Animal lovers around the world have been horrified at recent stories of police officers that shot and killed family pets that were innocent of anything except behaving like a dog.
Some breeds can be shot and killed on sight in some cities and counties, and police officers are usually the ones carrying out the execution.
When Geoff Wightman called the police to report a disturbance in his neighborhood, he never thought he might be putting his dog, Jillaroo in mortal danger.
Jillaroo is an Australian Shepherd. They are known for being wickedly smart and quick.
They are also very devoted to their pack and will defend it against all comers.
A few minutes after Wightman had made the call, a uniformed cop arrived at his door to take his report.
The police officer stepped into their home and headed towards Wightman’s four-year-old son that was playing on the floor to say hello.
Having seen all the horror stories, you can imagine Wightman’s horror when Jillaroo suddenly sprang to action and sank her teeth into Texas Police Officer Randall Frederick’s arm.
Expecting the worst, Wightman immediately went to his son’s side to shield him from what he was sure was about to happen. His heart was heavy. They loved Jillaroo so much.
But, Officer Frederick’s hand didn’t go towards his gun. He was familiar with dogs and realized that Jillaroo was just being protective of her child.
Frederick was armed. But he didn’t react to Jillaroo in fear.
He immediately assumed a non-confrontational stance, with his hands outstretched in front of him. He backed away from the little boy, proving to Jillaroo that he was not a danger.
He spoke soothingly to the dog, apologizing for making her think she needed to defend her young charge.
Police protocol dictated that the officer had to report the wound since the skin was broken. Animal Control was called in so they could check Jillaroo for rabies and other potential diseases, but after that, he made no additional moves to punish the dog.
He realized what so many other officers had not, causing heartbreak for so many owners, that he and Jillaroo were both simply doing their job. His was to protect and defend the public. Jillaroo’s was to protect and defend her family.
The Wightmans realized they had narrowly escaped tragedy, only because of one officer’s kindness and knowledge of animals.
When Wightman went online to try to find similar instances of police who were able to talk a dog down, he only found instances of tragedy. That’s why he wants his story shared.
“I want everyone to know that in Round Rock, TX, we have some pretty darn fine police officers who do a job a lot of the time without much thanks or recognition,” said Wightman in a statement.
We agree. Some pretty darn fine people, indeed. Kudos to Officer Frederick. We hope his arm healed nicely with little pain. Hopefully the warmth in his heart made the pain lessen. He made lives better just by being himself.