Round Rock Police hoping B.A.R.K. program will prevent dog shootings

 It's been nearly a year now since Russell Lane read FOX 7 a poem he'd written about his Rottweiler named "Bullet" -- shot and killed by Round Rock Police.

"Lord if there is a place in Heaven for dogs, please welcome my friend.  His name is Bullet.  He loved us," Lane tearfully read.

Lane says his home alarm system accidentally went off.  Police went inside to check it out and ended up shooting his dog.

Now Lane has a new dog -- an American Bulldog named "Rocko."

"He's a hoot.  I mean he's a lot like Bullet, he sleeps beside the bed just like Bullet did when he was alive," Lane said.

We reached out to Lane to see what he thought about Round Rock P.D.'s new initiative called B.A.R.K.: Be Aware of Residential K-9's.

"I believe that B.A.R.K. is a win/win situation.  It definitely improves measures of officers' safety.  But it also empowers the community members," said department spokesperson Angelique Myers.

Myers says residents can pick up these stickers and place them on main entry points of their homes to let emergency personnel know a dog is there.

Myers says the department is continuing to take action to improve encounters with dogs in the field.

She says officers have received more than 700 hours of training in dealing with aggressive animals.

"We've actually given our Sergeants on each patrol shift catch poles to be able to humanely restrain any aggressive dogs that they may encounter in the field," Myers said.

Lane reminded us he had a sign in his window saying "Beware: Rottweiler on Duty."  But he's hopeful these stickers will help.

"If their intentions are truly what they're portraying it to be, I'm 100% for it and I recommend anybody that has a chance to do anything that may save their dog's life to get one of these stickers," Lane said.

Lane says that includes Rocko.

"As a matter of fact, since I've got Rocko I might get me one of those stickers and stick on my window or my door.  Because I don't ever want to leave my dog safe in a home and come home and he's been packed off in trash bags," he said.

As we reported last year, Round Rock P.D. declared shooting Lane's dog "justified."
   
But Lane says his attorneys are still battling the department in the courts.
   
Anyone who wants a B.A.R.K. sticker, the department says you can pick them up at RRPD headquarters or from any animal control officer.

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