The dog thing is one of those unfortunate but true facts. If police are called when a dog is loose in the house, even if the owners are home, that dog may be perceived as a potential threat.
There are no nationwide numbers for the number of pet dogs shot by police on their own property, there are no nationwide numbers for dog shootings at all, but while there will be a police investigation, it’s not considered unusual in most cities and if the officer felt threatened, it’s just part of the job.
The Humane Society has been working on training programs for police officers which can significantly reduce the number of shootings, but if you send the police department an intrusion alert, you are inviting people with guns to come into your house and telling them that it is a potentially dangerous situation. If you have a dog running loose in that house, and even more so if the dog might be frightened by fire in that house, you’ve created a situation with a potentially very unfortunate outcome.
You can get a free window sticker from the ASPCA to let firefighters know that there are pets in the home, and most fire departments will read these. Police departments generally do not. ( you’ll get a ton of email from the ASPCA after you get the sticker, but you can unsubscribe then if you want to.)
Just as a general rule, the more accurate information you can give ahead of time on a 911 call, the more help you will receive.
If your home automation system detects a fire, make sure it gets reported as a fire.