Forever Lebanon Valley

Dog Law Expert Set to Teach Lebanon Police

Colleen Shelly (center, blue dress) teaching Humane Law Enforcement officers at PSP Academy in Hershey, April 2021.

In the wake of the July 6th incident in which Lebanon Police shot and killed Gunner, the 50-pound Lab mix dog that had escaped its yard, the woman who will be offering training about dog behavior and dog law outlines what city police can expect.

Speaking exclusively on WLBR’s “Talk of the Town” newsmaker segment, Colleen Shelly of the PA Academy of Animal Care & Control said the goal of teaching her course on basic dog law is to help officers de-escalate situations and recognize dog behavior so they don’t have to shoot a dog.

Shelly is a retired PSP Trooper 1st Class and has been instrumental in changing the way animal cruelty and dog law complaints are viewed by police departments across Pennsylvania.

But there’s an additional component that she teaches the police; knowing the circumstances under state law that govern how police deal with stray dogs:

The eight hour training also covers proper ways to restrain dogs with or without catch poles and how to determine if an encounter with a dog is a “shoot or don’t shoot” situation:

While Shelly recognizes that a full, eight hour day of training can be a bit of a scheduling challenge for police departments, she believes giving officers this training pays dividends in the long run.

Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello said she chose the PA Academy of Animal Care & Control because of the law enforcement emphasis in the training. However, no dates have been worked out for training, at this point.