An animal rights group in the Bahamas has lashed out strongly at authorities following an incident in which two dogs were shot and seriously wounded by police officers.
“These disgusting acts were cynical, sadistic and carried out in cold blood, seemingly just for the fun of it,” the Bahamians Against Animal Mistreatment (BAAM) said in a statement.
There is video footage of the incident, as well as eyewitness accounts.
Eyewitness News reported that immigration officers were chasing an individual through someone else’s property when they entered a home, where two dogs were standing. A short while later, one of the officer’s returns, stands over the dogs and fires into their faces.
The Tribune reported that the officer fired while the dogs were tied up in a partially enclosed area. It said around 10 officers entered the premises, and the officer in question shot both dogs at point-blank range.
Bahamas Humane Society President Kim Aranha said they were “pit bull type dogs”.
“Our ambulance driver had to undo the leashes that restrained the dogs in order to put them in the ambulance. So I do know categorically that the dogs were tied up.”
Aranha said both dogs were shot twice and both sustained injuries to their legs. A bullet remained lodged in the jaw of one dog, who had to undergo surgery.
Aranha said the society has written to Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ferguson, requesting him to look into this matter.
“The way some of the officers are behaving in the Bahamas right now…they frighten me. I think they’re too quick to pull out a gun, and they’re shooting…animals that were of no danger to them. “
BAAM said the incident cannot be ignored.
“The sheer audacity displayed by this officer in thinking that he has the right to kill an animal is shocking, especially when trespassing on someone else’s property,” it said.
The movement said the officers carry licensed firearms in public and therefore there was a huge concern regarding their fitness in law enforcement.
It called for the immediate and full mental evaluation of the officers in question, with a view of determining if they are capable of continuing in their current roles.
“We also urge the owners of these dogs to take legal action against the Bahamas Department of Immigration and the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The mental and emotional distress to which they have been subjected cannot go unacknowledged or unpunished,” said BAAM.