Dog Tased, Shot During Attack

Mike Burkholder
Staff Writer

An officer had to shoot and kill a pit bull Saturday morning after the dog attacked another animal.
At 11:45 a.m. Saturday, officers were dispatched to 814 Edwards St. on a report of a pit bull attacking a St. Bernard. When officers arrived, they found a small group of people gathered around the two dogs. The pit bull had its mouth on the throat and face of the St. Bernard.
“The St. Bernard was in its own yard and the pit bull was running loose,” St. Marys Police Chief Mark Ernst told The Evening Leader.
“The officer tased the pit bull five times. The first few times, the pit bull went back after the St. Bernard. The last few times, the officer was tasing it to try and get control so they could get a dog pole but the dog was up and moving around. They were afraid the dog would break the leads and if so, they would have no control over the dog. With the kids and adults around, the officer was afraid it would attack a person.”
It was at that time the officer shot the dog. Ernst said the pit bull’s owner eventually showed up at the scene.
“He stated he understood why it happened,” Ernst said.
“He called the police and told us his dog had gotten loose but he showed up too late to help out.”
Ernst said fatally shooting a dog is always the last resort in these instances.
“In this case, you can see the officer tried to use the taser to control the dog,” Ernst said.
“But at one point, there was too much concern for the bystanders and the dog had to be put down.”
According to the police report, the St. Bernard suffered lacerations to the throat and face and was bloody. The owners also indicated they would seek vet care for the dog.
Ernst said the incident illustrates the need for dog owners to be responsible and control their animals at all times.
“It is a public safety issue,” Ernst said. “If you don’t have full control of your dog, it could attack another dog. In this case, the dog was severely injured. That results in not only criminal charges, but liabilities for medical expenses. Imagine the liabilities if it actually attacked a human.”
Ernst said the incident remains under investigation. The pit bull’s owner could face a dog-at-large citation. No citation has been issued as of press time.