Monday, January 30, 2006

Kill Happy Police Chief In Iowa Steals Dogs From a House, Takes them to the Country, Shots them, and then Dumps them in a Ditch.

Wow. Hummm. Ok. Just walk into a house, take dogs and then kill them. So that’s how it’s done in Iowa. Does the phrase “abuse of power by a sick man” apply? I’d say yes. Good thing he has a gun. Just go ahead and take care of any problem with a gun. Good justice in those parts of the country.


Good thing to see that a mentally disturbed sick man is in such a position of power. Makes you feel real safe.


Here’s his mode of operation: “Johnson said that when the seven dogs were shot , one of them ran 100 yards before dropping dead.

‘In the case of another of the dogs, the police chief had to put pressure on the dog's head my word would be stomped — with his foot to finish him off…’”

Looks like shooting dogs is a fairly common practice in Iowa. Quotes from the story below: “The shooting of dogs is an ongoing problem in Iowa, said Tom Colvin, director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and president of the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies. That's particularly true in areas without animal shelters, he said.

"We probably hear about dogs being shot two or three times a month," said Colvin. "There are no statistics kept on dogs being shot, and I'm sure we only hear about a fraction of the situations because an owner wants to pursue the incident."

Killing of dogs triggers probe

Hamburg's police chief said the seven animals he shot were sick and damaging a home.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/

article?AID=/20060130/NEWS08/

601300330&SearchID=73234142155984

By JULI PROBASCO-SOWERS

REGISTER STAFF WRITER

January 30, 2006

The shooting deaths of seven dogs by the chief of police in Hamburg last fall has gained national attention, leading to an investigation by the Fremont County Sheriff's Department.

"People are outraged. No one is above the law," said Peter Wood, deputy manager of animal cruelty issues for the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington, D.C.

"Imagine officials coming into your home, taking your animals away with no notice and killing them," Wood said. "This is frightening stuff."

Wood wrote to Fremont County Attorney Vicki Danley and Sheriff Steven MacDonald last month to request an investigation into action taken by Police Chief Nick Millsap. An investigation was launched in December, after his letter was received.

Lawyers for the dogs' owner, Elizabeth Brock, and the city of Hamburg say that Millsap removed the dogs from Brock's rental home when the landlord complained they were damaging her house. Millsap contends the dogs were malnourished and sick and that after consulting with a veterinarian through a dispatcher and then the mayor, police transported the dogs to the country, shot them and dumped them in a ditch.

At the time her dogs were killed, Brock said she was in jail in Fremont County for not making a court date or paying fines on time for charges involving bad checks. Brock said that her 14-year-old daughter was giving food and water to the animals, but that they hadn't been let out of the house enough.

As officials wrap up their investigation, Brock is waiting to hear from a Fremont County magistrate whether she will be compensated for the deaths of her seven dogs.

Her small-claims court case, in which she requested $5,000 for the value of her dogs and for her pain and suffering, was heard last week, although the magistrate has not yet ruled on it, said Brock's attorney, Jon Johnson of Sydney.

"This was a horrendous case," Johnson said. "I'm not a dog lover, but this was just awful. They didn't try very hard to find temporary shelter for the dogs."

The shooting of dogs is an ongoing problem in Iowa, said Tom Colvin, director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and president of the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies. That's particularly true in areas without animal shelters, he said.

"We probably hear about dogs being shot two or three times a month," said Colvin. "There are no statistics kept on dogs being shot, and I'm sure we only hear about a fraction of the situations because an owner wants to pursue the incident."

Colvin said he believes the incident may prompt Iowans whose dogs have been shot to call their state legislators.

Wood, of the national humane society, said Iowa should strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty. He said he believes more uniformity is needed in animal cruelty laws across the country.

At the same time, Colvin said he believes responsibility for controlling pets falls on both sides of the issue.

"The mere fact people do allow animals to roam, although that wasn't the case here, creates situations where other people have to make decisions on how to deal with the animals," he said. "We need a uniformity in our animal control abilities in the state, and professional animal services throughout the state."

While he said he believes there are laws in place that protect animals in situations like the one in Hamburg, Colvin said more needs to be done.

In Fremont County, Kevin Aistrope, chief sheriff's deputy, said he is waiting for a written statement from Brock before sending the information to the county attorney, who will then decide whether criminal charges should be filed.

"I don't think what was done was legal. That's where the city disagrees. They believe they had a right to destroy the dogs," Aistrope said. He said he has interviewed Millsap, a local police officer and the mayor.

Aistrope said proper procedure would have been to take the animals to a veterinarian in Sidney.

Brock said she planned to visit the sheriff's office on Wednesday to give her statement.

"Those dogs were like my children," she said.

Millsap and Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman did not return calls seeking their comments.

Bill Hughes, attorney for the city, said the city's position is that officials had reacted properly in a difficult and emotional situation. He said the police chief found the dogs malnourished, and in the case of some of them, almost too ill to walk.

Johnson said that when the seven dogs were shot , one of them ran 100 yards before dropping dead.

"In the case of another of the dogs, the police chief had to put pressure on the dog's head my word would be stomped — with his foot to finish him off," Johnson said.

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