Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pinellas deputies shoot pit bulls

By Susan Wilson, WTSP

Two Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies had a rough morning while responding to an animal complaint in unincorporated St. Petersburg. 
Deputies received reports that three large pit bulls and some puppies were running loose and trying to get into a neighbor's home.
One of the responding deputies was reportedly attacked by a pit bull. As he was attacked, the deputy pulled out his gun and shot the animal.  Another pit bull then charged the same deputy, who again opened fire, along with another deputy.
The deputy who was attacked was treated for puncture wounds to his leg and scratches.
One of the dogs is dead, while the other is being treated. A third pit bull was also located unharmed.
No word yet on who owns the dogs, but the investigation is ongoing.
There have been several recent police-involved shootings of pit bulls in Pinellas County.
A St. Petersburg Police officer shot and killed a dog after it attacked his leg on July 25, while another St. Pete officer shot another attacking pit bull on Monday. That pit bull ran off and has not been found.

Update August 3, 2011 - The following article is by Marissa Lang, St. Petersburg Times:

Deputies shoot two dogs, killing one during attack outside St. Petersburg home

Pinellas County deputies Wednesday shot two Labrador-American bulldogs, one fatally, after a resident complained that the dogs were trying to get into his home, officials said.
Howard McGinness, 69, told deputies he wanted to leave his home, 5433 43rd Street N, but felt unsafe because two large dogs and some puppies were running loose aggressively trying to enter the residence, deputies said.
Deputies Travis Roberts and Perry Warner responded to the call about 8:45 a.m. and found two large Labrador-American bulldogs, named Lilly and Nickey, bounding toward them from near the garage.
Roberts ran back into the street to get away from the dogs, officials said. That's when Lilly attacked, deputies said. As the dog bit his leg, Roberts fatally shot her.
Nickey then charged into the street, where both deputies were standing, officials said. Roberts and Warner both fired their weapons at the dog. Nickey survived a gunshot wound to the leg, deputies said.
Roberts was treated for puncture wounds and scratches to his leg, the Sheriff's Office said.
The owners of the dogs, who live at the same residence, were not at home at the time of the attack, deputies said.
Michael W. Holmes, 36, and Crystal Johnson, 36, took their injured dog to a nearby veterinary hospital. The dog's leg may have to be amputated, deputies said.
Their puppies were unharmed.
Initial reports incorrectly indicated the dogs were pit bulls.
This was the third incident in the past two weeks in which law enforcement shot dogs in the St. Petersburg area.
A pit bull known as Tank disappeared Monday night after a St. Petersburg police officer shot and wounded the dog, which had been known to attack and had already bitten at least one person when police arrived, officials said.
Tank ran away, leaving a trail of blood and hasn't been seen since, Puetz said. It is unclear if the dog survived.
And last week, police shot an 8-month-old pit-bull-Shar-Pei mix named D-Bo in the head after police said the snarling dog attacked officer Jereme Hayes.

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