Even with all else that is horrific going on in the world today, I found the Metro story about the injured deer in Arlington that was shot, run over and suffocated by a police officer horrific ["Va. Officer Probed in Killing of Deer," July 6].

While I am in no position to question the judgment of any officer on the scene of an incident, given the difficult tasks that police face and how little opportunity they may have to reflect on the matter at hand, the responsibility for avoiding something as terrible as the incident with the deer should rest with those who train and equip police officers.

In recent weeks, out of my interest in animal welfare, I have been spending some time on the question of what kind of training law enforcement officers receive for dealing with animals in general and dogs in particular. Many officers have told me they are given no training.

Law enforcement agencies, animal control centers and humane societies should join to train and equip police officers to deal with animals, as they will frequently have to do. Had the inexperienced Arlington County police officer and the supervisors involved in the event been given a modicum of training, the terrible incident might have been avoided.

ED MULRENIN

Washington