Police: officer forced to shoot 2 pit bulls, 1 dead
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Fort Lauderdale Police are investigating after one of their officers was forced to shoot two pit bulls, killing one, after they allegedly attacked him.
The officer had responded to a call about a vicious dog loose in a neighborhood, in the area of Southwest 18th Avenue and 22nd Street, late Friday morning. Police said they received a 911 call that one of the dogs attacked and killed a cat.
Residents said these dogs have often escaped their yard. "Apparently they know there's a way of how to get into the backyard and out of the backyard," said Bill Hernandez, a resident of the neighborhood.
According to police, two pit bulls charged at the officer from a yard, forcing him to fire. Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Deanna Garcia explained, "When the officer was attempting to retreat to his vehicle for a position of safety, is when the dog was still viciously charging him. The officer resorted to shooting in the direction of the dog. The dog was injured."
The dog then ran back to the yard. Police said the officer tried to shut the gate on it when a second dog appeared and charged at him. The officer felt forced to fire, killing one dog and wounding the second. "So the second dog then started charging him through the fence," said Garcia. "The dog latched on to the officer's boot, and the officer was unable to free his boot."
Hernandez confirmed the dogs attacked a neighbor's cat prior to the shooting. He detailed how the events went down: "There's a cat next to my place down on the corner. [The pit bulls] killed the cat, neighbors saw it happening, called the police, police came out. We pointed out one of the dogs who was out here in the middle of the street. The officer came out, yelled at the dog, 'Come here, come here.' The dog took off over there, the officer approached, and then we heard a gunshot, and then, probably about six minutes later, we heard another gunshot. I guess he came across a second dog."
Animal control arrived on the scene and took the wounded dog away. It was well enough to be walked away on a leash pole by that animal control officer into a van.
Early Friday evening, police were still waiting for the residents of the home to return and realize that both of their dogs are no longer there. However, there was an eviction notice on the door, and their whereabouts remain unknown.
No peoplem including the officer, were injured. However, a family is now left to mourn the loss of their pet feline and they will have to explain to their daughter that her cat has passed away.
According to neighbors, this isn't the first time these dogs have killed a cat. "Occasionally, when you go down the street, you see animals, that you see haven't been hit by a car. They've been mauled or something," Hernandez said, "and the first thing that comes to mind are these two pit bulls."
Robert French, another neighbor, said, "They've been roaming the neighborhood too often. They get away down there quite often and too often. This may put a stop to it."
John Iyan, another neighbor, felt sorry that it had to end like this for the dogs. "He cannot defend himself or herself," he said, "so why he got shot at the back of the gate, I really don't know."
French also has mixed feelings about how this ended. "It's a shame that pit bulls have that reputation because it's not their fault."
The surviving dog remains in Animal Control. It's still unclear whether the family will go to claim it.
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