Forever Lebanon Valley

Mayor Says City Police Will Be Trained For Stray Dog Calls

Gunner, the Lab-mix dog minutes before being shot and killed by Lebanon Police on July 6, 2022 in the backyard of a home on Tiffany Lane.
Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello (from Facebook)

Lebanon City Council took more comments at their meeting Monday night from citizens who remain upset over the police-involved shooting death of “Gunner,” the dog that escaped its backyard on July 6th. But based upon statements from Mayor Sherry Capello, their call for police to be better-trained at handling stray dogs may be getting through.

Gunner’s Crusade member Denise Derr, a registered nurse for 35 years, told Council that whenever medical personnel make a mistake that leads to either the injury or death of a patient, there’s an immediate review :

Derr said she was born and raised in the city and regularly brings her two dogs with her to visit her parents, who still live in town. But she worries they’ll end up like Gunner, should they ever got out of her parents’ yard:

Mayor Capello said she’s heard the group’s concerns and steps are being taken to get more training for officers:

The city has contacted the Pennsylvania Academy for Animal Care and Control, an organization led by a former state police trooper who now trains and certifies Pennsylvania Humane Law Officers.

Mayor Capello said she believes there are unique demands on law enforcement that are different from how rescue groups deal with stray dogs, which is why that organization was chosen.

As for Lebanon City Council members, WLBR News asked if any of them had requested to view the police body cam footage of the Gunner episode.

None had requested to view it, but the mayor indicated they would have been denied, on orders of the attorney handling the litigation with the Shughart family, owners of Gunner:

The mayor said an offer had been made to allow the Shugharts to privately view the police body cam footage. After the meeting, Jacklyn Shughart said she hadn’t been made aware of the offer, but would discuss it with her attorney.