fourth amendment, dogs, animal law, pets, consitutional law, officer shootings


This Essay summarizes the Fourth Amendment’s protection of dogs. The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable seizures. And nearly every circuit has held that it is unreasonable (and therefore unconstitutional) for an officer to shoot (seize) a dog without a very good reason. Killing a nonthreatening family pet is one of the most egregious forms of police misconduct. The courts rightfully recognize that the unjustified harming of a dog violates the Fourth Amendment.