Thursday, April 7, 2011
A 56 year old woman was attacked by a Police dog Sunday afternoon. The woman saw Police activity outside her home in the 4300 block of Chelsea Ave in Kansas City and came outside to see what was going on. She was on the phone with her daughter at the time, and the dog must have heard her talking. The next thing you know, the dog pulls the leash out of the officers hand and attacked the woman. She suffered bites to her head and buttocks. The woman already had a fear of dogs and said she wouldn't have come outside had she known the dog was there.
Police in the area were searching for a gun used in a robbery - a magazine had already been found nearby. The handler had the dog on a long leash and had the choke collar inactive as is customary when no suspects are nearby. The Police Officer, not expecting the dog to react in that way, was not gripping the leash tight enough.
It's a shame that something like this happened. Police dogs are very important to the Department, and I would hate to have an incident like this diminish their role in the Department. The woman will likely win a large settlement and Police will review policies and procedures in the handling of their dogs. The KCPD said that handlers have been bitten over the years, but the last time a KC Police dog bit a bystander was in the early 90s when a man leaned over the top of the dog while some children were petting him. Hopefully the next incident will be decades away as well.
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