The sheriff’s department in Prince Edward Co., Virginia, isn’t returning phone calls about Party. No great surprise. A deputy shot the dog in late June, killing it. The department issued a CYA press release, then dummied up—perhaps in the hope the whole thing would blow over.

No wonder: According to a news account, the deputy went to the home of Stephen Carwile to serve a paper in a non-criminal matter. The family wasn’t home. The department’s press release says the deputy “was charged by a vicious dog.” That would be Party—a Golden Retriever. We all know how vicious that breed is. The release says the dog “lunged at [the deputy] so he fired his weapon as required by training.”

Golden retrievers aren’t the only vicious breed, apparently. Just ask Craig Jones, the owner of Arfee. Jones, a Colorado resident, had gone to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, last month upon the death of his mother. One morning he went to a coffee shop and left Arfee, a 2-year-old black Labrador, in his van with the window open halfway. Someone thought the van was suspicious and called the police. An officer arrived. The dog barked, so the officer shot him through the window. The department then labeled Arfee a “vicious pit bull.”

Maybe we need a new dictionary entry: “Vicious dog, n.: Any dog shot by a law-enforcement officer.”

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