A Police Dog Discovered a Gun in a Snowbank, Then Fired the Gun

A blog about murder, theft, and other wickedness.
March 4 2013 1:49 PM

Four-Legged Justice: A Police Dog Discovered a Gun in a Snowbank, Then Fired the Gun

Police Dog
A police dog and its handler.

Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

Well, great, as if I needed another reason to be scared of dogs.

CW-56 News reports that, on Saturday, a police K-9 unit in Lawrence, Mass., was tasked with finding a gun that had been used in a shooting. A three-year-old German shepherd named Ivan went to work, and, sure enough, found a Ruger semi-automatic buried under a mound of snow. To everyone’s surprise, Ivan followed up by retrieving the gun from the snowbank and firing it. In the seconds after the gun discharged, Ivan was seen doing this:

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“The dog’s supposed to go in there and just lie down or sit when he find the article,” said its handler, Lt. John Pickle. “I think it’s just because it was buried in the snow and he pulled it out.” Sources indicate that Pickle, chomping an unlit cigar, later called Ivan on the carpet for his renegade ways; Ivan responded by barking derisively and defecating on that carpet. He will reportedly spend the next 30 days on desk duty, and his complimentary subscription to Gun Dog magazine has been revoked.

The gun-in-a-snowbank angle is a new twist on the classic dog-shoots-man story. In November 2011, a duck hunter in Utah got shot in the butt when his pooch jumped on the bow of a boat and discharged a shotgun. The next month, a bulldog named Eli shot a Florida hunter when he allegedly “got excited in the truck” and knocked against a rifle. And just a few days ago, another Floridian got shot in his pickup truck when his dog started “jumping around” and kicked a gun.

By comparison to these puppyish acts of violence, Ivan’s retrieval and discharge of the Ruger semi-automatic feels cold and calculating, as if he’s a canine vigilante meting out his own brand of justice. The only good thing about this is that it might finally spark some interest in my screenplay, Charles Bronson Gets Reincarnated as a Dog. Email me, Hollywood!

Justin Peters is a writer for Slate. He is working on a book about Aaron Swartz, copyright, and the rise of “free culture.” Email him at justintrevett@fastmail.fm.

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