A Garden City police officer on Friday evening shot and killed a dog that allegedly was shot by Meridian police last year after the animal tried to attack an officer, according to a Garden City Police Department news release.
According to the release, officers were looking for a wanted subject at a residence in the 100 block of West 36th Street, where the door was left ajar, when a dog emerged and behaved aggressively toward an officer. The officer retreated into the street as another officer pepper sprayed the animal in an attempt to deter it, which police say was not effective.
Officials say the 84-pound dog jumped at and tried to bite an officer, prompting the officer’s partner to shoot once. The shot struck the dog in the back of the torso.
The dog was given first aid and taken to a local emergency veterinary clinic following the shooting but ultimately was euthanized due to its injuries.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman
Police say the animal, an American Staffordshire Terrier, had been shot by officers in Meridian about a year ago in a similar incident. Witnesses on scene said the dog, which had a history of aggression toward law enforcement, had been behaving extremely aggressively, giving officers no choice but to shoot it.
The dog’s owner, who was not named in the release, has been cited with having a vicious dog at large. It’s unclear whether the wanted subject was found at the residence.
Police say they will conduct an internal investigation to be sure that officers complied with policy in the incident.
Police Chief Rick Allen said officers are trained to deal with vicious animals non-lethally, but that this case preliminarily suggests there were no other options.
“Our officers have a tremendous amount of respect for animals, especially canines,” Allen said in the release. “Unfortunately, there are some encounters in which officers have to utilize lethal force in order to protect themselves and others.”