Example of a pit bull. This dog was not believed to be involved in biting, but Pit Bulls are widely assumed to be aggressive.
Example of a pit bull, not ‘Jax.’ Photo: Wikimedia commons

A Garden Grove police lieutenant says his department welcomes training offered by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Los Angeles branch in the wake of the fatal shooting of a dog during the service of a search warrant.

The animal rights organization criticized police for using a fire extinguisher and catch pole to try to subdue the 2-year-old pit bull terrier, Jax, before shooting the animal last week. The organization offered to help train officers on better ways to catch canines like Jax.

“Our officers went to this search warrant with a plan to try to control the dog and that is why a fire extinguisher filled with CO-2 water and a catch pole were brought,” Lt. Carl Whitney said Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, the dog escaped through a window that had exterior bars on it and encountered officers on the perimeter,” he said. “spcaLA said they could provide additional training to help officers better understand dog behavior and said there are additional tools available for officers to use. Garden Grove Police Department looks forward to working with spcaLA to help train our officers.”

The organization’s president, Madeline Bernstein, suggested that police bring along animal control officers the next time they serve a search warrant.

“A fire extinguisher is not an effective tool to use on a dog, agitated or otherwise,” Bernstein said. “It can make a dog more aggressive and further enrage him, which is likely what happened in this incident. Fire extinguishers are meant to put out fires, not subdue dogs — let’s give officers the tools they need to avoid the use of lethal force, when possible.”

The organization said it has helped provide training to other police departments.

–City News Service

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