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?

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  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.)

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  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

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    • 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.

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  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!!!

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