.

      • you can, however, mace a dog to subdue it. you don’t need to shoot it dead on the spot. i recognize that there are situations where police raid a house and there is a potentially vicious dog threatening them, in which case they are compelled to shoot the dog. this does not sound like that type of a situation.

        without knowing the specifics of the situation, subduing it and having it evaluated by animal control seems like it would have been a more appropriate protocol.

  • First of all, it was a pitbull, an extremely muscular one at that. A poodle (or terrier) got too close and the pit latched onto its leg. The owner of the pit took about 2 minutes to get it off the other dog, at which point it looked like the pit had clenched onto its owner. At this point I started walking away and heard a loud pop. So I didn’t see it get shot. This dog was not properly socialized and should have never been allowed around other dogs without a muzzle, especially at a large event like this.

  • Just what was said above –

    This dog was not properly socialized and should have never been allowed around other dogs without a muzzle, especially at a large event like this.

  • The versions of the story reported by the Post, TBD and DCist commenters vary so wildly who knows what happened.

  • Couldn’t they have tasered the dog first, and then determined if killing it was necessary rather than just shooting it immediately? They certianly don’t hesitate to taser people.

    • You are misinformed – MPD doesn’t taser people because they don’t carry tasers. They’re not approved for use by MPD.

      • they do carry tasers.. and I did see someone get tasered just two weekends ago on U and 9th street. (though tasering a dog sounds ridiculous to me)

  • “If you think that a police officer was in danger from a dog then you don’t know anything about dogs.”

    If the owner had the dog under control and the cop took it and killed it anyway, then that’s inexcusable and possibly criminal. But if that dog wasn’t under control than it’s ridiculous to say it wasn’t potentially a dangerous situation.

    You’re right–these cops didn’t know anything about this dog. All they knew was it was angry and in “fight” mode. I’ve had to calm my own dog down a couple of times when it’s gotten that way, and it’s only about 25 pounds and also generally completely mild mannered. I would hate to be in a similar situation in a really crowded place with a large, angry, strong dog that I’ve never seen and that doesn’t know me. Letting it go certainly was not an option and probably wouldn’t have worked in any case–it’s not like the street in that moment provided a nice calm sanctuary for the dog to snap back out of it.

    Shooting a gun at a street fair seems like a really bad idea and I hate to see a dog get killed, but I’m not really sure what tools the cops would have had at their disposal.

    I also want to be clear that I’m not going to blame the dog, assume it was “aggressive,” or blame the breed. At least one person claimed the other dog bit the pit bull first. But I’ve always been taught that, no matter how well you know a dog and how sweet it is, there’s always a chance it’s going to get angry and freak out and it’s your responsibility as the owner to handle that.

    I’ve seen a number of people say the dog was up for adoption by a group at the agency. If that’s the case, I have a whole lot of questions for them. Was the dog on a leash? (I’ve seen one person say it wasn’t.) Was the handler a member of the adoption group? If so, how much experience did they have with this dog and with big dogs in general? Had the dog previously been handled in crowded areas? Did they know how it would react to being provoked by another dog?

    Maybe one way to prevent similar situations is for pet adoption groups to arrange for an animal control officer to be present if they’re at festivals like this. Or maybe street festival organizers should consider doing that anyway, given the large number of dogs that are always going to show up. Or at least the adoption groups could make sure volunteers have some formal training in dog handling, particular in how to deal with situations like this.

    I recognize that would place a lot of burden on some of these groups, but they also may want to consider that they’re very, very lucky the dog didn’t actually bite anyone.

    • agreed. you ought to post these thoughts on DCist, too – that comment thread is going nuts with “fire the cops” postings without anyone bringing a sense of reason to the discussion.

    • Fair enough. If that version of the story bears out, that’s really horrendous. Any idea who “Almost Retired” is, saying he was trying to help the handler and that it was a cop trying to restrain the dog? That’s the most pro-cop version of the story I’ve seen, and it obviously differs significantly from what you were able to report.

      I sympathize with a cop faced with an angry big dog that isn’t really under control, but I’m scared of a cop who thinks they can just decide on the spot that a dog being handled by its owner is actually too dangerous and that it’s a good idea to shoot their gun at a street fair.

      • Thats what concerns me too, if it turns out that the cop saw the dog restrained by its handler, and decided that he had a better solution to the the problem. who knows what the truth is, but at least some of the stories lead in that direction. If on the other hand, the situation was not under control when the cop showed up, I can at least understand how he would have had to make a split second decision and decided to do what he did, whether it was appropriate or not… we’ll have to wait and see I guess.

      • “Almost Retired” here. I just objectively described events from a good vantage point. I’m wasn’t trying to be pro anything, but I certainly didn’t think the officer’s action was justified. I was fine with his deciding to control the dog, but believe he should then have called animal control.

        As far as helping the handler?? – you may be referring to after the shooting, a different policeman – not Officer Fike – came over and handed Aaron something to wipe the blood off his hands and the two of them were talking – not in any aggressive way. The officers were individuals – not all acting the same. One was quite concerned when I pointed out that Parrot was still alive after the shooting and was suffering. Officer Fike was not.

  • My personaly opinion is I’m not sure 100% what happened. Yes the dog should have been more controlled, but I can’t believe putting the dog down by shooting it in the middle of a crowded street festival was at all appropriate.

  • I’d rather not speculate without the details, but I believe that police use their guns, the vast majority of the time, to protect the public or themselves from imminent harm. I would find it hard to believe that they shot the dog without thinking it was an immediate, dangerous threat to the people around it. A poorly socialized dog of any medium or large breed can be very dangerous. Pitbulls are usually wonderful dogs, but they are notoriously single-minded and stubborn if they end up in a fight, and they have a very high pain threshold. An out of control pit cannot be nearly impossible to subdue without excessive violence to the dog.

  • it is fortunate that they have cops in dog parks. I’ve seen a lot happen there. I once watched my dog inexplicably get pinned by a pit bull who had him by the neck as the two were snarling and tumbling the owners standing around and bystanders trying to pry the pitbull’s mouth off – there was shouting and horrific noise of the dogs. While it was happening, I pictured that my dog would be ripped to shreds, skin hanging from his body, but he was without a scratch. More often than not, this is the outcome of a fight. It is hard to tell though what the degree of damage as you are in the middle since there is generally so much noise and commotion.

    Spectacular misjudgment on the part of the dog handler to bring and unknown dog into crowds like that…especially a dog that is so large and strong and without a proper collar to restrain. I blame the handler mostly, perhaps a police misjudgment, but they are required to act in the heat of the moment.

    • It is fortunate that they *don’t* have cops in dog parks

    • What idiot brings their pit to a dog park anyway.
      Law suit waiting to happen.

      I would NEVER let my dog set 2 feet into a dog park,and he is a Pit bull.

      Never trust a dog not to fight. Dog parks are all around a BAD IDEA!

      • i think that mentality is what leads to grossly undersocialized dogs. it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy for pit owners.

  • +1 let’s hear the details and sort it out then. i agree that a very significant majority of the time police don’t use their guns without very good reason. this being in a crowd may have complicated things, both from a heightened risk perspective (out-of-control dog [if that’s what it was] running amok in a large group of people) and the general confusion to decision making that crowds bring. judging the cops, calling for folks to be fired is ridiculous until real information comes out and the confusion of what seems like a very confused scene gets worked out.

  • Come on folks. At least it wasn’t a DYRS child shooting someone again. The cop was doing his job, though perhaps they should carry dog nooses on a pole during their freakin’ shifts all the time. Criminy.

  • Did they even give the handler of the pit and the guardian of the poodle a chance to calm their dogs down and separate them? Shooting a dog should be a LAST resort, not a first resort. It seems the cops were a little too trigger-happy when they threw the dog away from the crowd and shot him.

    • based on what? seems from what? why jump to conclusions, propel yourself to a level of righteous indignation against cops whom you imagine to be violent and insensitive to a dog’s life?

      • Because this is not the first time cops were insensitive to a dog’s life. Ask the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland. Granted, two different jurisdictions, but same sad result.

        I understood the cop THREW the dog over a railing. Was that not sufficient to separate the animals and defuse the situation?

  • The common element to most of these stories is “Pitbull”. This is a breed made for attacking, and even when raised in a loving home, can quickly turn vicious. It’s really unfortunate that every third dog in DC is a Pitbull mix, but I guess it’s the official pet of the ‘hood.

    • Haha. “Made.” Clearly a statement based on scientific, rigorous analysis.

    • you are clearly ignorant. perhaps you ought to reserve your comments for situations about which you have a miniscule of knowledge.

      • While Bloomingdale’s comments might not be undebatable truths, I wouldn’t dismiss the points so quickly. Pit Bulls have this reputation and its not for no reason.

        • pits have a reputation, yes, but it is highly ill deserved. they are stigmatized because, as a physically resiliant and apt fighting breed, they have been misused, mistrained, and exploited psychologically for their physical potential. as a breed they are the most human-loyal, loving, sweet dogs. how do i know this? i handle pits at whc adoption events. i interact with them regularly. any dog can be made into a monster. it just so happens that pits have been exploited for this purpose. they are not born bad, but they are all too often made bad by irresponsible, ignorant, idiot owners. they are by nature among the most loyal, human friendly dogs.

          • Sorry -my comments are not from ignorance. I had a good friend who raised a Pitbull from a puppy in a loving home, with her children. One day something spooked it (I don’t recall the incident, but it wasn’t much). The dog went beserk and tried to maul her. One incident isn’t a “scientific” analysis, but coupled with their reputation, I’ll pass thanks. More important… why take the chance, when there are so many docile, family-friendly breeds out there?

          • It is not ill-deserved and it’s more than reputation. Look up the statistics on the number of injuries and fatalities caused by all breeds, and note the disproportionate number caused by pit bulls. My nephew’s lab was killed by two pit bulls just a few weeks ago. They are a potentially dangerous breed because they were bred to fight and kill. I would never let my dog near one of them.

          • Tried to maul? Did he bark and you divined his intentions before the act?

        • They have a reputation because of the news coverage. Notice the stories don’t mention the behavior of the poodle. Do you even know what the most aggressive dog breeds are? Oh, you don’t? Well, they’re tiny dogs like daschunds. Their behavior goes ignored because they’re small.

          All dogs are capable of anything at any time – you have idea what your dog is thinking. But no one covers a small dog yelping/biting in a larger dogs face until the larger dog takes a swipe at it (nevermind that that is actually pretty normal behavior even if we don’t like it).

          And my fiance has been bitten by a pit bull at the dog park when separating my dog and the pit bull. I would still own one in a minute (if we weren’t a one dog at a time family)

      • Thanks for life advice. Now go back to your cave.

    • Wow, you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. Do some research.

  • Aren’t there strict laws regarding pitbulls and mixes, which included destroying them if they harm people. It’s a sad story and I am very sad about the dog. But, I can’t imagine a police office firing a gun in a crowded venue unless they believed the situation warranted it. We ask a lot of police officers and often they must make split second decisions about maintaining peace and safety for all of us as well as themselves. It seems the officer was following the law… and trying to protect crowds of people.

  • So basically there is no evidence to suggest the dog was about to hurt anyone.

    Even if you are not fond of animals and merely consider the dog to be personal property, if you think that it is acceptable for a police officer to unilaterally decide to destroy someone’s property without any chance for review or adjudication, you deserve to be deported to China.

    • Where do you get that “there is basically no evidence” from? It sounds like the cop had to make a judgment call in a situation with a dog that potentially could have hurt someone. Obviously there is a chance that the officer’s actions were wrong, but yes, I do believe that there are situations where a police officer can shoot a dog without going through an administrative review process. And I’d prefer to keep my American citizenship if that’s alright with you.

  • totally totally fucked up.
    how do you go from this:
    to firing your gun along 18th st during a festival.

    that dog was subdued, then it was executed.

    fuck that.

    • Real easy, unlike a human you can’t “subdue” a wild animal, which is what a dog in attack mode is. Without animal control officer present with the proper restraints, putting the dog down was the only appropriate response, period. Even with an trained animal control officer there, I still would have been worried. Anyone who thinks differently has never been the victim, or witness, of a dog attack.

      I’ve seen a pitbull attack a bystander then be pulled from that person and “restrained” only to attack the person restraining it. You don’t restrain wolves when they attack. It’s fight or flight and once they get into flight mode, game over. How long did you expect the officer to sit on the dog?

      By the way, in not a cop. But, it’s common procedure for PD to shot dogs that pose a threat.

      • It doesn’t sound like you can “subdue” a police officer in “attack mode” either. Throwing a dog over a stairwell — what kind of ninja-movie bullshit is that? Somebody needs to adjust his steroid dosage

        Seems like you like that action hero crap, but let them freelance on a dog, and they’ll freelance on you and yours one day.

        You can subdue any dog, wolf or coyote, with a jumbo slice or a chicken on a stick, if need be, at least until animal control show up.

      • That dog was either not a pit bull,or was trained to kill.

        Pit bulls by nature are not man eaters,and do not hurt humans unless trained to do other wise.

    • Really good evidence that cops are totally fucked up

      • I saw the entire thing from beginning to end. It was scary. The dog was out of control. The dog bit his handler. Case and point. If a dog bites a human, especially in a crowded area with children, then the cop has the right to make that judgement call. I’m sorry Sol, but it wasn’t fucked it. What was fucked up was watching the pit bite the shit out of the poodle, 3 adults trying to pry the jaws of the pit open, and then watching the handler get bitten. That was fucked up.

        So as much as I love animals, and trust me I do, the cop was right. Cops are not right a lot of the time, but in the case, he was.

  • I only hope the police are this close and this responsive if a pit bull attacks my terrier.

  • The poodle was injured, its paw was hanging by skin and tendons. The officer was cannine and loves dogs. The pit did indeed bite its handler who had multiple puncture wounds to his hands. MPD attempted to subdue the animal and was also bitten. He was tossed into the cellar to trap him till animal control couls arrive. He charged the steps and the officer and was shot.

    This all happened right in my face.

    I suppose all the animal lovers and establishment haters would be complaining if it had gotten loose and mauled a toddler. I can see it now “why didnt the cops do anything?”.

    I have had dogs my whole life and can tell you pits are frequently abused and made to fight. Once this happens to them it takes years to fix them and at times cannot even be done. This poor pup was pissed and not able to be controled. This was not the place for a dog being rehabbed.

    • If this is true, then the officer did the right thing to shoot the dog. The handler had no control, was bit by his *own* dog. I’ve watched probably 20-25 dog fights at the dog park and none of them have resulted in serious wounds that require veterinary care – some nicks and scratches, but no hanging flesh. Dogs have bite inhibition – if they pull the flesh off the bone, they are doing it deliberately. Its not bite or no bite, its the severity of the wounds.

    • Chris – you are now sounding like an effing liar…how can you account for this:

      and other eyewitness accounts. The police executed that dog. It IS pitbull racism. It totally pisses me off since I hear all this stupid bullshit from other dog owners about how dogs do this and that…and they make such a big deal out of dumb things…why I never go to dog parks anymore – stupid owners.

      • “pitbull racism”?

        get a grip.

      • Anyone who has a dog knows that pits are a real problem and can snap at any moment and go after people, but especially other dogs. Everyone, that is, except for pit owners who insist against all reasonable evidence that pits aren’t a problem. The only ignorance I’ve seen at dog parks is exhibited by pit owners who obliviously bring aggresive and dangerous dogs into parks to let them attack other dogs and people.

        Well here you go, yet another example why pitbulls (or more acurately dumbass pitbull owners) are a major problem.

  • Did the poodle get shot? From the reports I’ve read, the poodle bit someone.

    Seriously, this is starting to sound, and judging by the link posted at 9:01pm, like another case of improper reaction by the police. I am very pro-cop, and pro-dog (especially pit bulls and mixes because of ignorant biases) but if the dog was down like this and they still felt it was a threat, then call a properly trained animal control officer that can safely restrain and transport the animal.

    Some reports say this dog was earlier playing with children just fine. Maybe it’s a question of socialization. But maybe the other dog was the one that was out of control. I cannot tell you how often my pit mix walks up to other dogs on the street and gets met with aggressiveness from other dogs, of all breeds…because its not about the breed. Stop playing into the whole this breed v. that breed debate. If you are a dog person, you know Jack Russell terriers and Boston Terriers that think they are the size of Mastiffs and German Shephards. Similarly, you know larger dogs that are lapdogs and submit to every other dog.

    • my dog has been attacked by pits with no wounds, and likewise has been attacked by jack russells (one got him by the base of the ear where it meets his head and would not let go), as well as a crazed puggle once who actually did the most damage. Its not breed specific as temperament. Though a big aggressive dog who snaps can do much worse damage than a small aggressive dog. Pits are freakishly strong.

      • My beagle was once attacked by a pitbull in a park. My dog was leashed and all of a sudden (I didn’t even see another dog around) it is being attacked by a pitbull. The owner I noticed was taking off his sweater and had let go of the leash. I had to kick and punch the dog off my own dog and the owner did nothing! I would have welcomed a cop w/ a gun at that moment believe me.

  • Example: I have a great 90 lb labradoodle who I trust with my kids, other people kids and even babies. He has never been nasty towards a human. He has had a great life and gets to play with other dogs almost every day. But once in a blue moon another dog will do something to piss him of and boom, theres a dog fight. Nothing major, no injuries. THATS DOGS!!!! They do that sometimes.

    People often times treat their dogs like a human child or something and its not. Its still a dog and needs to be treated as such or they form very bad habits. A dog can be a liability if not socialized.

    So to say “the dog was great with kids earlier” is not fair to the dog. Sometimes they just get pissed and act out. Its too bad that this pup picked a crowded street and actually bit people on his day to act out, but thats the breaks I guess.

    Would anybody be this upset if a human were shot?

    • Chris, Thanks for this! Too many people are flat out blaming the handler for bringing the dog into the situation and for basically not having trained the dog appropriately. That certainly MIGHT be the case; however, it’s also entirely possible that what you said about your dog is exactly what happened here. I won’t be surprised if you get responses from people saying that your dog is unstable and not properly trained though, as I’ve already seen that happening in the DCist comments.

      • You are reading Chris wrong. Chris said earlier that “This was not the place for a dog being rehabbed.” Then he says “thats the breaks I guess,” which I interpret to mean the dog’s owner put his dog and himself into a bad situation. And I’m figuring Chris was too smart to have his 90-lb Labradoodle at AM Day. This incident is absolutely the fault of the dog owner. If you assaulted somebody at AM Day, would you blame the cops?

    • I’ve seen time and time again, dogs freak out and correct without having to pull flesh off the bone. This is an aggressive dog and a menace if it did the damage as reported.

    • This is the so true. Being a dog owner, I know how quickly my dog will get upset with other dogs. He’s perfect with humans, but sometimes a dog will just set him off. It’s a lottery and they have their own language that we just don’t get. I’m very cautious on where I take him and also meeting other dogs.
      For others to say he was “fine with children” is not relevant.

      IMHO The error was to to have an adoption event at such a crowded and stimulating venue.

      But I still think it was a bit extreme to toss the dog down the stairs and shoot him. Seems a bit inhumane and unfortunately the dog was probably just trying to protect himself. He was probably so confused. He should have never been at that festival.

    • It has been proven,the shot dog did NOT bite anyone. It was the poodle.

  • Cruelty like this happens every day. Rent a copy of the movie “Earthlings”.

    This time, people just saw it out in the open.

  • A lot to chew on here, in terms of the cops’ behavior. And while I feel sorry for the guy who lost his dog today, nobody should shed a tear for him. This is his fault. Bringing ANY dog to an event like AM Day is sketchy. Bringing THAT dog…

    And it’s almost always a pit bull.

    • Bringing a dog to a community festival is “sketchy”? Its SKETCHY? Really? Where’d you get that?

      • A lot of people don’t want to be around ANY dogs. So yes, I think it is disrespectful and clueless to bring a dog to a place where people are often packed shoulder-to-shoulder. And in the wake of this incident are you seriously going to argue with me? That could have been your dog that got his paw all but chewed of yesterday. A smaller dog might have been killed by the Pit.

  • The officer is an SOD K-9 officer, yes his best friend & partner is a dog!! The officer is a decorated dog handler and was possibly the most trained person out there to handle this situation.

  • I wish that cop had been around when a large dog attacked my 15-pound schnoodle a few months ago. The other dog was being walked by an older man, who later told me he was the owner’s father. He had no clue what to do. He stood there holding the leash slack while I pulled the aggressive dog off mine–twice. My little dog lost a tooth while guarding her throat from his teeth and also dripped blood on the sidewalk, probably from her mouth.

    I see that dog around the neighborhood all the time, and he is ready to attack anything that crosses his path. He is big and forceful, and his owner (a young woman) has to struggle to hold him back. I think the dog and owner are mismatched, which has safety ramifications anywhere they go.

    How well was the owner controlling the dog in Adams Morgan? Not well enough to prevent the attack on the poodle, apparently. That’s pretty alarming. I don’t blame the cop at all for taking direct and rapid action to put an end to the situation before anything else happened. A lot of horrible scenarios could have sprung from it.

  • i know that police officer and yes, while he does work the K9 unit or did at one point, i’ve heard of more than one occassion where he just shoots the dog. perhaps a little trigger happy? who knows.

    there is more than one party at fault in the whole ordeal and it’s a terrible situation to even try to pick sides, etc…but…i heard he shot his ex’s dog too, who was the sweetest dog ever–a pit-mix (i had dog sat for him when he was a pup)…claimed he was attacking his own dog and shot him…

    again, hard situation. i wasn’t there, but when i saw the photo above, recognized the cop, my first thought was ‘he shot another one?’

  • Why do people feel the need to bring dogs to large crowded events? Doesn’t that unnecessarily agitate them to begin with?

    I have two dogs and would never subject them to large crowds like AM Day.

    • good point. I think these festivals should not allow dogs around.

      • Absolutely. No reason for any dogs at these types of events (let alone the need to have some enormous dog in the city). People parade those big dogs around like trophies– always seemed to me like compensating for some other shortcoming.

        • This isn’t the first “trophy” comment I’ve seen about people with big dogs. Some people just have big dogs and like big dogs! Big dogs can be really cool. Not everything is some sort of psychological issue.

        • you clearly don’t know much about dogs. Larger dogs (not big dogs, but larger breeds) tend to have significantly lower activity levels than their medium/smaller sized counterparts. In fact, Great Danes and Mastiffs are fantastic city/apartment dogs for the fact that they tend to be more laid back. The worse type of dog for the city is a terrier or a shephard because there is nowhere for them to go and the owner has to really work to give them enough exercise.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. This dog was a foster, awaiting adoption. I’m not with those who think all pits are bad news, but you just can’t know a dog’s true personality under those circumstances. He’d been – presumably – taken out of a bad/less than ideal situation, spent some time at a shelter, and was now in a new but temporary home. That’s tough on any dog – even hard on a human.

      Our dog is a rescue (not a pit mix) and it took weeks for her to settle in and show her true colors, which, unfortunately, were less than perfect. We very easily could’ve been in a situation like this, had we put her into a situation with crowds, noise, and lots of other dogs. Thankfully, we didn’t. But she did get into more than her fair share of fights at the dog park (until we stopped going), barked and lunged at and terrified small children, and went ballistic at strangers who came to the house.

      No one should ever have to see their dog shot. But people shouldn’t overestimate their dog’s abilities, especially one that’s a foster. I may go overboard in being cautious, but I’d rather underestimate my dog than have her dead.

  • missing person found – 4 comments
    dog shot — 77 comments

    i love this site

    • dont mistake internet comment posts for the amount of caring.
      thats like saying a fat person is more human than a skinny person.

    • saf

      OK, he’s found, and was found before most of us read about. What, you want 100 comments saying, “Hey, glad you found him!”? There’s nothing to say there any more.

  • I love pit bulls and other dog breeds that people generally judge on sight and nothing else. I’ve volunteered with the DC Humane Society for years, spending most of the last 2-3 years with pit bulls both at the shelter (training, playing) and at adoption events around DC. The WORST dog I ever saw at an adoption event was a daschund jack russell mix – she even bit a volunteer but hey – that’s ok, she’s small!

    That said, having volunteered at this event before with WHS, it is NOT a good place for dogs at all. In fact, the event should be dog free. There are so many people, children, food, etc that it is impossible to focus on your dog and focus on the event. It is definitely not the place for rescue groups to bring adoptable dogs, and I’d stick by my belief that having been to this event before with adoptable dogs, this should be a dog free event.

    just my 2 cents.

    • We get it Jessica, you think Pits are the bees-knees, and would never do harm to anyone or anything. Unicorns and rainbows and denial, Oh My!

      All dogs are wild creatures at heart – if a little terrier or dachshund were to bite or attack me, I could at least protect myself (kick it away, etc.). If a doberman or rotty or pit were to attack me, I would probably end up dead. They are just too big and muscular to be kept in the city, and to parade them around the sidewalks.

    • Look the problem isn’t that pits are necessarily more aggressive than Jack Russells or dachsunds. It’s that when a pit bull attacks, it generally does much more severe damage. That is a product of breeding and instinct and it could happen with the sweetest-seeming one around.

      • The problem is,people forget that a Pit bull is a TERRIER.
        The reason they do damage is because they SHAKE THEIR HEADS!
        Pit Bulls also were bred to not back down,which is ALSO a terrier trait,if I am not mistaken.

        The only reason pit bulls do more damage then a Jack Russel,is because they are bigger.

        at 30lbs to a Jack Russel,and you would get the same result.

  • I’m going with the cops on this one and I blame the situation on the idiot owner who brought the dog to AM Day in the first place. A big dog that’s already bitten another dog and a person in a crowded setting is a threat that needs to be stopped. I assume there are very different protocols for dangerous people vs. dangerous dogs.

    I once saw a guy at a street festival in Albany, NY with some kind of wild cat on a leash, like an ocelot or jaguarundi. He wasn’t out there 2 minutes before a cop put the animal in a squad car and ticketed the idiot owner. The cat didn’t act in a threatening way but, if it had, I would have advocated shooting it and, again, blamed the moron who brought it to the festival.

  • I’m sick of these pit bull apologists. Ive been around dogs and other animals my whole life and anyone who just thinks pitbulls are “misunderstood” is nuts. I’m a huge dog lover and can’t stomach bad things happening to dogs, but what I’ve read in this thread is beyond the pail.

    Unless you get the pitbull as a very young puppy – that dog risks being unpredictable, vicious, and uncontrollable with no notice for most of its life. Exceptions clearly exist, but as a rule – any adopted older pitbull must be carefully socialized over years.

    Its not “pitbull racism” because you can add chow chows and rotts to that list too. Those 3 breeds (there may be a couple I’m missing) must be dealt with very carefully and should not be around children or other dogs, or off leash in even remotely tricky situations, probably for their entire lives.

    All of you pit bull hippies can argue this to the point of delirium but it just makes you look naive and completely ill suited to dog ownership.

    • check out this book – pits are just the latest trend in dogs to blame.

      • Oh stop pushing this stupid book. Just because a book was written doesnt make it correct. Pit bulls are a dangerous breed that once negatively conditioned will be unpredictable and volatile for their entire lives.

        • that’s assuming they were negatively conditioned. there’s a great leap to say that every pitbull was trained to be a fighting dog at one point – that’s simply not the case.

          pitbulls are a STRONG breed, but not an inherently dangerous one. i’d also rank most any dog over 60 lbs as a strong breed and say that i find shepherds, akitas, huskies, rotweilers, dobermans, vizslas, chows, ridgebacks, etc to be intimidating if they’re aggressive.

    • BS

      FUCKING BS! A Pit Bull matures at about 3 years old. After that you will KNOW it’s true temperament.

      Puppies,even with proper social skills,can turn and become severly DA once they are older.

      You’re just spouting ignorant media BS.

  • So much love for a dog.. why dont you all go adopt one from the shelter and give it a good life?

  • I know a couple of ER docs who say that the majority of dog bites they see used to be german shepherds. Now it’s goldens. Makes sense, given the overall numbers of those breeds (goldens/labs having replaced germans as the popular family pet).
    However, they say that the most gruesome injuries are from pits and rottweilers. Hell, a friend of mine lost half a finger to a pit who was attacking his dog.
    So for everyone crying “pitbull racism”, remember that pits have unbelievable jaw strength, and will continue to fight long past the period when any other dog would have been subdued. That’s what makes them desireable fighting dogs. Yes, dogs will be dogs, and dogs will fight. But a poodle or a dachsund won’t kill or maim you the way a pit will, due simply to the physiology of the breeds.
    Lesson to the pit bull owners/lovers: don’t take your dog to the street fair. You might not be able to control the results.

    • It’s called a break stick. If your friend used their hand to stop the fight,it was their own idiotic problem.

      If this owner had one,the poodle wouldn’t have been inured either,and both dogs would most likely be alive.


    Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, has conducted an unusually detailed study of dog bites from 1982 to the present. (Clifton, Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to November 13, 2006.) The Clifton study show the number of serious canine-inflicted injuries by breed.

    According to the Clifton study, pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74% of attacks that were included in the study, 68% of the attacks upon children, 82% of the attacks upon adults, 65% of the deaths, and 68% of the maimings. In more than two-thirds of the cases included in the study, the life-threatening or fatal attack was apparently the first known dangerous behavior by the animal in question. Clifton states:

    If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull terrier or a Rottweiler has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed–and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price.

    Clifton’s opinions are as interesting as his statistics. For example, he says, “Pit bulls and Rottweilers are accordingly dogs who not only must be handled with special precautions, but also must be regulated with special requirements appropriate to the risk they may pose to the public and other animals, if they are to be kept at all.”

  • Regardless of animal rights, can we all agree that it probably wasn’t very safe for a cop to discharge a fire arm during a festival of that size.

    • It sounds like he was pointing it toward the ground in the direction of a 14″ thick brick wall. The folks in the basement of the brass knob might not have been safe, but the folks at the street festival were. You could have discharged a cannon toward the wall and the people in the street would have been safe (except for the recoil from teh cannon and the falling bricks…)

  • People miss the forest through the tree’s when talking about pitbulls. Sure they can be sweet, nice, caring dogs if trained properly but they will almost always exhibit a drive not found in other breeds. This is the reason why people use them to fight, once you engage a pitbull the likelyhood of it giving up before you is slim.

    I don’t know what happened at AM Day but any dog that gets riled up by another dog and then is all of a sudden surrounded by a group of screaming people is going to be freaked out. Add a cop putting its knee into its throat and trying to pin its legs behind it’s back (??? this sounds so weird, how do you even do that?) and you are only making it worse. Add that it is a pitbull and of course you are going to have an upset aggressive dog. What else is it supposed to do? It is fighting for it’s life at that point and as stated above, a pitbull is very unlikely to quit in that situation. Again, without having been there I have no idea if this was preventable.

    I hate that this happened and I hope they do a thorough investigation and punish the cop if he is indeed in the wrong. However, people need to be realistic about aggressive dogs and stop pretending pitbulls are as harmless as other dogs. They can get aggressive because they were bred that way, which is not an accident since we as humans created them.

    • but did you see the pics? The cop had the pitbull subdued – why’d he have to go and then throw it down the stairs, and then proceed to shoot it when it was scrambling back up?

      Sheesh, talk about not seeing the forest through the trees

      • Thanks for the swarmy hipster douche bag comment. I hope you choke on the piece of guava in your next hand crafted cocktail.

        My POINT all along was that the perceived behavior in that very picture is what would cause a friendly pitull to show aggressive bahavior. Nothing likes to be treated that way and dogs (esp ones that have a high drive such as a pitbull) are very prone to aggressive behavior when treated in that fashion.

        • why all the hate? I’m not really young enough to be called a hipster, but thanks for wishing me to choke on my cocktail! Ummm, I wish a pitbull rips your face off? Or are you a the human version of a “pitbull” – unprovoked verbal attacks seem to be your forte.

        • “Thanks for the swarmy hipster douche bag comment. I hope you choke on the piece of guava in your next hand crafted cocktail.”

          This is why you don’t have any friends, and spend weekends alone on your sofa watching CSI:Miami.

  • The statistics don’t lie when it comes to which breeds are most responsible for injuries/deaths. Pit bulls and pit bull mixes lead the way. Just is:

  • 120 Responses and counting and still no freaking idea what actually happened.

    • Chris at 9:56 PM said it all happened “right in [his] face.” That might be the best we can do. Even eyewitnesses see different things, so you and I will never know for sure about the subtleties of the incident. A lot of us apparently hate cops and a lot of us question clueless dog handlers.

      • chris is a liar. he said the poodle’s foot was ripped off an hanging by tendons. how come no one else backs this up?

        • Strong accusations since you werent there…

          Its clear from the comments on here and in the washington post article that there are some fearsome animal rights extremists who are determined to sway public opinion on this one with misinformation…

          • The Fox5 story here ( shows several shots of the poodle, and it does not appear to have any limbs hanging by a thread. That said, the story does say that the poodle was taken to a vet for treatment, so it probably did suffer some injuries. As with most things, I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. But for me, the comment that carries the day is the quote from the dog bite study, which states:

            “If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull terrier or a Rottweiler has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed–and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price.”

            It’s like saying that pellet guns and granade launchers are equally dangerous because both can accidentally discharge.

  • Did you see the picture on WP? Pretty funny to call that dog a shar pei. There’s about as much shar pei in that mix as in my cat’s. I wonder why WP is editorializing in their headlines?

  • Score one for the good guys! If your dog dies and you miss it, just buy another dog that looks exactly like your old dog. Maybe then you can stop crying because you are irresponsible and a bad pet owner.


    I think the photo says it all – regardless of what happened, this dog was under control (not to mention surrounded by officers) and could easily have been held until Animal Control arrived. Discharging a lethal weapon in the middle of a street festival surrounded by hundreds of children is another story…my personal opinion after reading everything I could get my hands on regarding the incident is that the situation was over and everyone would have gone home safely if this officer wouldn’t have lost his damned mind and professionalism.

  • Ok, the dog was subdued at the moment the pic was taken. What the pic does not show is the animals constant efforts to break free and the bite the officer got. You’d throw him over the rail too if he bit you. Take it from a guy who was 4 feet away. Again you would all be crying out had the dog gotten away and grabbed another dog or a kid.


  • It’s not the officers JOB to hold an animal and risk a bite anymore than it is to be diplomatic to any gentleman who points a firearm in their direction.

    You hold him without bite gloves or a dog pole till animal control arrives. Oh, thought not.

  • blester01

    The officer did what he had to do according to the witness accounts that I have read online and on this post. So people can cut the stupid cops crap. Most likely this is a case of inexperienced/ over-his-head dog handler, and the person that was at fault was the foster parent – he is not the owner of Parrot, WARL is.

    If the pit just grabbed onto the poodle’s leg, he has socialization/ aggression issues. The foster parent either: a) did not know Parrot had behavioral issues; or b) overlooked his issues since he is ok in most circumstances. As an experienced foster parent for the WHS and a rescue group out in VA, I would never take a dog that has behavioral issues to a street festival- you just never know what you are going to run into. So I have to assume the foster parent didn’t know any better.

    What happened at the festival happens quite often at dog adoption events. The environment is very different/ anxious/ stressful for the dog which can lead them to getting aggressive.

  • Offered for what it is worth (from the WaPo)

    Owner of attacked dog supports police

    Police have a new supporter in the Adams Morgan dog shooting case Sunday: the woman whose Bich-poo was attacked, sparking the whole mess.

    Sheila Martins, 53, of Adams Morgan, said she was walking Sushi, a Bichon-poodle mix, on a leash down 18th Street in the middle of the Adams Morgan festival when the dog went to sniff what looked like a pit bull passing by, also on a leash. The other dog, whose owner has described it as a Shar-Pei mix named Parrot, attacked Sushi, Martins said, and a scramble ensued to separate the two.

    Martins said she herself tried to pull Sushi away, but she “couldn’t do it.” Others, including police officers, also tried and failed, she said. It wasn’t until a man came and lifted Sushi directly up that the fight was broken up, she said. At that time, she said, the owner of the dog that looked like a pit bull was laying on top of his pet.

    ( On The Crime Scene: Should police have shot Parrot? )

    Martins said she went to get help for Sushi and did not see the events that led up to the other dog being shot. Those events are disputed. Police and some witnesses have said an officer tried to control the dog by pinning it on the ground, but the dog continued to snap.

    The officer eventually tossed that dog over a stairwell railing leading to The Brass Knob and shot it as it tried to charge back up, police and some witnesses have said. Many more witnesses — including the dog’s owner — have said the situation was under control after the dog fight was broken up, and police unnecessarily separated the dog and its owner, then shot the dog as it simply tried to regain its footing from being thrown down into the stairwell.

    Though she did not see it, Martins said she believes “police did the right thing because at that moment, the dog, it wasn’t controllable.”

    “I could tell like how aggressive the dog was,” she said. “If he would start running around, he would attack somebody.”

    Martins said that after she finished talking to police, she took Sushi to an animal hospital, where he stayed overnight. He has two broken bones and a large gash, she said, and she will find out Tuesday whether he needs surgery.

    — Matt Zapotosky

  • +1, Owners should never let a dog come up and let them “sniff” another stranger’s dog.

  • FYI, this is the case with an ignorant DC cop. Not all officers are like this “humane” individual, but unfortunately there are some who are either intimidated by larger bully breed dogs, and have the mentality that they should be shot. I was walking my pitbull one day near a Washington DC Police Precint, actually right across the street, and passed two DC police officers standing on the corner leaning against their car. The cops were eyeing me and my dog, so I politely gave a head nod and said hello. Immediately one of the officers started saying “I’m not going to have to shoot your dog”, but when I said “excuse me”, he changed the subject and said “what kind of dog is that” with a look of contempt on his face.

    I’m sorry as long as this type of ignorance is prevalent througought society, it will also permeate law enforcement as well. The backwards PG and DC cops that wish to shoot dogs rather than use their brains is alarming! Is this the wild wild west?

    FYI, there was no need for shooting the dog, even if the dog was locked onto the other dog, there are many other non lethal methods of separating both animals.

  • The cop who shot the dog has a Facebook page

    It turns out he is a hunter and a birther

  • The profile pic says it all.

  • The dog wasnt latched onto another dog before it got shot, it was latched onto a cop.

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