The Danville Area Humane Society has offered to help Danville Police and animal control with training after a dog died Monday.
News release from Danville Police Department:
The Danville Police Department is reporting the unfortunate death of a dog taken into its custody on Monday.
On that day, a resident of King St. called 911 to report a dog running at large and that it lived on Custer St. The dog had acted aggressively earlier in the day with a resident of Custer St. by biting his pants leg and barking aggressively. The responding police officer located a large (115 lbs.) and unrestrained shepherd mix dog in the 100 block of Custer St. The dog appeared agitated and would approach and bark at pedestrians. The officer used his patrol vehicle as a barrier between the dog and other pedestrians. He called for assistance from the animal control officer and waited in his patrol vehicle.
The animal control officer responded in her truck and, after several attempts with the catchpole, was able to attach it around the dog’s neck. The dog went to the ground and tried to bite the catchpole and break free. The animal control officer was not able to bring the dog under control and a second catchpole was utilized. Both officers were then able to lead the struggling dog up the ramp and into the cage on the truck. This is performed as quickly as possible to minimize the time the dog is constrained in the catchpole. Once inside the cage and prior to the catchpoles being removed, the dog collapsed. The owner arrived at that time and with the owner’s help the dog was removed and checked for signs of life, but none were found.
At the request of the Police Department, a necropsy was performed on the dog by a local veterinarian. The necropsy results were consistent with a dog in good health and no signs of trauma were found on the dog’s body. In addition, no signs of trauma associated with the use of a catchpole were found on the neck area or to the trachea. Nevertheless, the opinion of the doctor was, based on the events described above and the good health of the dog, that it died of strangulation due to the combination of the pressure of the catchpoles and the confined space of the cage that restricted the air flow in the dog’s trachea and the blood flow to the dog’s brain.
The loss of a pet can be devastating and the Police Department regrets this unfortunate tragedy. The Department has extended an apology and its condolences to the dog’s owner. While the department has successfully used a catchpole for many years, we are committed to improving our response. We have consulted with the Danville Area Humane Society to determine what steps can be taken to prevent this from happening again. The Humane Society has offered to provide additional instruction on catchpole use to further reduce the likelihood of injury or death.