I know that they have strict punishments for those who abuse the 911 emergency system, but when I read this morning about a dog who called 911 only to be shot by the responding deputy, I thought they had gone too far.

Turns out, it was nothing of the sort. It was apparently a cry for help, an attempted "suicide by cop".

For those not familiar with the term, "Suicide by Cop" is a situation where a despondent person will intentionally threaten an officer or deputy with a weapon, prompting that law enforcement person to fire in defense of themselves or others. The person presumably ends up being killed, and it is often discovered that their gun was not loaded, or they left a suicide note – something to indicate they intended to end their life all along. It is a sad and tragic affair, and wholly unfair to the responding officer and their family.

So what of this canine attempt? It turns out a Manatee County, Florida; sheriff’s sergeant was investigating a 911 call that resulted in a hang up. When he approached the house, the owner of the home squeezed out the front door, attempting to keep two (rather rambunctious) Bull Mastiff – Pit Bull mix dogs from escaping. Unfortunately for her, the sergeant and at least one of the canines, they pushed by her and lunged after the deputy. He retreated, and shot one of the dogs.

The other dog has lawyered up, and is not cooperating with authorities.

In the end, it seems one of the dogs stepped on a phone, and dialed 911. The uninitiated believe it was a fluke. An accident. I think otherwise. Clearly one of these dogs had a death wish, and wanted to end it all the only way he knew how. Fortunately, the animal survived, and hopefully now can get the help it so desperately needs. Perhaps counseling, combined with an aggressive "bark hardening" treatment, and an effective Return to Bark program. At least get him on oxycodone while he heals.

 After all, this is Florida. That part should be easy.

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