- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A shooting that left a bull terrier without a leg has also changed things at the Lewiston Police Department.

Lewiston Police Chief Chris Ankeny said Thursday that he plans to invest in training so his officers can be better prepared for dog encounters, The Lewiston Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1kSo3yZ).

“It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it,” Ankeny said. “I’m encouraged and I believe this training can be a good thing.”

An officer in November fired two shots at deaf bull terrier Mr. Chang at Sacajawea Junior High after a teacher reported an aggressive dog on campus. Mr. Chang survived, but his leg had to be amputated and owner Lauren Rose HuiHui said he isn’t the same.

“He is depressed,” said HuiHui’s mother Corazon HuiHui. “He sleeps a lot and hangs his head.”

The HuiHuis said they also believe the department is moving in the right direction, but that they wish earlier incidents had prompted the same response.

Ankeny said the shooting was justified, but that training to stop such incidents in the future will be worthwhile.

Darlene Lambert, a member of the pet advocacy group Building a Bond Between Species, said her group has softened their chriricsm of the department for its handling of the Mr. Chang incident since meeting with police.

“I think the police department is taking the correct steps,” Lambert said. “Were looking forward to helping them take the X factor out of it.”

K-9 officer Chris Reese said lethal encounters between officers and dogs are likely because some owners lack the responsibility that involves security their pets. He said keeping dogs from running at large is the only way to prevent another incident.

“We are not in the business of shooting dogs, we don’t enjoy doing it, we don’t want to do it, but sometimes shooting a dog is the only option,” Reese said.


Information from: Lewiston Tribune, https://www.lmtribune.com

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