Providence R.I. – Champ was just like any other family pet. He was good with his sister-dog Bayba and loved his children.
I use the past tense, because Champ is no longer with Bayba or his family.
When his human-mother let Champ and Bayba out into their yard to go to the bathroom, as she did many times before, she heard gunshots. Champ lived in a triple decker home, and unfortunately, someone who had nothing to do with Champ’s family was in trouble with the law.
When Champ ran out into his yard he noticed a group of strange people wearing strange clothing and immediately headed over to investigate.
He was shot three times and later died at a local veterinary hospital.
From all accounts, Champ had never been in any trouble with the dog officer, or anyone else for that matter, and as a dog raised with children, he obviously wasn’t a vicious monster who needed to be ‘put down’ in such a horrible manner.
But Champ had one, very significant strike against him.
Champ was a pit bull. And while the State Marshall who shot him claimed that Champ had growled at him and he feared for his life, you can’t help but wonder if this would have happened if Champ had been born in the body of a dog with a better reputation. What if Champ had been a Golden Retriever or a Labrador? Would the State marshall who shot him be as apt to draw his firearm and shoot him dead?
Why was a gun drawn at all? Police officers travel with several means of self-protection, including pepper spray, which would have sent Champ reeling in a different direction, or even a Taser, which would have stopped Champ’s friendly or not-so friendly approach with no lasting effects on the animal.
But for whatever reason the Marshall didn’t seem to think those methods useful, and Champ is now dead. Both his family and as his sister Bayba are mourning the loss.
Champs family now has a vet bill of over 3000.00 after trying unsuccessfully to save their companion. The State Police say that they will attempt to help cover the bill.
The Police apologized for the incidence, but as the Marshall claimed to be protecting his very life, it is unlikely he will be reprimanded.
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