- Associated Press - Monday, June 15, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Dubuque police say they typically must kill around 15 animals a year in the city due to them being sick, dangerous or seriously injured.

Officers have killed eight animals so far this year, including a deer that had been struck by a vehicle, the Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1GHWHFP ) reported. Lt. Scott Baxter, who shot the deer, said it couldn’t get to its feet and that it was best to minimizing suffering for the animal.

Baxter said most “animal dispatches” are for deer or raccoons, but that an officer recently shot a fox that appeared to be rabid.

It’s rare an officer will shoot a domestic animal such as dog that’s usually someone’s pet, Baxter said. But if it’s being too aggressive and attempting to attack an officer or others nearby, Baxter said the officer has to act in the best interest of the public’s safety.

Baxter said the department tracks animal deaths as part of mandatory reporting whenever officers use their weapon.

Capt. Dale Snyder of the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department said deputies often respond to reports of injured deer, most of which are accident-related. The department doesn’t keep track of animals shot by deputies, though Snyder said the number is considerable.

Snyder said deputies also give extra consideration to protected species that are injured. He noted how the department recently contacted the Dubuque County Conservation Board to handle an injured red-tailed hawk.

Both Snyder and Baxter said officers and deputies usually can determine right away the suffering of an injured animal and if they would be able to survive.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com


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