Our take: Investigation needed to see if shots necessary

Public shooting isn’t something a society should generally condone.

But there are certainly exceptions to the rule.

That is why a recent shooting incident in Lake Cowichan bears watching.

To be clear, the circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear. Police say a man walking his two dogs was aggressively approached by three other large, uncontrolled dogs. A man in the neighbourhood came to his aid, shooting and killing one of the dogs.

The two men involved in the incident declined an interview with the News Leader Pictorial, but each made their case on a CTV News piece and were supported by others posting on cowichannewsleader.com: the dogs were dangerous, the man and his pets were being threatened and the shot was necessary to protect their safety and maybe their lives.

And if the incident happened as the men described it, we’re inclined to agree. Not all dogs are cuddly pets. Large canines like the ones described are capable of significant damage and being on the receiving end of aggressive behaviour from them would be terrifying.

But the police are not paid to take things at face value. They need to determine things happened the way those involved said it happened, to find out if there are any extenuating circumstances that need to be considered. Part of that investigation should focus on how and why these potentially dangerous animals came to be roaming uncontrolled in the first place. But mostly they need to determine how great a threat, or appearance of threat the dogs posed.

We understand why the people involved are upset their actions are being questioned; it’s natural given the circumstances.

But discharging a gun in a residential area is serious business, all the moreso when that gun is aimed at a living creature.

It will be sorted out. The police are just doing their job.

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