Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Photo by John Schreiber.

In the aftermath of the fatal shooting of a family dog by a sheriff’s detective in Lawndale, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles has been asked to conduct a training course for local deputies, the animal welfare organization said Thursday.

The shooting occurred on Monday, when a sheriff’s detective fatally wounded Knox, a year-old Cane Corso, according to Miriam Davenport of spcaLA.

The animal, a breed that is related to a mastiff, was killed outside the home of its owner, Ronald Padilla, by a sheriff’s detective who was looking for Padilla’s brother in the course of an investigation, the Daily Breeze reported.

“The (sheriff’s) South Los Angeles station has since requested that … spcaLA provide training for deputies, (and) spcaLA is scheduled to begin the training next week,” Davenport said today in a statement.

The spcaLA training program “Dog Behavior for Law Enforcement” is the first of its kind, and “offers practical tools and real-life scenarios to meet the needs of officers when encountering companion dogs,” Davenport said.

All members of the Hawthorne Police Department recently completed the course, which is certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, as well as by the State Humane Association of California, Davenport said.

Among the topics covered are:

— how to interpret dog behavior to determine correct response;

— how to modify officer body language “to diffuse a tense situation”; and

— how to help a family and the community heal in the wake of the shooting of a family dog.

“A dog does not see an officer with a gun drawn the same as a person would — the dog does not know that a gun means ‘stand down,’ ” said Eleasha Gall, co-creator of the course and spcaLA’s director of Animal Behavior and Training.

“Rather, the dog sees a direct threat, one he needs to engage,” Gall said.

City News Service

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