by Patrick Appel

Radley Balko reports on the recent series of stories about officers needlessly shooting dogs. Cheye Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights in Maryland, had his two dogs shot when the police mistakenly raided his house:

It is easy to imagine that some breeds of dog might legitimately pose a threat to police officers in volatile situations. But that Calvo’s two black labs posed any serious risk to an armored, heavily armed SWAT team stretches the bounds of credulity. The same can be said of a host of recent dog shootings in which a police officer said he felt “threatened” and had no choice but to use lethal force, including the killing of a Dalmatian (more than once), a yellow Lab , a springer spaniel, a chocolate Lab, a boxer, an Australian cattle dog, a Wheaten terrier, an Akita, and even a Jack Russell terrier. Not small enough for you? How about a 12-pound miniature dachshund? Or a five-pound chihuahua?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.