Saturday, February 25, 2017

Washington: Spokane man shoots pit bull in the head in self-defense

WASHINGTON -- A man shot a pit bull in the head Wednesday morning as the dog attacked him in the Hillyard area, according to SCRAPS director Nancy Hill.

The dog, named Achillies, was euthanized Thursday.

According to the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service a man on the 2200 block of E. Nebraska saw a neighbor’s pit bull running loose Wednesday morning.

He walked across the street to contact the dog’s owners. That’s when Achilles bit him on the right leg. The victim then backed away, but the dog bit him again.

That’s when the man drew his pistol and shot the dog once in the head. The man was standing on the sidewalk, according to Hill. Hill said the dog survived initially but a veterinarian deemed the injuries too severe and euthanized him.

However, the dog’s owner tells a different story on a fundraising site. She had asked for $5,000 from the public “to help Achillies overcome this tragedy.”

As of Friday afternoon the site had raised $100.

The dog’s owner did not immediately return a request for comment and has not yet removed the fundraising post.

According to the owner, Achillies got out of the house and was walking around when “my neighbor who does not like pit bulls came over to my house and shot Achillies in the head and left him in my driveway on the ice” to die.

According to Hill police said the man who shot the dog had a license to carry. Police determined that the man acted appropriately, Hill said. The pit bull had no prior record with SCRAPS.

Because the dog is dead, SCRAPS will not be investigating the incident further.

“The shooting was justified, although we never recommend shooting an animal,” Hill said.

The shooting was just one incident during a busy week for SCRAPS.

Thursday, just a day after the shooting incident, a SCRAPS officer was attacked by another pit bull while responding to a complaint.

“It’s funny one of the officers the other day said, ‘Oh my gosh the sun came out and things have gone crazy,’ ” Hill said, adding later, “It’s like spring break week came early.”

According to Hill the officer approached the door of a residence on the 1000 block of E. Dalton around noon.

According to a complaint the dog at the residence was loose and had “run toward someone viciously barking,” Hill said.

When the SCRAPS officer knocked on the door he heard barking. Shortly after a woman opened the door and a gray and white pit bull named Blue charged out and bit the officer. The dog was then restrained by the woman.

The SCRAPS officer’s wounds weren’t severe, Hill said.

“I always worry, what if it was a Girl Scout opening the door,” she said.

According to Hill, Blue already had a record with SCRAPS and was considered potentially dangerous. After the Thursday attack the dog was labeled dangerous and was impounded at SCRAPS.

Hill said the dog’s owners have four options now; they can have the dog euthanized, they can relocate the dog to a new jurisdiction, they can appeal the ruling or they can meet the dangerous dog restrictions.

Even if the dangerous dog designation is upheld, the owners can keep the dog if they comply with strict fencing requirements and only take the dog out if it is leashed and muzzled. A $250,000 liability insurance policy is also required.

She encourages dog owners to keep their animals properly restrained, and to teach them how to socialize with others.

Meanwhile, the owners of the pit bull that attacked a five-year-old girl earlier this month have appealed the ruling. Their hearing, in front of the Spokane County Commissioners, will occur March 7.

(Spokesman Review - Feb 24, 2017)

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