Wyandotte dog shooting promotes outcry

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE — Phone calls are coming in from around the world protesting an officer shooting and killing a dog Oct. 5 after the dog reportedly charged the officer.

“We’re getting calls from as far as Europe on this case,” Police Chief Daniel Grant said. “The dog charged him and he shot.”

The officer was investigating a loose dog report in the area of 18th and Antoine streets. When the officer arrived in the area, a man flagged the officer saying, “Are you looking for the brown pit bull?” When the officer said he was, the man told him the dog ran south.

The officer continued looking for the animal and found the dog in an alley reportedly trying to get past a fence. The officer said the dog “charged him” and he fired one shot from approximately eight feet away.

The dog belonged to a 32-year-old woman, who came out and spoke to the officer. Grant said the woman reportedly told police that the dog sometimes gets loose. The officer asked about a second dog in the woman’s yard and learned that neither dog was licensed.

Grant said normally animal control would have responded to the call, but without a 24/7 animal control officer, police are asked to respond. He said when police officers respond to animal complaints, they have to consider previous complaints about the animal, the size of the animal and various other aspects.

He said when a large dog, unaccompanied by its owner charges an officer, the officer should be concerned.

“We’ve even had cases where the owner is present and they tell the dog to attack the officer,” Grant said.

“We are doing interviews with witnesses and examining photos of the dog,” Grant said Thursday. “We have an investigator looking at the dog more closely today. We are investigating the actions taken. When a dog charges an officer, they don’t have to wait until they are bitten to shoot.

“We’re processing all the information and will take the appropriate action,” Grant said, “I’m not saying what happened. We are doing a closer examination.”

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at tnims@bewickpublications.com.)