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St. George officer shoots 'aggressive' pit bull mix dog

Published September 4, 2013 9:31 am

Safety • Cops say pack of the animals were on loose.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A St. George police officer, responding to several reports of vicious dogs running loose, shot one of the animals when it charged him.

St. George police Sgt. Sam Despain said Wednesday that the incident occurred on Labor Day in the area of 1500 West and 1400 North.

The officer arrived in the area and immediately spotted a pack of four of the dogs. While the officer was trying to locate the owner, "one dog, a pit bull mix, attacked the officer.

"The officer shot at the dog with his handgun [but] the dog continued to aggressively charge the officer, causing the officer to shoot at the dog two more times. After the third shot, the dog stopped and retreated," DeSpain said.

Despite the gunshot wounds, the animal survived. The owner, located after the incident, took the dog to a veterinarian for treatment.

When police went to the owner's home they found eight dogs in total — also appearing to be pit bull mixes— lived at the residence. Animal control officers took custody of five of the animals, as well as eventually seizing the wounded dog, due to aggressive tendencies. The remaining three dogs, which were not aggressive, were not seized.

The wounded dog's owner was cited for having a dog at large, failure to control a vicious animal and not having a dog license.

DeSpain said officers have responded to the same residence on previous complaints involving canines.

"This case is under review and additional charges may be filed against the homeowner," DeSpain said, noting the city ordinances limit homeowners to two dogs.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims