A Sacramento police officer shot and killed a pit bull Tuesday afternoon after it attacked a horse pulling a carriage in Old Sacramento.Carriage driver Jim Frenken of Elverta said he did not know the extent of injuries to the horse, which was taken to a veterinarian for treatment. Neither Frenken, his passengers nor a man who restrained the dog until police arrived were injured in the incident.
Frenken said he was driving a man and two children around Old Sacramento and had noticed someone in the bushes along Second Street as he circled the block a couple of times.
The next time he came around and headed north on Second Street, he spotted the dog running down the street and a man chasing him. He said the dog attacked the horse, biting its head.
Frenken succeeded in controlling the carriage as it continued down the street with the horse under attack.
That's when John Dixon of Granite Bay, who was celebrating his 42nd birthday with his fiancee, intervened.
"I saw the horse buck up," Dixon said, "and I saw the dog hanging from the horse's face."
Dixon, who was wearing cowboy boots, said he kicked the dog several times before it let go of the horse's face. But the dog then attacked the horse's shoulder and leg.
Dixon continued to kick the dog, which finally abandoned the attack and headed down the street. Dixon pursued the animal, cornered it, put his boot on the dog's neck and held it down until police arrived.
Sacramento Police Department spokesman Norm Leong said several officers responded to the incident. Repeated efforts to control the dog failed, and fearing that the dog might break loose, officials decided to shoot it.
Dixon said he continued to hold the dog down as the officer shot it. Police had no choice, Dixon said, adding that he owns dogs himself.
The dog's owner was not located.
Frenken said he has been driving carriages for 25 years, 15 of them in Old Sacramento, and has never seen a dog attack a horse.
He said the horse, a gelding, is owned by Elverta-based Top Hand Ranch, which operates the carriage service.
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