Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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APD says shooting of pit bull appears justified

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TWC News: APD says shooting of pit bull appears justified
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Austin police say an officer was in compliance with department policy when he shot a dog Thursday afternoon, killing it.

The shooting happened around 1:15 p.m. when two officers responded to an East Austin home to take a burglary report.

They say a pit bull ran from under the house and charged at one of the officers.

According to police, the officer was able to avoid the first charge, but then shot the dog when it ran toward him again.

Police took the dog to the Austin Animal Center for treatment where it later died.

Officers say the incident could have been avoided with more communication.

“Tell the dispatcher or the 911 operator if you have an animal or anything like that in the home,” Assistant Chief Raul Munguia said. “That way the officer knows what he's dealing with when he's coming up. In this particular case, the officer was caught completely by surprise."

Officials say the officer who shot the dog did take the online training course which teaches officers how to handle aggressive animals.

The course became a requirement after a high-profiling dog shooting earlier this year. In that incident, the officer had responded to the wrong address for a domestic disturbance call and shot a dog named Cisco, killing it.

Cisco’s owner, Michael Paxton, rallied support for his dog online, prompting Austin police to change their policy regarding aggressive animals.

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