On August 9, a Philadelphia police officer Sgt. Chad Culbreath was allegedly speeding down a street and ran over a woman’s pet dog, Phoebe. Sidara D. Son says that Culbreath refused to let her take her dog to a hospital and allegedly said “it’s just a dog.”
Son quotes Culbreath as saying it “isn’t a child, it’s just a dog.” He then allegedly threatened to arrest her and then called for backup. Five more police vehicles arrived and blocked off her street. “Culbreath’s supervisor, Sgt. Morrow, was one of the back up units. Eventually Son was allowed to take the dog to a hospital but she died in her arms.
The dog apparently got away from someone holding her leash and the officer was accused of not just hitting the dog but almost hitting someone running after her. The accident itself may not present much of a liability issue if the dog was off leash. However, the actions of the police after the accident could be a potential basis for a tort lawsuit. While the law still does values pets as chattel or property, the pain and suffering inflicted by such alleged misconduct could be considerable for a jury.
As someone who lost a beloved family dog in a car accident, the account is incredibly disturbing. Putting aside what was said, if the police refused to let the family take the dog to a hospital, I would seriously question his fitness to serve as an officer.
If these allegation are shown to be true, what do you think the appropriate punishment should be?
Kudos: Michael Blott