- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Dayton police officers have shot at nearly 50 dogs since 2011 to protect themselves and citizens from animals they’ve deemed aggressive and dangerous, records show, with many of the dogs killed.

Police shoot at dogs more often than people, with shootings occurring during drug raids, welfare checks, investigations, traffic stops and chases through yards and alleys, according to an analysis by the Dayton Daily News (https://bit.ly/1zhfrFZ) .)

Using deadly force often is a split-second decision and provides the only guarantee to stop an aggressive animal from potentially causing harm, police say.

“Getting bit by a dog is a serious injury,” Lt. Matthew Dickey, commander of the department’s West Patrol Operations Division, told the paper. “They can break bones and maim a person for life.”

Animal advocates say they understand what police go through, but encourage more training to deal with canine confrontations.

“I would love to see more training in place for police agencies,” said Brian Weltge, president and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.

One such dog shooting happened Aug. 1, 2012, when a woman called police after a dog got inside her house and attacked her cat. Officers tried shooting the dog with a stun gun but missed. It was shot and eventually killed by two officers who said it charged them, according to records.

The shooting was necessary, said homeowner Tara Miller, whose cat was hurt. “The dog was not stopping, that’s for sure,” she said.

One of the officers that day was one of the 56 Dayton officers who have been involved in shootings of dogs since 2011, according to department records. In that time, officers discharged their firearms at dogs in 49 incidents. Police also shot a goose, raccoon and deer.

Outside the city, Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies have been involved in seven shootings of dogs that displayed aggressive behavior or attacked since 2012, according to police records. Deputies also shot and killed three other dogs that were sick or injured.


Information from: Dayton Daily News, https://www.daytondailynews.com

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