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What Do You Think?

October 27, 2009

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments when voting. A sampling of edited reader comments will run on The Herald-Mail's Opinion page on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The question posted Friday was: Should the City of Hagerstown pay about $7,600 in veterinary bills for Targa, a black Labrador who was put down Wednesday after being shot by a police officer Oct. 15?

Results: Yes, 819 votes (62 percent); No, 498 votes (38 percent)

o "They should pay the bills. This thing was totally unnecessary. A retriever is one of the friendliest dogs out there. There was just no reason for this to occur and makes me very sad for the family who lost their beloved dog who was shot in the face in their own backyard."

o "They should pay the bills but ending an (officer's) career is too serious. There should be a study/retrain on warrant service procedure done, too. Sounds like unnecessary risks are being taken."

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o "They should pay everything vet bills, gas money (to and from vet), any time lost from work. If the dog was being aggressive, growling, barking and so on, the officer has the right to protect himself from harm. He could have sprayed the dog or Tazered it. The last resort would have been shooting it."

o "There is no reason this officer should be fired for doing his job. Officers are trained to defend themselves in the event of an attack and use force if necessary. If this were a person attacking him, we would expect him to defend himself. I would like to think that he was properly trained and reacted simply as he was trained to do."

o "The officer or the city should not pay the dog's vet bills. The officer should not lose his job. There was no other way for the officer to handle the situation. You cannot reason with a dog."

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