Strange Request from an old friend who is now an ACO

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Postby HappyChick » April 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm

I was chatting on FB with an classmate, Stephanie, who is now ACO in the town where we went to school (population 3000). She was asking for my help, but man this is way over my head!

She has a particular situation in town with a "meth" house. The people who live there have apparently gotten several "pit bulls". They have trained the dogs to guard the grounds and attack anyone who goes there wearing a uniform. I think the area is fenced though so no one has actually been attacked yet. The police want to get in there and catch these people in the act of cooking or using or whatever the meth, but can't get past the dogs. The police have asked for her help, but she doesn't know what to do. I made a few suggestions off the top of my head, like using a tranquilizer to take out the dogs. She sounded like she is actually pretty scared of the situation...made comments about how these dogs "don't feel any pain", etc. (don't worry I corrected her on that one). She also said 95% of the pit bulls she personally deals with in that town are owned by druggies who use the dogs in a similar fashion!!!!

I told Steph I would ask here and see if anyone knows what larger places, cities, etc. do about situations like this. Also for those of you who train dogs for bite work....is there any way for someone other than you to call off your dogs? Maybe it's different because you have trained the dogs to respond to your commands????

I'm still reeling from chatting with her. I've heard about the whole drug dealer/pit bull thing, but I thought that happened in cities, not a little town of 3,000 people and I had no idea the drug problem was soooooo bad there! It's only 15 miles from where I currently live and I still have family there. I'm also thoroughly disgusted with that type of use of our wonderful breeds!!!

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Postby Marinepits » April 7th, 2010, 3:28 pm

When we had situations similar to this, we'd call in other local ACOs and just go in all together and catch-pole the dogs. Of course, everything had to be coordinated with the officers involved and they would take the lead, with the ACOs playing a supporting role -- takes a TON of solid planning.

You can use tranqs, but it depends on the type of drug and administration that is used -- the drugs take time to take effect, plus dogs don't necessarily react the same way to the drugs every time.

Your friend's best bet is to contact ACOs (either State or Local level) who have experience with this type of scenario and who know her state's laws very well. This isn't something she should be taking on alone, especially if she's never done it before.

She also needs to be prepared that, if this turns into an even more dangerous situation than it already is, the cops just may have to shoot the dogs if they attack. Officer safety is first and foremost for them, and for her.
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Postby LMM » April 7th, 2010, 4:34 pm

Depends on the city but many larger metropolitan areas would shoot the dogs. They don't have time to plan like we would want them to for the safety of the dogs. Their safety comes first.
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Postby airwalk » April 7th, 2010, 9:28 pm

Marinepits is right on target. There are ways to handle the situation but it requires planning and resources. If there is an ACO or LEO that is chemical capture certified, you can try tranqu'ing the dogs..not all dogs react the same way but if the right drugs are used in the right doseage, it is manageable.

The other option is as Jen suggested...coordination, coordination, coordination. Enough ACO's skilled with catch poles and LEO's and ACO's clearly understanding the plan.

Yes she should be prepared for the chance that if the dogs come hard, they will be shot...Officer safety must always be first.

Additionally, she needs to consider what her options and responsibilities are after the capture. These dogs are someone's personal property. Does she have the ability to hold them, does she have the place and resources? Does she know how long she has to hold them or what other legal options are available. She needs those plans in place prior to getting the dogs...afterwards you are committed regardless of whether there are resources or not.
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Postby Malli » April 8th, 2010, 3:06 am

I'll just interject,

IMO, it isn't likely that they'll respond to any commands, because they aren't trained, at least not in any sense we'll consider training.

I've seen police in reality cop shows use pepper spray on nasty acting dogs (pit bull types) and have them tuck tail and RUN, then the cop (fast acting, I might add) found a way to lock them in a different place on the property.

But there are some who've already posted who know much more on this stuff ;)
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Postby HappyChick » April 8th, 2010, 6:33 pm

Thanks for the information, everyone. I passed it on to Stephanie yesterday.

She responded today with thanks and some information based on a visit she just made to the drug house. At the house in question, they have two dogs. Neither is training to attack. It was all a bullsh!t story told by these people to keep the authorities away. The dogs are an 8 week old pit bull and an adult Great Dane/boxer mix. So the "scary" dog is NOT a pit bull. You don't even want to know how pissed I am that the dog is being identified as a pit!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad2:

After reading her entire response, I realize that she doesn't know a G.D. thing about pit bulls, but guess what? I'm going to educate her! Good grief.
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Postby mnp13 » April 11th, 2010, 7:01 pm

Malli wrote:IMO, it isn't likely that they'll respond to any commands, because they aren't trained, at least not in any sense we'll consider training.

excellent point - very very true.

I've seen police in reality cop shows use pepper spray on nasty acting dogs (pit bull types) and have them tuck tail and RUN, then the cop (fast acting, I might add) found a way to lock them in a different place on the property.

horrible horrible horrible idea. if it wasn't pure dog abuse I'd do a demo of exactly why this can backfire in the worst way possible... with the wrong kind of dog, using pepper spray on a dog can make that dog all that much angrier - and that officer will not be ready to defend him/herself and could receive a critical injury.

It's a good thought, because the underlying idea is to get the dog into another area so that they can keep both the dog and the officers safe and I DO appreciate that... but it could backfire horribly.

Demo has had to kill dogs, and those days are hard for both of us - but that dog doesn't know that it's doing anything wrong. At the end of the day, it's an officer's job to go home to their family and make sure that their fellow officers go home to their families... in one piece.

However, if there is time, throwing wads of raw meat laced with ACE over the fence may be a brilliant alternative. :wink:
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