Could you imagine coming home after running errands and finding a handwritten note on your front door left by your local police that says “Police responded to your residence to investigate a burglar alarm. While circling the rear perimeter, lab advanced on officers in a threatening manner before being shot and killed.”
That’s what happened to Mary Kate Hallock in Oakland, California on September 28th. The Yellow Labrador Retriever was Gloria, an 11 year old arthritic dog who was known to love everyone and everything. She was shot three times and killed while in the line of duty, protecting her property. Mary Kate is a school teacher and she used to take Gloria to the classroom with her. The students all adored her and Gloria just loved everyone she met.
I didn’t personally know Gloria, but I sobbed when I first heard this story. I have a middle aged Yellow Labrador, and I know that Sanchez would bark profusely if an uninvited visitor entered his backyard. But, I also know if that uninvited visitor brought a piece of chicken or cheese with him, he’d be his best friend for life and never forget him. So why did the Oakland police officer pull out a gun instead of a milkbone?
Gloria (pictured above) was a member of the Hallock family – with parents Ward and Mary Kate and siblings Matthew and Isabel. I spoke with Mary Kate Hallock, owner of Gloria, earlier this week. I asked her what her initial reaction was to the note. “Total disbelief. I read it eight or ten times and couldn’t understand what the note was saying. I was completely frozen. I was afraid to go downstairs, in fear that I would see Gloria’s dead body.
“Ward went to pick up Gloria’s dead body the next day, so we could say good-bye. We are a family of five, not four. Three weeks after the incident, my children still expect Gloria to just walk back in their lives. And I still haven’t been able to obtain a police report. I would love to know how this happened. Was there any struggle? I’m trying not to jump to any conclusions, but three weeks ago a sergeant told me that as soon as the police report was available, it would be delivered to us. I was told it just needed to be reviewed by higher ups because force was involved. It makes me suspicious that I still haven’t seen the report.”