KUSA - Coloradans love a lot of things, but high on the list are dogs. That's the reason state senators David Balmer, a Republican from Centennial, and Lucia Guzman, a Democrat from Denver, have co-sponsored a bill that aims to protect dogs.
Balmer says over the last few years Colorado has seen a trend of law enforcement officers shooting and killing dogs. He says the bill he and Guzman are proposing would require all municipal police agencies and sheriff's deputies to receive annual dog training classes, so they can better assess when a dog is a threat.
"We are concerned that there have been a number of incidents where law enforcement have shot dogs. We can initiate a program where law enforcement would receive training and better understand how dogs behave and better understand the difference between a barking dog and a dog that's actually dangerous," Sen. Balmer said.
Officers like Denver police Lieutenant Vince Gavito say it's more complex than people think. Dogs can be dangerous and in that moment when an officer is confronted with a situation, they have little time to assess the threat.
"You have to evaluate each situation on a case by case bases and what were the circumstances surrounding that incident," Gavito said.
Gavito is also a dog lover and understands the concern, but doesn't believe a bill is the answer.
"I don't believe passing legislation is going to do anything to teach common sense that's just something you have or you don't," Gavito said.
Where both Law enforcement and law makers seem to agree is that no one wants to see a harmless animal needlessly killed.
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