San Diego County sheriff’s deputies will learn how to handle aggressive dogs under a pilot program to be launched in San Marcos, officials confirmed.
Under the two-week training, deputies are learning how to read a dog's body language and recognize whether the animal is dangerous or just scared.
The program is aimed at reducing the number of animals killed each year.
Thirty-one dogs have been shot and killed by deputies countywide since 2010, six of them this year.
One of those shootings happened Feb. 18 in Imperial Beach.
Angelina Peck said her two dogs Brick and Lilly got out accidentally.
When one-year-old Lilly lunged at a deputy, the official shot and killed the dog saying he feared for his safety.
“I just hope [the sheriff’s department] comes up with some other way. Pepper spray, taser. I rather you hurt my dog for something that's recoverable than kill my dog,” she said after the shooting.
The pilot program could expand to other stations, and perhaps other departments, officials said.