It’s really sad that a dog had to lose his life in a close call with a police officer in Vernon. But obviously not as sad as if the cop had lost his.

When 60-pound lab/greyhound Mia charged Patrolman Emanuel Rivera in Vernon Township on July 27, the officer had no choice but to shoot the dog when calls for it to stay back went unheeded. An internal affairs investigation agreed.

Rivera was in the area responding to calls about an aggressive dog, so he obviously knew his safety was at risk when the dog aggressively charged him.

There are those who will question whether this dog had to lose his life, especially when he didn’t have a history of aggressiveness prior to this incident. But when in doubt, the old adage “better safe than sorry” has never been more appropriate — because a human's life, especially in the case of a cop doing his duty to serve and protect, is more sacred than an animal’s.

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