The Sacramento Bee is reporting that the Merced Police Dept. is changing its policy from literally allowing officers to take "severely injured" animals out back to be shot... to requiring them to bring in a vet to determine whether the animal should be treated or euthanized (by injection).
This is a step forward, of course. But it's mind-blowing (at least to me) to be reading this 13 years into the 21st century already. You can read the article for yourself here. Thanks to Ledy VanKavage for the heads-up on this one.