Sunday, January 1, 2017

Arkansas: After tranquilizer dart fails, police shoot and kill aggressive pit bull which had attacked a man

ARKANSAS -- Tranquilizer darts could have been enough, but when an unchained dog didn’t stand down, police used lethal force to end its life.

Over a half-dozen members of the El Dorado Police Department along with members of the Union County Animal Control arrived Thursday at 2202 Lakeland St. in response to a report that a loose pit bull charged, attacked and bit a man in his right leg.

At the scene, an animal control officer used a tranquilizer gun to shoot the dog.

“He shook that tranquilizer right off,” said Steve White who appeared shaken after being bitten. “It didn’t do anything.” However, when the dog refused to calm down, EPD pulled out a gun and shot the animal twice with bullets.

The streets were filled with onlookers over the commotion, but the dog owner was not present.

In this particular case, Union County Animal Control Officer Charles Hartsell said he and the police didn’t have an animal control pole, and hen a dog is charging at someone, options seem limited.

“This dog was dangerous,” said Hartsell. “Kids are up and down the street, you don’t have no choice. Unfortunately, that’s the situation.”

At 2:10 the victim, Steve White, stood near his vehicle showing his leg to Hartsell and the police. No bleeding was visible, only scratches and a dull bite mark.

White owned the property next to where the dog lived and he said this isn’t the first time he’s been concerned with the pit bull.

“That dog’s gonna get loose and hurt somebody,” White said. “And today was that day.”

Recalling the incident, he said he was in the backyard fixing up his house when he heard the dog begin barking.

The dog crawled underneath the fence, ran up to him, and bit his right leg, he said.

When the dog wouldn’t release, White said he started kicking the dog. After the dog let go of White, he ran to the front of the house, and jumped on top of his car.

“It had my heart racing,” he said.

When the dog finally calmed down and backed away, White got into his car and drove off. Frazzled, White called his wife who notified city code enforcement, who then notified animal control and police.

Upon arrival, police and animal control attempted to tranquilize the dog, but only one dart was available, Hartsell said. The pit bull didn’t respond to the dart, and that’s when the shots rang out.

Next-door neighbor Freddy Evans said he heard the shots and understood why they did it, but wished it could have happened a different way.


He said he helped breed the pit bull with the dog’s owner, and thought the dog was acting out of defense, protecting her puppies.

“She had puppies and got vicious, but see, the owner should have been here,” Evans said.

Members of the community said they knew the dog and thought she was friendly, and didn’t understand why more darts couldn’t have been used instead.

“I’ve had breakfast with that dog this morning and that dog wouldn’t hurt anyone,” a neighbor said. “If that bite was so bad, why is he not in the hospital right now.”

Hartsell waited for the owner to arrive at his home, but he never showed.

(El Dorado News - Dec 30, 2016)

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