The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:34 am

Dog shot after acting aggressive, attempting to attack officers

Chris MeyersThe Journal Gazette

It was early Tuesday morning.

People were milling about and children were waiting at a nearby bus stop.

Then the dogs arrived, two grown pit bulls, a black male and a white female.

"They said there were two dogs running at large, aggressively charging people," Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control Deputy Director AmyJo Sites said of the first report police received.

Animal Control officers hadn't started their day yet, so city police responded and looked for the dogs until Animal Control arrived.

The search would end with one of the dogs dead, euthanized at Animal Control after city police shot the dog as he charged officers.

"Nobody likes to see an ending like that for an animal, but when it comes to human safety, that comes first," Sites said.

The other dog was exhausted, but not injured.

Police and animal control scoured the area in the 4000 block of Winter Street as they searched for the animals amid tips from residents.

They eventually found the dogs on the porch of an abandoned house and an animal control officer tried to approach, bag of treats in hand.

"She tried to make friends with the dogs and threw them treats," Sites said.

She said two nearby residents came out of their homes at that time and the dogs redirected their aggression toward them. Animal control continued to try distract the dogs but they ran.

Oddly enough, the timing of this incident coincided with Bite Prevention Month. Animal specialists want people be aware of their surroundings and not hesitate to call about a possible angry or ill animal.

Sites said never to approach an unknown animal.

Officers eventually found the dogs again, this time in an overgrown easement in the 4400 block of Winter Street.

The male dog, which Sites described as weighing between 80 and 90 pounds, had the hair on his back raised and tail up as he charged at full speed and lunged toward his potential captors.

"He went mid-air to attack and that's when the firearm was discharged ... there wasn't a way to safely deescalate the situation," Sites said.

She arrived soon after with a tranquilizer to sedate the dog and a euthanasia kit in case it would be needed at the scene.

The dog was still fighting slightly so he was sedated to calm him and control the pain.

She said the other dog, about the same size, showed no aggression without her companion to instigate.

"When we found her, she was exhausted," Sites said. So much so that she rolled over in submission after animal control got hold of her with a control bar, the long pole with a noose around the end.

The dog was too tired to walk and had to be carried to the animal control van.

Sites said the dogs' owner was called and gave consent over the phone for animal control to take ownership of the male dog to euthanize him because the owner could not afford to do so.

She said the owner will face a citation for allowing a dog to be a public nuisance.

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