MEDIA RELEASE: Dog Death Caused By Iuka Police Department Sparks Call For Urgent Training
IUKA, Miss. (Aug. 5, 2022) — In Defense of Animals, the international animal advocacy organization operating Hope Animal Sanctuary in Carroll County and the Justice for Animals Campaign in Montgomery County, is promoting Law Enforcement Dog Encounter Training (LEDET) for Mississippi law enforcement officers, animal control officers, and municipal public works employees who come into contact with dogs in the course of their duties following the death of a dog in Iuka. Incidents of dogs being killed or injured at the hands of municipal and county employees who are untrained in handling dogs while serving warrants, during traffic stops, and responding to stray and nuisance dog complaints and other incidents are cruel and senseless.
On Wednesday, July 27, 2022, an Iuka police officer arrested Antonio Wilder on suspicion of DUI at the Iuka Piggly Wiggly store. There were two dogs inside the vehicle. The city tried to contact Wilder’s husband Jonah Berry to come for the dogs, but his cell phone did not pick up the call.
A public works employee was summoned to remove the dogs from Wilder’s vehicle. Roxie, one of the dogs, was removed and taken to the city impoundment facility and later reunited with her guardians. The other dog, Shadoe, was killed when being removed.
When Shadoe was recovered by Berry three marks were found on her side that looked like scrapes or possible taser burns. It is inconclusive at this time whether Shadoe was tasered.
While Shadoe’s exact cause of death isn’t clear, her suffering was written on her body. Photos: Jonah Berry
Berry contacted Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Director, for help learning why Shadoe was killed. Berry told Stanley that he has not been given a necropsy report for the cause of Shadoe’s death. He added the veterinarian who handled Shadoe’s body for the city stated that Shadoe died from extreme strangulation.
Stanley spoke with Iuka City Attorney Nate Clark, who confirmed that a catchpole was used to remove the dogs from the car. A catchpole is a useful tool to prevent bites but should be used cautiously. Tightening the metal snare on a catch pole too tightly can lead to injuries, especially when a dog is frightened and goes into a roll. It was evident from the feces in Wilder’s vehicle that Shadoe defecated in fear in her struggle against the catchpole.
Clark said he would contact Stanley with more information on the mishap. Stanley believes there was no malice in the killing of Shadoe, and the city is cooperative and hopes to learn from the incident to prevent the future mishandling of animals.
“For 29 years In Defense of Animals has worked harmoniously with law enforcement to rescue neglected and abandoned animals and with the courts for justice for cruelly treated animals. We appreciate the law enforcement officers who professionally and compassionately aid us in our mission to free animals from cruelty and unintentional neglect. We are hoping that this tragic incident will lead to city and county officials embracing the LEDET program,” said Doll Stanley, Justice for Animals campaign director at In Defense of Animals.
Shadoe’s death underscores the need for animal advocacy organizations to work with cities and counties to promote the humane handling of animals and for officials to engage law enforcers, first responders, and public works employees in training that prepares them to respond to incidents that involve dogs who may be afraid stressed, or protecting their guardians and property.
The Law Enforcement Dog Encounter Training program offered by the National Sheriff’s Association is an excellent resource for ending the senseless killing of dogs by untrained responders.
In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign has defended and saved thousands of animals, assisting through cruelty investigations, strengthening laws, and enforcing animal cruelty statutes and ordinances in the mid-south for 29 years.
Doll Stanley, Doll@idausa.org, (662) 809-4483
Jonah Berry, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of defending animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/justice4animals
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