Across the city, 700 dogs have been shot or shot at since 2008 by police officers who later said they feared for the safety of themselves or others. And even in cases in which the courts have found the dogs were wrongly killed and the city was ordered to pay damages to their owners, not one of those shootings has resulted in a recommendation of discipline against an officer, city records reviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times show.
Animal-rights activists say too many dogs are shot by the police. They say that, with proper training, officers can learn how to approach a seemingly aggressive dog safely and not have to resort to deadly force.
Juries have been sending a similar message to City Hall, with hefty judgments like the award given Lady’s owners in the lawsuit they filed against the city.
Police officials point to recent changes in policy and training that they say have resulted in officers shooting fewer dogs — a 67 percent decrease in the past three years.