At a rally in front of the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department, people marched with signs in support of Fisher the dog, who was shot and killed by a deputy a few weeks ago.
According to the Sheriff’s office, the deputy said he felt threatened by Fisher and shot him in self-defense.
However, the family said their 80-lb Rottweiler puppy was friendly, and officers should learn how to handle situations with dogs without using lethal force.
“They have to use other sorts of restraints and ways to control a stray animal and not just shoot them,” said Kitty Smith, Fisher’s owner. “Pets are more than just a pet, they are part of people’s family and deserve a better chance than just being shot for no reason.”
In 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a law that was supposed to prevent tragedies like Fisher’s from happening. The bill required all law enforcement officers to go through training to learn how to handle dogs while on duty.
That law, however, has yet to be put into action.
“It is open-ended. There is no specific date that is set for when the education has to be completed by,” said Chris White, President for Bikers Against Breed-Specific Legislation. “The more people that are aware of this, the less likely the police are to continue killing dogs. It’s all about education and bringing awareness to this topic.”
Money raised from the rally will go towards Fisher’s family’s legal expenses as well as an education fund for officers to learn alternative actions with dogs.