OAKLAND (AP) – Oakland police officers must now take dog and wildlife courses.
The order for mandatory training in dog and wildlife handling comes after high-profile shootings of a barking dog and a confused deer in neighborhood backyards.
The free training by the East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will include several hours of instruction on dog behavior, local wildlife habits and alternatives to shooting animals.
The Oakland Police Department’s entire 679-officer force will be required to undergo the training once a year.
Oakland animal control director Megan Webb said it’s designed to make sure animals are treated humanely.
Two weeks ago, a barking 11-year-old arthritic yellow Labrador retriever was shot when officers entered a backyard in search of a burglar. In May, officers shot a fawn in a backyard.