Police shoot, kill aggressive dog while serving a warrant
Officers say using deadly force is a last resort
Idaho Falls police shot and killed a dog Monday night while they were serving a warrant.
Officers said an American Bulldog mix ran aggressively toward them as they were approaching a home on the 1100 block of Irving Street.
Police reports show this is only the third time in the last few years where officers had to shoot a dog to protect themselves; but they said using deadly force is always a last resort.
Idaho Falls Police say they deal with dogs on a regular basis and every so often, they'll come across what appears to be an aggressive dog.
"Usually we'll meet them at the door and we'll tell them they have to put their dog away," said Capt. Royce Clements with IFPD. "...but those are situations where we have time to deal with it."
Capt. Clements said the officer who shot the dog Monday night had no other option, but neighbor Wade Mitchell says he didn't think the dog was an aggressive dog.
"I've seen the dog and the dog has always seemed fine to me," said Mitchell. "There's kids always out playing and the dog hasn't seemed to be aggressive to anybody before."
Police said in a situation where an officer is being attacked, there's limited time to react and they're trained to use the most effective option they have.
"You don't have the option of trying pepper spray and if the wind catches it and blows it away then I'll go to my taser but if I miss then I'll try something else," said Clements.
Ultimately though, the responsibility lies with the dog owners.
"We encourage people to definitely take proper care and precautions, know their animals and be responsible pet owners," Clements.
Anytime deadly force is used to put down an animal, officers said a thorough investigation takes place to see if protocol was followed and if the officer's actions are justified.
Sometimes forensic investigators will even re-construct the crime scene to help determine that.
Police say the owner of the dog that was shot will most likely get cited for having a "dog at large."
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