Police Memo Instructs Officers to Kill, Adopt or Dump Stray Animals

Pet owners in the Harrisburg, PA area are being urged to keep their animals secure after a disturbing police memo from Police Captain Annette Books was published in the Philly Inquirer.

Because the city of Harrisburg has not yet renewed its animal control contract, the police department has come up with its own solutions for dealing with strays. In a memo obtained by the Inquirer, Harrisburg Police Capt. Annette Books authorized the shooting of animals deemed unhealthy or threatening.

If the animal is vicious and a danger to the public and/or officers, or if the animal is obviously sick, injured or suffering the animal may be destroyed in as safe a manner as possible. The animal will then be taken to the Agriculture Bldg. (near the loading dock area) on Cameron St. for disposal.

Animals who survive that critical screening process are not in the clear – in fact, if the officers are unable to adopt the animals themselves, or locate a potential adopter, Capt. Books suggests dumping them in a remote location.

If the animal is determined to be a “found” animal, the officer can ask the complainant if they want to keep the animal or if they know someone who will adopt the animal, or the officer can adopt the animal for himself/herself, or the officer can place the animal in a prisoner van and release it to an area where it will be safe for the animal.

A member of the Governor’s Dog Law Advisory Board has made it clear that abandonment of animals violates the state’s existing cruelty laws, and that releasing domestic animals into the wild is against PA game laws.

A city spokesman has said that it’s unlikely the city will renew its contract until February. With that in mind, for the next few weeks, area residents should be vigilant in their efforts keep pets contained and safe – it could be a matter of life and death.

Kris Baker, a Harrisburg resident and volunteer for the Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance, says the rescue group is inundated with unwanted animals as area non-profits scramble to pick up strays before they are killed or dumped in remote locations. “We are in a crisis here in the capital city of Pennsylvania,” she said.

Fearing for the safety of her own pets should they escape for any reason, Baker has started a Facebook petition campaign to Stop the Shooting of Dogs in Harrisburg. Learn more at: http://apps.facebook.com/petitions/4/stop-the-shooting-of-stray-dogs-in-harrisburg-pa/.

One of the most troubling aspects of the aforementioned memo is not the actual authorization to use deadly force, or the suggestions to ‘creatively rehome’ strays. Captain Books goes on to suggest that officers should lie to those who report missing animals:

If you choose to adopt the animal yourself or release it in a safe environment, DO NOT inform the complainant of your intentions.

20 thoughts on “Police Memo Instructs Officers to Kill, Adopt or Dump Stray Animals

  1. Send your complaints here. Robert K. Merwine
    Director
    Office of Criminal Justice System Improvements
    P.O. Box 1167
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17108-1167
    (717) 265-8542
    (717) 772-0550 (Fax)
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Found this out on the web. Fill up the email, fill up the post office box, call and leave messages. VOICE YOUR OPINIONS…YOU STILL HAVE THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!! I do not live in this state but think this is absolutely horrible. Next Capt. Annette Books will instructor officers to shoot people who may appear sick, acting in a threatening manner, etc. Send letters/emails/phone calls demanding a response. Where the heck is the Chief of Police while she is making such decisions?

  2. and what’s the city’s excuse for not “renewing” animal control contract or how about… finding another facility? Instead THIS is how you handle this? Is the town of Harrisburg struggling that much?? The CAPITAL of PA? “Capt” Annette Books… you should be ashamed of yourself. Do you have a heart? Discrace. (If in fact you did sign this letter.)

  3. This is so wrong a dog that is lost and scared is most likely going to growl at any one even police they don’t know any better. This needs to be stopped

    1. Yea, he/she may find him/herself dumped or dead!! Capt. Cook obviously has no patience for humanity period or she would never issue orders like she did.

    2. There’s one. He’s the only one who handles the animal calls. And he doesn’t work weekends.

  4. Yes, She DID sign the letter, Mainly because she was TOLD to by the Idiot, Crackhead Dumb-Ass MAYOR! Yes, it WAS on Local news, at the SAME time the Police SAID they were looking for a Person who left a Pit-Bull with a Distended Uterus in a Dumpster to DIE!!!

  5. Lets not condemn all Law enforcement people, that would be just as cold hearted as the person who wrote the note! Keep calling the news channels, newspapers, radio. Getting this out in the public eye is the best way to have it corrected, nobody likes negative PR.

  6. This woman is not a credit to the community. She needs to be replaced, she has no heart and no common sense. She is cruel and uncaring. where is the chief? this woman is not any one would want to work with.

  7. I used to live in the Harrisburg area and have seen many weird things out of that whole government. It must be something in the water there. This Police Captain is no exception. Get this story to the Talk Radio Station and let him run with it. He loves a good story.. I think his name is Bob Durgin. He has morning show on that station, or at least did when I lived there many years ago.

  8. This b*tch is crazy! Somebody needs to get her OUT of that position. Harrisburg is going to allow this?? SHAMEFUL!! Keep circulating!!!

  9. I pray this women never gets to be in a position of power again! How dare she be allowed to abuse animals “legally” complete shame on anyone who follows her memo, animals are like family to many people & if the police are allowed to kill them, leave them abandoned somewhere what is going on in this country! Hope she is held accountable for this dispicable behaviour!

  10. Unfortunately because of the city’s debt, they have no contract with Harrisburg Area Humane Society, therefore, there really is nothing to do with the dogs. It is terrible, but the real truth is, the cops are actually doing nothing. No dogs have been shot. Though, they have “relocated” dogs to different parts of the city. If the people in the city were educated and had their pets spayed and neutered, there would be less strays running around and the problem of what to do with them would be eliminated.

  11. Note to self: continue living in a completely different area of PA…

    Though, we still have the Amish mills to contend with here…

  12. Please make your voices heard…..speak out against Ms. Books. Send those emails, write those letters, make those phone calls. This CANNOT be tolerated.

    Like everyone else, I’m angry about this but I’ve found that just blogging about being angry never helps the animals. We need to continue to speak up against the cruelties lodged against animals by heartless, greedy, ignorant people.

    I’m sick of the abuse, the neglect, the torture and murdering of innocent, voiceless, forgotten sentient beings….

  13. So let get this right…. A police captain who job is to uphold the law, who’s integrity, and indeed the integrity of the police officers set below her, needs to be beyond reproach especially as they have to testify truthfully in a court of law and should be beyond reproach are being told to lie. Shame on you Annette Books your behaviour is a disgrace to your uniform. Your position is untenable RESIGN!

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