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Cops bill owner after running over dog

AFP · 1 Feb 2010, 13:46

Published: 01 Feb 2010 13:46 GMT+01:00

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Robby, a nine-year-old Australian Shepherd, ran away on December 31 after being terrified by fireworks, and made it onto a nearby motorway, her owner Heidi Schwark, 65, told the Bild daily on Monday.

"A day after New Year's, the police phoned me and said that my Robby had been run over on the motorway.... The police claimed that a motorist had hit and killed Robby," said Schwark, photographed clutching his picture.

But it turned out that it was the police who had killed Robby after four officers in two police cars spent over an hour getting cars on the A1 autobahn near Hamburg to slow down while they tried, unsuccessfully, to capture him.

Neutralising Robby caused damage of over €2,500 ($3,500) to a patrol car - costs which Schwark now has to pay.

Contacted by the AFP news agency, a police spokeswoman said that the officers "were confronted by something posing a danger, this 'wonderful dog' tearing about to and fro on both carriageways of a motorway."

"At a time like this, a police officer has to weigh up the lives of people against that of a dog," spokeswoman Jessica Wessel said.

"You can imagine that in the dark, on New Year's Eve with explosions and everything all around, a dog being chased by strangers is not going to calm down, and you're not going to catch him."

Story continues below…

Schwark, however, is incensed.

"They close off motorways even for ducks. Why not for my Robby? Then they could have caught him safely - and my beloved would still be alive," the pensioner told the paper.

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Your comments about this article

14:27 February 1, 2010 by LMB222
I guess it was too dangerous to just shoot the stupid dog ("tearing around to and fro on both carriageways of a motorway").
19:45 February 1, 2010 by wxman
If he ran away when frightened by the firworks display, then I guess it's safe to assume he was not on a leash and secured properly while out in public. Case closed.
00:48 February 2, 2010 by wenddiver
I spent many years in law enforcement in the US. The correct action is to offer the dog a dougnut and grab him when he takes it!! That was just stupid. The policeman who wrecked the car should be made to pay for it.
09:48 February 2, 2010 by Legal E
Why I am not surprised! Off course the dog is running away. It got scared senseless of the fireworks and then cars (I assume with lights flashing) come chasing after it.... as one post said... why not put some food out. Good luck on the case.
13:27 February 2, 2010 by dbert4
If this were the, "US" one could have offer the cops a dougnut and the poor dog would have left the motorway while they were eating.
16:14 February 2, 2010 by lordwilliams629
Say what you want about american cops dbert4, it don't change the stupidity of these german cops.
19:19 February 3, 2010 by voidplay
Killing someone's dog 'deliberately' and sending them a bill isn't funny.

I hope she sues them and teach these GTA kids something to remember for a long time.
00:42 February 4, 2010 by gills
Wow, that's pretty sick.
04:21 February 4, 2010 by mike short
Give them some "dog training", I doubt it will help.
16:55 February 4, 2010 by DreadLindwyrm

The dog could have been startled in its owner's garden and jumped the fence.
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