Police responding to complaints of a homeless man’s dog barking at people in the East Village this afternoon maced the dog, shot it when it lunged at them, and then refused to put it out of its misery despite the pleas of onlookers, according to Baohaus chef Eddie Huang, who was working nearby and recounted the incident to the Observer. (Graphic photo and Old Yeller spoilers ahead):
You can see in the photo, the trail of blood. The dog traveled. People were really really vocal, harassing the cops to put the dog down, and they wouldn’t do it. The whole thing just seemed really, really unnecessary. I don’t know what the protocol is for this, I know they have to keep the peace, but it really seemed like an abuse of power, an unnecessary one, and not doing it the right way. They really should’ve put that dog out of its misery. We’ve all seen Old Yeller. We all know the right way to do this.
We weren’t there, we don’t know exactly what kind of threat this dog represented, and in defense of the police, we suspect that they are not supposed to fire their weapons to help alleviate the suffering of wounded animals. Regardless of whether the police could have handled this better, it’s heartbreaking to see something like this happen:
We can only hope all dogs really do go to heaven, like in that movie, the name of which presently escapes us.