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Posted: 10/20/2004 12:13:00 PM EDT
Sounds like a good shoot. The dog could've tore up some kids on the school grounds since it showed aggression towards the officer per the article.


The Desert Dispatch is a daily newspaper serving the communities of Barstow, Dagget, Fort Irwin, Hinkley, Lenwood, Newberry Springs and Yermo.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Dog shot on church grounds
By IAN MORRISON/Staff Writer

BARSTOW -- The fourth vicious-dog call to Barstow police Tuesday led officers onto a chase through the city, and ended with the stray being killed near a local elementary school, officials said.

At around 8 a.m., police officers were dispatched to a report of a vicious dog on Buena Vista Street. As the unidentified responding officer led the dog, a large shepherd mix, to his patrol car, it snapped at the officer and he let go of it, officials said.

The dog promptly began to attack another, smaller dog in the vicinity and the officer pepper sprayed the shepherd-mix stray, to no avail, Barstow Police Sgt. Mike Hunter said.

The dog then turned around and attacked the officer, who pulled his sidearm and fired a shot, wounding the animal, Hunter said.

The dog then ran up the street and entered the grounds of a local church, next to Henderson Elementary School, just as parents were dropping off their children, he said.

"We tried to lead it away from people but it got trapped in an area where kids were going to school," Hunter said. "At that point, our only option was to shoot it."

Hunter said it's rare for police officers to have to shoot a dog. In this instance, he said, the dog created a danger to children. In addition to students at the elementary school, the church where the dog was shot houses children in a day-care center.

The last time police had to put down a dog in this manner was in March, he said.

"We don't do this often," Hunter said. "The normal procedure is to try to control the dog and take it to the Humane Society."

Barstow Police officers have responded to 120 dog-related calls so far this year, including nine calls where children were bitten by loose dogs, and 14 instances where dogs attacked or bit adults, according to a Barstow Police Department report.

"We do have a big dog problem in Barstow," Barstow Humane Society Manager Carolyn Atsye said.

She said the organization received 1,196 dogs in 2003, and 658 had to be euthanized.

"People think it's OK to let their dogs just roam the streets," she said.

Atsye said the large number of stray or loose dogs in Barstow also stemmed from owners who'd prefer let their dogs go, rather than turn them into the Humane Society, where they could possibly be euthanized.
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