GRANITE CITY — A Granite City police officer "acted appropriately" by shooting an attacking pit bull, according to Police Chief Rich Miller.
Police were summoned to the 2100 block of Alexander Street at about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday following reports that an aggressive dog was attacking people. According to Miller, a pit bull had gotten loose and attacked a smaller sheltie-type mixed-breed dog and severely injured it.
The owner of the smaller dog tried to rescue his pet from the pit bull and was bitten, Miller said. Neighbors called for help and threw rocks to try to get the pit bull to stop attacking him.
When the patrolman and another officer arrived, they called for animal services to come help capture the pit bull. But when the dog attacked them as well, Miller said they had no choice.
The patrolman fired once and struck the dog in its midsection, he said, then fired again to end its suffering.
"Dogs sometimes get away and we have to deal with it," Miller said. "The officer did the right thing. It's not what you want to do; we were hoping the humane people could get it, but it's not outside our training... People can be killed by dogs."
The man who was attacked was treated and released at an area hospital, but was not identified by police. His dog died of its injuries.
The pit bull's owner, who also was not identified, was issued a citation for letting the dog loose, Miller said.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at email@example.com or 239-2507.