A Middletown police officer shot and killed a PIT BULL Wednesday after it bit a pedestrian and then attacked the officer when he arrived at the scene, officials said.
The attack and the subsequent shooting marked the second time in a week that Middletown police have had to shoot a dog because it turned violent in a public space, said Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano.
The previous incident took place a week ago on Wallkill Avenue. That dog was also a pit bull, DeStefano said.
Municipal law in Middletown requires that a dog owner pays for a license for the pet and the owner of a property where one is kept buys insurance in order to keep pets on the premises. In the Walkill Avenue case, the dog was not licensed, said DeStefano, who vowed to go after pet and property owners who do not follow the law.
"WE WANT TO SENT A CLEAR MESSAGE THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANIMALS," DESTEFANO SAID.
“Right now, it is a concern that two dogs had to be put down in a week in a public place.”
Neither dog is believed to have had rabies, DeStefano said.
Middletown Police Lt. Greg Metakes said in a statement that Wednesday’s incident occurred at about 11:20 a.m., when the officer responded to a report that an aggressive dog had bitten a pedestrian in the vicinity of 90 North St. He arrived to find someone holding the dog on a leash.
The officer asked the person to close the patrol car door on the leash so that the dog could be restrained as they waited for an animal-control officer to arrive. The dog, however, pulled its leash free from the door and attacked the officer, Metakes said.
The officer had no safe place to retreat and couldn’t get away from the dog, so had to shoot the dog, the statement said. The dog died from gunshot wounds.
One person was treated at the scene for puncture wounds, police said.
DeStefano identified the owner of the dog as Traci Darden of Middletown. Darden’s dog was licensed.http://www.recordonline.com/article/20150603/NEWS/150609769