Minn. Police Dog Shot, Killed, Left On Roadside

BAGLEY, Minn. (AP) — A police officer in northwestern Minnesota is distraught after the slain body of his police dog was found along a country road.

The dog was one of two that had been shot and killed with a small-caliber gun. Both appeared to have been killed elsewhere and dumped on the road.

The dogs belonged to Bagley police Sgt. Larry Peterson. He says both were very gentle and would have been easy targets for whoever shot them. He says they weren’t known for chasing livestock or deer, which are legal justifications for shooting stray dogs.

The Grand Forks Herald report says the police dog was Copper, a hound-Labrador cross. The department has only three full-time officers and two part-timers, so the loss of a police dog is especially difficult.

There are no suspects.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • SP

    Why was the dog out roaming on it’s own? Officer handler needs to be more responsible.

    • Joe

      That was my first thought, too. There must be more to the story.

    • Realist

      How do you know the dog was out roaming on it’s own? That’s a pretty bold assumption from a poorly written article.

      • Love pets ... Born Free. Keep them free

        even if they were out roaming on their own -which is common in any and all areas that dogs should be living in which means no friggen leashes, kennels, city, ‘burb’ —- doesnt grant one a license to shoot them.

        Now in a city, and the dog so much as gets in my face, I would pop pop pop the thing.
        Why do people torture an animal in a city anyway?? …. (running for cover as people hate the truth and fact it is WRONG) …… inhumane in all ways to do so

      • Jim

        Either the dogs were out on some “hot leads” or they were out chasing something…… OR clearly this was an inside job by one of the 3 full time or 2 part time officers!

  • db

    Why is there a picture of a handgun with the article? Some jerk shot a dog, most likely with a rifle. Please don’t make the gun the “bogeyman” in this story. You’ll just scare the moonbats.

    • Mike Merker

      What do you expect from the mainstream media? The dogs could have been killed with a bat but they need the evil handgun to blame.

      • CAK

        The article says the dogs were killed with a small caliber gun.

        • Slim

          Small caliber is probably a 22 caliber, so it was probably be a 22 rifle…
          Most handguns are larger than that… Small caliber does not mean small gun (handgun).

          • Lance

            also doesn’t mean it wasn’t —- let’s be clear on this. ;-)

          • James

            more than likely some drunk dude sippin’ a little too much moonshine… was out on his porch and thought he saw coyotes and chased them down with his .22 It is rural Minnesota were talking here…

  • Lee

    There’s definately information missing in this story. That’s a pretty small remote area to require police dogs. Were they actual trained police dogs or just pets that hang around the station?

    • Realist

      Are you really that ignorant?!

  • Swededog

    Nice little hardship scandal to drum up some extra funds maybe?

    • jld

      You’re kidding right?

    • Realist

      Wow, another ignorant statement… go figure.

  • jld

    No where does it say the dogs were loose…implication isn’t proof. Stories like these ALWAYS leave out the most important details for whatever reason & we all need to be smart enough (& kind enough) not to assume anything, especially the worst.

    • markHT

      The story reports that the police officer found the body of his dog along a road. People only find things that they are missing, not those that are with them all along. The dog’s owner even provided reasons for the legal justification for shooting stray dogs(and reasons why he thought his dog would not meet those justifications)-an unnecessary inclusion in this story unless we logically assume that his dog was roaming free. Critical reading isn’t hard, it’s just something you have to work on-like a marriage or rose bush. Peace.

      • Good Ol Boy

        Sorry, but that isn’t a logical assumption, markHT.

        You are ignoring the basic tenets of crime scene investigation and the following of basic clues. In short, you aren’t going far enough back in the history of this.

        Critical reading isn’t hard. But you have to use it, chief.

        The dogs were taken from a kennel. Both of them. And killed and dumped.
        Now let’s talk more about critical reading and fact analysis, shall we?

  • anonymous

    I personally know this officer and know the dogs were kenneled. There is definitely more to this story. This officer is also very fair and follows the rules in the field. The dogs were well trained. They would never have hurt anyone or anything without just cause. This was a malicious act by an idiot. I only hope they catch the person or persons responsible and prosecute them to the letter of the law. Killing a police dog is killing an officer. I am not a police lover. Trust me. This officer is one of the good ones and so were his dogs. No one, and no animal deserves to die. Larry you are in our prayers. from Blaine MN

  • wondering

    As far as small areas having trained police dogs…I come from a small town(2400) and we had a highly trained police dog. He won many awards and compititions. When you have many thousands of acres to navigate, a dog is better equipped to do the searching. As to running free…perhaps this officer lived in a rural area where it is not as common to keep dogs leashed

    • Realist

      What makes you think the dog was running free? Where do you see that in the article?

  • Tom

    Idiot’s assume and comment on information they don’t know. We don’t know if the officer lived in a rural area and he and his family were gone from there house. The story said they were shot elsewhere. Someone may have waited until the family was gone and shot them in there kennel from a distance then took them to the side of the road to dump them. Wake up people. There is not enough information to make unintellegent comments like that. Either way this is a sad story. Police dogs are a great asset and tool for law enforcement. Remember that next time one is searching for an armed suspect in your neighborhood, or one that is tracking a lost or abducted child, possibly yours, and they find them.

    • Realist

      Very well said!

  • anonymous

    Bagley is a rural area. Yes Tom the dog was also trained and used for rescue operations and had found people lost including a toddler who had wondered about mile and a half from its home. “Copper” that is the name of the police dog that was shot, tracked and found this child.

  • steve

    Why is there even a Police dog in Bagley mn. What a misuse of public money.

    • Realist

      Are you serious? How can you be so ignorant?

    • Tom

      Read the story idiot, the officer used his OWN money for this dog

  • anonymous

    Police dogs in rural areas are actually very cost effective as they are used for tracking and rescue etc as well as for crime. I would say training and feeding a dog is alot cheaper than sending in big rescue efforts ie heilicopters, pilots, night vision etc from larger metro areas. Since it is rural there is more ground to cover and less man power. It makes perfect sense. Also the officers/handlers bear the brunt of alot of the expense of the dogs. This was not only a police loss but a personal loss for the officer and his family. The second dog that was killed was a family pet.

  • realist_

    Sorry guys, I didn’t read the story good enuf and whatnot. Was reading the Jordan MN edition of the book, “how to rear you children.” Musta got excited or somethin. I say allot of dumb things and what not.

  • WI1848

    The coward that committed this crime should be a taught a lesson, It’s amazing how tough some people think they are by using a gun, use your words and your fists if you have to in order to make a point, what a pansy. Whoever did this should be put in a ring with some blood thirsty pittbulls and see if he makes it out.

  • Agog

    Guns don’t kill dogs, its cats with guns that kill dogs.

  • Mae

    So if the dog was kenneled that meant someone stole the dog, shot it and then dumped it elsewhere? This is just so sad. Why would someone do that? This story is not very clear at all.

  • Andy

    Is there more to this story? Why would a police dog be out roaming? Poorly written article

    • Good Ol Boy

      Indeed, why would it. Except there is no indication that is what happened, Andy.

      Your assumptions are clouding your judgement.

  • yep

    A stray German Shepard that is trained to attack people into submission. Not really the kind of animal you want running around.

    • Good Ol Boy

      No German Shepards were mentioned in this story.

      No stray dogs were mentioned in this story.

      So why are you commenting at all?

  • thuglife

    crooked cop


    I am the officer that some of you have been trashing. The two dogs were the most gentle dogs I have ever owned. During this time I found that out of one act of cruelty has been met many acts of kindness .Copper was a tracking dog I saved from the city pound and paid all costs involved in training this dog. My dogs were kind and genuine in the love they showed mankind. To the people that have showed kindness to me , thank you. To the others , GET A DOG AND MAYBE YOU WILL LEARN SOME HUMAN TRAITS THAT WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON.

  • Tex Reynolds, Texas

    To Officer Peterson, my condolences on the loss of your family members and patrol partner. To the readers who judge without sufficient information my sympathy for your children. To the jerk who shot the dogs there is a special place in hell waiting for you.

  • greydog

    TO Officer Peterson. So sorry about your loss! I hope the people responsible are found and persecuted to the full extent. As a dog lover I can relate to your loss, and this was more then just a family pet, this dog had a job helping people. So terrible that it happened.

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