Trying to avoid blanket statements because we all know that there are cops out there that are not the best, that do things that terrify us as dog owners. But the reason we hear about them is because they are news, they are not the norm, they are in fact rare.
I can tell you that my contractor tells me that a cop threatened to shoot his dog if he couldn't get it under control -- American Eskimo, but I cannot tell you that I have ever had a cop threaten me concerning my dog.
And, to be frank, I have had a number of, hmmm, experiences with police -- no never been arrested or anything, but I have had a few, uhm, discussions with them.
Yeah, that first traffic stop at 16 or so, when I got out of the car and started walking back to them -- yeah and through his loud speaker he is ordering me back to my vehicle, only it is so distorted I cannot even hear what he was saying -- yeah I've had a few discussions.
In short, police in general like dogs, they own dogs, they understand that ordinary people care about their pets, and they do not wake up in the morning thinking about how they are going to shoot them some dog today. In fact, the paperwork involved in firing the gun probably makes them all hope they never have to pull the thing out. Yes, when they approach your vehicle, they are approaching and unknown, and the dog can complicate such things, but they are not looking to kill your dog. Most of them would feel terrible if they killed a dog of someone who wasn't doing anything.
But drawing attention to yourself by dragging it out beyond reasonable safety, or scurrying around in the vehicle, well that will heighten their suspicion and probably make them more edgy. If they are more edgy, your dog will be more alert and if reactive will probably have a few things to say about it. So that would be setting yourself up and setting the officer up.
I know we all like to give our dogs what they like, and what they like is to shove their heads out of car windows. But I figure the risk of a chunk of road debris flying up and taking a chunk of my dog's flesh or eye is a whole lot higher than the risk of a police officer shooting my dog at a traffic stop. Leave the windows up. Open them a little to talk to the officer, but don't let the dog get close to the window, nor expect the officer to reach inside for your information. Shove them through the window so that there is no way possible for your dog to connect with them.
Now in the Explorer, there is no chance that my dogs will be a problem to police or emergency services as they are properly crated in the back of the vehicle, but in the Honda, if I do carry one from here to there, they are loose in the car (I have a seatbelt somewhere, but had a dog get tangled badly, and I just don't trust them now). They are trained to stay in the back seat, ha! which means that while I am in the driver's seat they are back there, but if I happen to vacate the driver's seat, they take over keeping it warm. So far, I have been able to transact business at drive-thru windows, with the dog in the back seat and no problems.
Only once, when I had the Neon did I get stopped for a discussion with a dog in the car. I had pulled up behind a pick up truck at a stop sign,and was petting the dog who was hanging her head between the two front seats, when I followed the pick up through the intersection right in front of the Jefferson cop sitting there at the stop sign on my right. LOL. Yeah, Jean, the dog did not get me out of a ticket. I think she was too busy laughing at me in the back seat to bother with the cop.
He asked me if I knew why he pulled me over. Well, I did. I mean I would have had to have been an imbecile not to. So I said a little sheepishly, because I followed that pick up through that stop sign. So this kid younger than the youngest kid in town I babysat years before, is telling me how much of a privilege driving is. Uh-huh, just give me the ticket will ya? He wrote, "flagrantly" on it. The lady at the courthouse thought that was funny, so I told her the story. She laughed and said she was surprised he could spell it.
No mention about the dog. She just wasn't an issue. If you know your dog will be an issue, make sure he can't be an issue, but evenso, I think your dog is far more likely to get struck by lightning that shot at a traffic stop.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC