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Police shoot, kill Weber County dog

Published May 15, 2012 11:19 am

Shooting • Officials said the pit bull was acting aggressive.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police shot and killed a pit bull Monday that they say was acting aggressively in Marriott-Slaterville.

Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther said animal control received a call at about 10 a.m. Monday about an aggressive pit bull in the area of 700 S. 1300 W.

Lowther said a man had pulled into his driveway and encountered a neighbor's pit bull that was loose. The dog had approached the man while he was still in his car, Lowther said, and was acting aggressively toward him.

"He didn't even get out of his vehicle," Lowther said. "He backed out and called dispatch."

When an animal control officer arrived, she attempted to catch the dog with a catch pole. The pit bull continued to act aggressively, Lowther said, so the officer used pepper spray on the dog. It still did not subdue the dog, so the officer called for another officer. Because the responding officer sounded distressed, Lowther said a sheriff's deputy accompanied the second animal control officer.

The second officer arrived, and they resumed trying to capture the dog, but it continued barking, snarling and lunging at the animal control officers.

"It was hackling its hair up and acting aggressive," Lowther said. "The dog was not cornered. The dog at any time could have ran. It was standing its ground and being aggressive."

After several minutes, the deputy decided that the dog was posing a threat to the animal control officers and the public, and shot the dog.Lowther said they found out after the shooting that the same dog had approached five landscapers in the area earlier in the day, and was also acting aggressively toward them. They chased the dog off with a shovel, he said.

A use of force review will be completed following the incident in order to determine if the deputy's actions were justified.

Lowther called the situation "rare," and said that the animal control officers had years of experience, and encounter aggressive dogs frequently.

"It's obviously not something we like to do," Lowther said. "The deputy felt the situation was getting out of control and someone would be bit or seriously injured."Efforts by The Tribune to contact the dog's owner were unsuccessful.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller