LAPD to Train Officers to Handle Vicious Dogs

After shooting 98 dogs to death in the last two years, the Los Angeles Police Department is launching a training program to help officers handle vicious animals.

Officers in West Los Angeles will undergo training by city animal control experts as part of an effort to reduce the number of dogs killed each year, said Dan Knapp, general manager of the Animal Regulation Department.

"I think that will help [police] respond with less deadly force," Knapp said. He added that he hopes to eventually expand the program to other parts of the city.

LAPD Cmdr. Dan Koenig said 98 dogs were shot by officers in the two years ending in April. The shootings often occurred in cases in which officers were responding to calls of dogs attacking children.

"It's just the nature of the business in this city that you get dogs attacking people, and we have to step in and do something," Koenig told the City Council's Public Safety Committee on Monday.

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