When Brazilian police raided a home in the southern town of Florianpolis and ordered suspected gang members to get down on the ground, little did they know a dog would lie among their targets.
The picture showing stray dog Piloto, Portuguese for pilot, on his back with his paws up was widely spread on social media and in news outlets. The ambassador for Sweden in Brazil even tweeted about it, saying it was “tragi-comical”:
Officer Teily Fabio of Santa Catarina police told ABC News the dog initially barked, but laid down last Thursday when his owners complied with orders. “We tried to make him leave but he didn’t want to,” he said.
Brazilian animal psychiatrist and dog trainer Barnie Rico told the United Press International news agency a dog’s lying on its back is a way to show submission. “By exposing its soft underbelly to any potential attacker, it is showing that it doesn’t mean any trouble,” Rico told UPI.
Two men were arrested in the operation but the dog was not, police said.