W’hen Rochester police officers fire their weapons in the line of duty, more often than not they are aiming at a dog. Police have shot at 87 dogs, killing 35 and injuring 33, in the line of duty over the last five years, reports the city’s Democrat and Chronicle. Over the same period, police fired at nine people and used their guns to kill 36 deer, all of them injured before police were summoned.
All of the dog shootings were determined to be within Rochester Police Department guidelines, which permit the use of deadly force on animals when they are attacking or “presenting an imminent danger” to any person. But in only five instances did officers come into physical contact with the canines they targeted, according to the reports. One officer was injured; a dog bite to his right leg required 19 stitches.