After a dog killed a child and injured another earlier this year, the police department of Atlanta has seen it fit to enact some changes in its practices like dedicating one officer exclusively to investigating animal cruelty crimes.
The goal of such a measure is to shrink or limit the number of officer-involved shootings of dogs and dog attacks on people.
A dog attacks a 6-year-old boy and killed him in January, as well as injuring another 5-year-old girl while the kids were simply walking to school. The dog’s owner is facing criminal charges.
The Atlanta Police Department’s new policy is really a response to this unfortunate incident of the dog attack, made worse that such happened to vulnerable children.
Police Chief Erika Shields says that the horrific attack highlighted their need to also target irresponsible dog ownership and to battle cruelty against animals.
The dedicated officer who will be assigned to exclusively investigate animal cruelty crimes will work with the community, law enforcement and other government agencies to probe animal cruelty claims and also to initiate outreach about the issue.
The Atlanta Police Department sees the new measure as the best response to avoid similar unfortunate incidents of the dog attack while protecting residents and ensuring that the state remains animal-friendly, with pet owners expected to be more responsible guardians of animals.