By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield

GREENFIELD – To protect a small child and others, as well as himself, a Greenfield police officer shot a dog Friday, April 24.

According to Greenfield Police Chief Jeremiah Oyer, the officer was initially called to Smith Street on April 24 by a resident because the dog, a pit bull, was behaving aggressively toward the resident’s daughter, who was reported to have climbed onto the top of a vehicle to get away from the animal.

The child’s mother reported she saw the dog attempting to get on the hood of the vehicle after her daughter while it barked and growled at her. The mother said she yelled at the animal and threw a rock so that she could grab her 10-year-old daughter and get her to safety. The child’s parents reported that the dog’s owners were not home and they had sent the owners messages, but received no response.

According to the report filed by the officer, when he arrived, he saw that the dog was, in fact, loose, but that there was still a length of thin chain attached to the dog. The officer secured the barking and growling dog to a stone bench, and the animal charged at him, but he was able to get out of its reach quickly. He then called dispatch to contact the dog warden, and then he talked to the parents of the child to get their statements.

The report states that while the parents of the girl filled out statements, the officer was at his cruiser in contact with dispatch when he observed the dog beginning to bark and lunge on its restraint. The officer saw down the street that a couple with a small child had come out of a house. The dog broke free of its restraint and began running in the direction of the child. When the officer yelled to the couple and sprinted toward the dog, the dog turned back to the officer and charged him. That is when the officer drew his pistol and fired, the shot hitting the dog in its side. The dog went to the bench it had been previously secured at and hid behind it. A second shot was fired to prevent the animal suffering.

The officer advised dispatch of what had happened, the report states. Shortly after backup officers arrived, so did the dog’s owner, who shouted many things at the officer, including that the dog had not been loose or a danger to anybody.

The dog survived. According to Highland County Dog Warden Lanny Brown, he helped provide first aid to the dog and assisted the owner with getting veterinary care for the animal. Brown was at the owner’s residence Monday, April 27 and said the dog appeared to be recovering well and was walking around the home without issue.

The dog’s owner was charged with having a vicious dog and appeared in court in Greenfield Monday, April 27. The judge ordered that the dog must remain in the home, and if outside, it must be under control on a leash.