Letter to IIO and Attorney General
No More Police Dogs!
Ronald J. MacDonald, QC
Chief Civilian Director
Independent Investigations Office
Province of British Columbia
October 8, 202
Dear Director MacDonald and Minister Eby,
Re: Police-Involved Killing of Mr. Jared Lowndes and the Use of Police Service Dogs
Three months ago, on July 8, 2021, Jared Lowndes, a Laksilyu, Wet’suwet’en father was brutally murdered by the RCMP after being attacked by a police service dog. Bites sustained from police service dogs (PSDs) occur every two days in so-called British Columbia.
I am dedicated to a future without the violence of policing and I am calling for an end to the use of dogs as a tool of police violence and harm. I denounce all forms of police violence. I believe that disarming the police includes the removal of dogs from policing forces.
Bites sustained from dogs can result in a variety of injuries, ranging from puncture wounds to impaired circulation to loss of limb to loss of life. Dog bites requiring emergency room care often require higher levels of care such as hospitalization, surgery, or treatment for infection. Studies on police dog bites demonstrate that bites from PSDs often result in multiple bites, more severe injuries to the head, neck, chest, and flank, and require more specialized hospital and medical resources. The “bite-and-hold” technique in particular results in a range of more severe injuries including crush injuries, neurovascular injury, wounds requiring surgical debridement, and fatalities.
It is my belief that violence is inherent in policing. I view police violence as a public health issue that deeply impacts our communities. I recognize that the use of police dogs has deep roots in the racist and colonial foundations of policing, where dogs were used by slave catchers and conquistadors. I work towards the abolition of policing in all its forms.
I demand the removal of dogs from police forces as a component of disarming the police and as a step towards a world without the violence of policing.