Topeka, KS — “Josie” was a 26-pound miniature pinscher-boxer mix, who was rescued seven years ago, and became a beloved member of 72-year-old Harriette Macnish’s family. “She was wonderful, and she loved us,” Harriette Macnish said. This loving 7-year relationship would be violently brought to an end, however, on July 13 when Topeka Police Officer, Michael Cruse would enter the backyard of the Macnish’s home, and kill their Josie.
According to the Capital-Journal,
A Topeka officer shot the dog twice about 10:45 a.m. that day while responding to a false burglary alarm, the police department said in a news release Monday.
According to the police report, after entering the backyard, “the officer then saw a dog begin charging at him in an aggressive manner.”
The report goes on, “I attempted to place time and distance between the dog and myself by running backwards. The dog continued to aggressively run toward me to attack,” while also barking and growling.
“When the dog continued to attack toward me,” Cruse explained in his report. “I obtained my department issued Glock 9mm Model 17 from my holster and shot the dog 2 times effectively ending the imminent attack.”
The officer’s body cam caught the entire incident on video. The small 26-lb dog comes running from around the corner when she’s met with 2 shots from the officer’s pistol. The graphic video is saddening.
Macnish was home at the time the officer entered her backyard and shot her dog. After she heard the shots, she came outside to find Josie laying dead in the yard.
Macnish told the Capital-Journal that she sat there holding little Josie for half an hour after the little dog died.
“She was a wonderful watch dog — anything but fierce — but if anybody was around that she didn’t know, she made noise,” Macnish said.
Topeka Police Chief James Brown said in a press conference that the shooting of Josie was justified under current police policy, and Officer Michael Cruse was not placed on administrative leave.
After this shooting, the department is reviewing its dog killing policy. According to the new policy, “officers can only use lethal force against an animal when necessary to defend against a vicious animal when it is reasonably believed the animal poses an imminent threat of significant injury and no other reasonable means of protection is available.”
How is it that postal workers, delivery drivers, and door to door salesmen can fend off dogs on a daily basis without killing them but police officers cannot?