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What we think: Animal training is a good idea

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If shooting of family pet brings about training for Shelby County Sheriff's deputies, that will be an acceptable conclusion.

Shelby County Sheriff Mike Armstrong’s investigation into the shooting by Deputy Brian Miller of the dog Daisy produced the sort of findings that we had expected.

We did not expect the sheriff to determine that Mr. Miller acted incorrectly, and we did expect there to be any disciplinary action in the case.

There never seemed to be significant concern that the case was handled improperly, public opinion notwithstanding.

We understand Mr. Miller’s comments that he “feared for his life” when he was confronted by Daisy on June 18 in the backyard of a house where a burglar alarm had sounded. We understand he felt trapped and responded quickly out of that fear.

And that is perhaps because neither he nor any other officer in the sheriff’s department – or any other local law enforcement agency – has been trained in dealing with animals in general or dogs in particular.

Mr. Armstrong expressed in his report the idea that such training might be a good idea in the future, and we concur.

Shelby County is largely rural and populated by thousands of mostly non-feral animals. We think it wise to ensure that those patrolling our streets, roads and property are prepared for whatever life-threatening situations that may confront.

We encourage Mr. Armstrong to move quickly and with diligence to create such a program, perhaps partnering with the expertise already available to postal employees in our county.

And if the implementation of such training is the epitaph of the shooting of a beloved family pet, maybe Daisy will have died so that some other pet someday may live.