There are few things worse than a helpless, injured animal. And so it is with sadness and a big ol' box of tissues, that I'm writing this blog post.
Cisco, a 7-year-old Australian Blue Heeler, was shot shortly after approaching an Austin Police Officer last Saturday afternoon. Though the officer has since stated that the dog approached him in "an aggressive manner," Cisco's owner Michael Paxton has reported that his dog ran to the officer's feet, barking, which dogs of course do, especially when their owner and best friend is being threatened. Paxton was unable to restrain Cisco as he was being held at gunpoint. He even cried out to the officer "to not shoot [the] dog, that he [would] not bite."
What's extremely distressing about this incident in particular is the fact that the officer, responding to a domestic disturbance call, had arrived at the wrong home. Paxton's neighbors have since admitted that they were responsible for the aforementioned "domestic disturbance." Â Michael Paxton, and unfortunately his now deceased pet, were just in the wrong place at the end of a barrel cocked by a jumpy cop.
The Austin community, and even the nation, has backed Paxton and his call for justice. The Justice for CiscoÂ Facebook page has, at this time, reached 68,471 "likes" (+1 for my recent support) and features articles from the Huffington Post, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and an Australian version of MSN. While Cisco's devoted owner doesn't expect the cop responsible to be fired, he does expect disciplinary action to be taken. More importantly, Paxton is looking into the implementation or reform of policies and procedures regarding police action toward animals in situations like this one.
Meanwhile, Paxton and the 68,472 people behind him are consoled by the pictures of his sweet dog and the puppies his buddy fathered. Here's to hoping justice is brought about for Cisco.