Training helps to reduce Milwaukee pet shootings

Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2014 --- 9:18 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police shoot and kill dozens of dogs each year, often saying the animals appeared threatening.

But they've reduced that number with improved training, which began in 2012 and expands this fall.

The training came in response to community criticism and two lawsuits. The sessions teach officers to recognize when dogs' actions are nonthreatening, or when a less lethal defense might be effective.

According to one lawsuit, Milwaukee police killed an average of 48 dogs per year from 2000 to 2008. By 2012, the number fell to 28.

Michael Tobin of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission says police are working to improve that number even further. He says even one dog shooting generates enough outrage that it can take years to repair the damage to community relations.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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