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Police dogs: police or dogs? and why it matters

©Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved.

K-9 officer Luna, the 3-year-old Dutch shepherd killed last week responding to a domestic violence call, was honored by a procession last Saturday, one that began at the emergency veterinary clinic where she died after being shot by the suspect, and ending at the pet cremation services building in Scanlon.

K-9 officer Luna's death sums up the dichotomy: she was sent after the suspect because she was not a human (and presumably to save human lives) and yet she was mourned and celebrated much as a human officer would be for bravery and sacrifice.

So what makes a person? In recent years, the idea of "non-human personhood" has evolved, including such diverse entities as corporations and an orangutan named Sandra.

So how do we start unpacking what makes a person - and what excludes someone from "personhood"? The questions - and the stakes - are more important than you might think.

You can learn more about "non-human personhood" at the Nonhuman Rights Project's website.

And the ACLU just published an article called Robot Police Dogs are Here. Should We be Worried? You can read it here.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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