The Associated Press
Bixby, Okla. (AP) -- Police here must take a course on assessing
canine aggression after an officer shot a family's tethered golden
retriever while checking a burglary report.
Bixby police chief Anthony Stephens ordered his department to take
the course on June 29.
The order comes after officer Cory Forister on June 5 shot Fluppy, a
6-year-old golden retriever that belonged to John and Cathy
Benzinger. The dog had to be euthanized.
The dog was tied by a 43-foot line in the Benzinger's backyard, but
Forister, who was responding to the family's burglar alarm, was
afraid the barking and charging dog would reach him, Stephens said.
Forister failed to "exhaust other means of force available to him
before using deadly force," Stephens said.
John Benzinger said the loss of Fluppy has been very difficult for
him, his wife and their three children.
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"It wasn't a malicious act but one of poor reaction and poor judgment
in a situation that police should be trained for," Benzinger said.