Guest post by Michael Ozias & Patrick Reasonover
For many of us our pets are family members. We love them and care for them their whole lives, watching them grow, learn, play and age. When they die it can be hard, devastating even.
But imagine if your pet’s life was cut short–not by an accident or disease but by someone you’re supposed to trust: a cop. Worse yet, imagine having your pet gunned down right in front of you for what turned out to be a mistake or an overreaction or the callous nature of an unapologetic stranger.
Police officers unnecessarily shooting dogs has become a silent epidemic. It’s called “puppycide,” and every 98 minutes there’s another victim:
Lily, a border collie, was killed in her own backyard. The officer shot the dog despite pleas from her owner that Lily wasn’t dangerous. The officer was at the wrong address.
Cisco, an Australian cattle dog, was killed in his driveway after an officer was sent to investigate a domestic dispute. He was also at the wrong address.
Less than two weeks ago Patches, a 12-pound jack russell terrier, was killed by a 300-lb. officer who claimed the dog came toward him “in an aggressive manner.”
These are innocent dogs whose only transgression was barking at an unfamiliar face. These are unsuspecting owners who suffer horrifying losses. These are law enforcement officers who choose lethal force as their first course of action.
There are thousands of instances of puppycide across America. Every state. Every income level. Every demographic. This is a national tragedy without a voice. Puppycide must end NOW. And with your help, we can stop it.
Police tools and tactics–from dashboard cameras to Miranda rights–are frequently influenced by the demands of the public. But for the public to desire change they must first be made aware. And that is what a documentary can do.
That’s why we’re making Puppycide, a feature length documentary that takes a journey with victims of puppycide, the dogs and their owners. From the moment they meet and seal their emotional bonds to the excruciating trauma of loss, we follow the dog owners’ battles for justice with police culture and the legal system, both of which treat puppycides as acceptable collateral damage.
To start a grassroots campaign and to fund the production of the film, we’re turning to Kickstarter. Here, passionate individuals with a desire to see this problem exposed and solved can pledge whatever amount they desire to see the film realized. But it’s an all or nothing campaign, and we have less than a month to make it happen.
We hope you’ll join us in our efforts to defend our beloved pets and end puppycide.
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Michael Ozias co-founded Ozymandias Media. He writes and directs web videos on socially relevant topics like the drug war, the legal system and education.
Patrick Reasonover co-founded Ozymandias Media. He produces documentary and animated web video content for non-profits and industry associations.