SELAH, Wash. - A Selah police officer attempting to capture a German Shepherd was reportedly attacked Wednesday morning and shot the dog to protect himself.
Selah police officers responded about 11:30 a.m. to John Campbell Primary School after school officials reported two large German Shepherds at the school, which was about to let children our for recess.
Arriving officers recognized the dogs from previous incidents, according to a Selah Police Department news release.
“Both dogs are known to be aggressive and hostile to anyone but the dog owner,” the release said.
Recess was canceled and police contacted the Selah School District to keep students inside, police said.
An officer went to the homeowner’s nearby residence on East Fremont Avenue to ask for the owner’s help in corralling the dogs, the release said.
By the time the officer parked his patrol car in the middle of the street and went to contact the dog’s owner, the dogs had made their way back to the area surrounding the home.
“As he stepped from his vehicle he was charged by one of the dogs, forcing him to back away and fire upon the charging dog,” the release said.
From there, police say the injured dog ran back in the direction of the school, while the second dog was corralled without incident.
That officer stayed to contact the owner, while another officer went to look for the injured dog, which was found walking on the sidewalk.
“It was still acting aggressively and would not allow people near,” the release said.
Police say they followed the dog from a distance until it finally stopped on the lawn of Sunset School, where the owner was able to get it into his car and take it to a veterinarian.
The dog’s condition is unknown, but officers say it was alive when the owner arrived.
Police say this is at least the fourth incident involving the two dogs. At least two times, officers say they were called after the dogs were roaming around unsupervised and acting aggressively.
In October, police say one of the dogs reportedly bit a neighbor’s son. The bite was minor and did not require medical attention, according to police.
Deputy Chief Eric Steen says officers have been working for a while to handle the dogs through animal control
“It’s important to be a responsible dog owner and abide by the laws of the community in which you reside,” Steen said.
Steen says with the owner on his way and the dog being in a residential area near several schools, police did not feel it was appropriate to attempt to shoot again in an attempt to end the dog’s life.
He said police wanted to let the owner take the dog to a vet and attempt to get it help.
“We really wish this didn't happen today,” Steen said. “We were forced into a position that is unfortunate.”
Steen says the officer was not injured in the incident.
“He knows that he did the right thing based on the circumstances, but he is remorseful over the fact that somebody lost an animal,” Steen said.
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