Calif. officers allowed to shoot injured animals - FOX 13 News

Calif. officers allowed to shoot injured animals

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MERCED, Calif. - Animal rights activists in a California community are upset over a state law that allows local law enforcement officers to shoot animals.

FOX 26 KMPH reported this week on the Merced Police Department's policy of taking injured animals to the area shooting range and putting the animals down with a bullet instead of a needle.

"Yes, the severely injured we have to euthanize. The reason for it is because the animal is severely injured. Severely injured is defined as crush heads, broken backs, barely breathing," Merced Police Lt. Bimley West told KMPH.

He said officers are directed to use their "common sense" and get approval from their supervisors. He said they only do this in rare instances.

California law states any peace officer can "humanely destroy any stray or abandoned animal" and that the county only has one animal control officer.

Lt. West said that they lose about $60,000 a year due to stray and injured animals, but animal rights activists say that is no excuse for putting down the animals.

Tell us what you think: Do you think shooting an injured or stray animal is a humane thing to do? Leave a comment at facebook.com/FOX5Atlanta or on Twitter at @FOX5Atlanta

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