The Cadillac News did an article on what happened to Cole. It’s okay, but misses some major points. I posted a comment to clear some things up, but the stupid thing formatted as one long paragraph. Here’s a link to the article & here’s my comment in a more readable format:
I should first mention that I am Brock’s sister, so hopefully I can fill in some of the blanks.
Cole was left in the garage for a little over an hour when my mom went to work. John did know that he was in there, but hit the button to open the door without thinking. He immediately realized his mistake, but the safety features garage doors have to keep kids from being hurt prevented him from closing the door again. He immediately went out trying to get Cole to come back, but Cole was too fast. John and my eight-year-old brother searched for hours that night, but they weren’t able to get Cole back home.
Brock and Darci came back from their vacation that night, and they along with my mom and John spent countless hours everyday searching for Cole. My mom posted signs all over Manton and the calls Brock received allowed them to narrow their search. We had such hope that he would be found and brought home, but unfortunately Officer Dennis Rogers found him first.
One very important point is that Rogers was not truthful with Brock when he called to inform him of Cole’s death. He told Brock that they had done everything they could, but were unable to save Cole. This implies that Cole received medical attention, which is simply not the case. Not to be crass, but no one could consider shooting him in the head after finding him to be doing everything they could. Why was the officer not truthful with Brock?
Rogers told my mom that when he approached Cole, he was extremely weak and got up and wobbled around. He Told her that he didn’t think he could get the loop around Cole’s neck and was worried that Cole would go back into the woods. If Cole “could hardly move” how on earth would he have been able to “dash into the woods”? Obviously, I was not there, but if Cole could hardly move, why did Rogers not even attempt to tranquilize him and take him in for care? It seems to me that a dog who is unable to move very much would be fairly easy to tranquilize. Lt. Denison says in the article that the officer can shoot an animal if it “cannot be tranquilized or captured”, but Rogers did not even attempt to tranquilize Cole, and from his own account, it sounds unlikely that Cole could have gone back into the woods. Doesn’t this mean that he went against department policy?
As the article states, Rogers assumed that a tranquilizer would kill Cole. He *assumed* this, but he has no way of knowing that it would have. Cole had a family who loved him and would have done anything to save him. They weren’t even given the chance to say goodbye to him. Even if tranquilizing him would have had killed him (which we will never know since he was not given medical attention), he would have at least been given the chance to receive care. I won’t speculate on why Rogers chose to shoot him instead of giving Cole a chance, but I feel it is important to stress that Rogers has no sort of veterinary training. Yes, he’s worked in this division for almost 20 years, but that does not qualify him to make life or death decisions with a lost animal. I worked as a pharmacy technician for 14 years, but that does not qualify me to prescribe medicine or counsel people on their health.
Something not really addressed in this article is the fact that Rogers used the tags on Cole’s collar to contact Brock *after* dumping his body in the landfill. Why did he dump Cole’s body first? Why when Brock called to request release of the body for cremation did Rogers simply tell him that it was too late and offer no further explanation? Why did it take a call from my mom to Rogers to find out what actually happened to Cole? Yes, in the end he retrieved his body, but I don’t want to give him too much credit, because he should have been honest from the start. I find it hard to believe that dumping an animal’s body before contacting the owner is part of procedure. He showed blatant disrespect for Cole and no compassion for those who loved him. Simply put, Cole deserved better than the way Rogers treated him.
Lt. Denison stated that “the dog had appeared to have tangled with a porcupine soon after it got loose”, but he has no way of knowing that. He did not even see Cole’s body since Rogers shot Cole, dumped his body in the landfill and retrieved the body all on Sunday. This is irresponsible speculation. None of the calls Brock and Darci received from people who had seen Cole mentioned porcupine quills. Rogers told my mom that he had received a call from someone who had seen a Great Dane with quills in his face three days before he shot Cole. This is the first mention of anyone seeing Cole with quills in his face. Again, none of the calls Brock and Darci received in the 10 days prior to the call Rogers received indicated that. Denison has no way of knowing when Cole came in contact with a porcupine and I am puzzled as to why he would speculate as he did.
He also said Cole was “skin and bones” without ever seeing his body. Unlike Denison, my mom and John did see Cole’s body. Of course he was thin -he had been lost for 13 days. However, they both said that he did not look as bad as Denison says.
Nothing is going to bring Cole back. Nothing can make his family feel better about this situation, but I think that the Wexford County Sheriff’s Office needs to seriously review the animal control division policies. One would hope that the first course of action no matter the situation would be to tranquilize an animal to bring it in for proper care. The animal control officers are not qualified to determine if a pet can or cannot be saved. They simply do not have any type of medical training and should not be given the power to make that kind of decision. I think that all of the officers need to go through retraining and the policy needs to change. Only a licensed veterinarian should be able to make life or death decisions.