Personal experience: in the USA, even a dog can be put under house arrest
One of the arguments of supporters of the idea of disbanding or reducing funding for the police, which is now being actively discussed in American society, is that law enforcement officers perform many functions in communities.
In an article in the Washington Post, Georgetown University professor of law Christie Lopez, a fan of the idea, gives examples of police being called in to discipline the school, remove a homeless person from the street, or help in a family dispute.
In the US, police officers, in addition to catching criminals, really have many other responsibilities, for example, providing quick response and assistance during natural disasters. Police officers also participate in various projects and campaigns designed to build trust and unity in the communities they serve.
In connection with this, an incident that occurred to me at the beginning of March immediately pops up in my memory. In addition to me, two dogs, two runners, several police officers, 3-4 ambulances and one representative of the animal control service took part in it.
One spring evening, when my husband was on a business trip, and the child remained at home, I went for a walk with my dog, a four-year-old big man named Zakk raccoon hound with impurities. We were already returning, it was only necessary to cross the bridge in front of our house when I saw that a couple with a dog was running towards us a little more than Zakk.
Then everything happened in a couple of seconds. Dogs, both on leashes, but not short enough on a narrow bridge, rushed at each other, in the middle of their quarrel there was a man whom my dog (though maybe him) grabbed his leg.
“He bit me,” cried a man who, as I later learned, was 46 years old. His wife, who followed him, immediately began to call the police.
“Don't,” I remarked.
In critical situations, I always keep icy calm - I stress only later.
“I sincerely regret that this happened, but we are in the same conditions - our dogs were on leashes and rushed at each other. Here’s my house, let's go there, I’ll give you everything you need to treat the wound, show vaccinations for the dog and leave my coordinates, ”I tried to reason with the woman. But she called the police, and we all remained to wait for her.
Meanwhile, the woman continued to express her indignation - both to me and to her friends whom she called. The fact that the bitten man and I studied his wounds, discussed the need to buy him new running shorts (he rejected my offer) and made human contact, further irritated his wife. Our dogs, meanwhile, were sitting side by side as if they were not involved in all this.
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Soon the police arrived - I had a sense of time by that moment, and I can’t say how long it took. The policeman processed the wounds, took evidence from us and my coordinates. I looked at what he wrote there, and was delighted: a small scratch, first aid was provided. This was not only true, and meant the futility of a possible trial by this couple.
Following the police, the ambulance and the Animal Control Service arrived. All this noise greatly irritated my dog, which was already lying on the side of the road and whining. The orderlies put the man on a bench, the three of them measured his pulse and provided some other first aid. The man felt awkward, we mutually apologized and advised in the future to be careful with dogs on narrow bridges and alleys.
I did not know when all this would end, and I informed the policeman that I have enough entertainment for today and I have to go - I have one child at home. Mom went out for 10 minutes, and she has been gone for an hour.
“How old is the child?” - the policeman tensed up.
“Eleven,” and he relaxed.
An affable man from the Animal Control Service approached me and told me to go home - he would come to me in a few minutes. He ordered me to find a certificate of vaccination for the dog and wait.
At home, the son was really scared. I drove the dog, which continued to behave inappropriately, into the courtyard surrounded by the fence, cleaned up a bit, and prepared vaccination certificates. I'm waiting.
The man from the animal control service arrived immediately. I was immediately informed that I had already found information about the vaccinations, they were just fresh with us, and praised for the good care of the animal’s health. I asked if there could be any consequences of the criminal procedure for me because of this incident. Suddenly I want to run somewhere.
“No,” a man dressed in a uniform resembling a police officer explained to me, which made me believe him even more, because this is a representative of local law enforcement agencies. “Now, if your dog was not on a leash or if you had set her on a runner, then yes, that would be a crime.” In this case, you have nothing to worry about. ”
“I can’t say here, but hardly”, - like a bitten man, he clearly showed sympathy for me.
However, after a second it became clear to me that there was something to worry about. He had a police walkie-talkie, on which a female voice repeated several times: “Attention to all units! A man, 30 years old, pointed a gun at a policeman, Falls Church, attention to all units! .. "
“And here we are with our dogs ...” - I once again emphasized the insignificance of the whole incident.
“Yes, real crimes are happening in this city,” he emphasized the importance of the work of local law enforcement agencies.
Next, we took up what he came for. Due to Zakk’s aggressive behavior on the bridge, he was sent under house arrest for 10 days. I signed that I take responsibility to make sure that he will serve his entire term, and I promised to inform the appropriate authorities about all changes in his behavior and health, as well as to report on the tenth day after the event.
“What, you can’t go out at all?” I asked again. We have a yard with a fence, but how do other pet owners do it?
“Near the house you can. Just don't go far, ”he explained.
The purpose of this arrest is not to punish the dog, because it still will not reach her, but to make sure that she is healthy, and if she has signs of rabies, then immediately inform the victim.
The man handed me a memo that explained in detail what “10 day detention of your pet” means, which also applied to cats and ferrets, with portraits of “especially dangerous offenders.”
The representative of the Animal Control Service entertained me with several stories from his practice, repeatedly repeated the main message - closely monitor the health of the dog - and left.
As a law-abiding citizen, I responsibly reacted to the obligations undertaken before society. And when in mid-March, Zakk's deadline for serving a “house arrest” expired, he began with everyone else. After all, it was on this day in Virginia that quarantine began.
Original column published on the blog. Ukrainian service "Voices of America".
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