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Large dog suspected of vicious behavior shot by police (Updated 1/22 at 8:31 a.m.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Marshall officer shot a dog Friday, Jan. 11, after police received a report the dog had bitten someone and was running loose near a school.

The MPD received a call from Southeast Elementary School stating two dogs were running loose on the playground around 11:30 a.m. according to a MPD report.

An animal control officer was dispatched to catch the two dogs, but was unsuccessful.

The report states at 11:53 a.m. that morning, a man walked into the MPD lobby stating he had been bitten by two dogs, a small brown dog and larger black dog. The description matched the two dogs that had been on the playground.

The man had been walking on Yerby Street and was bitten on the right knee by the smaller brown dog and on the right buttock by the larger black dog, according to the report.

Officers were still trying to catch the two dogs, now near the Bueker Middle School track, but noted in the report the dogs were exhibiting aggressive behavior.

The animal control officer was unable to capture the dogs and had the net gun in his possession.

An officer had been dispatched to the elementary school to get students back inside the building.

Shortly after noon, and still unable to catch the dogs, now on Redman Avenue, and worried about their behavior, a MPD officer fired his 12 gauge shotgun at the larger black dog while it was standing 10 feet from the patrol car. The smaller brown dog was behind it. Police were worried they would only have one chance to stop the dogs as they headed back towards the elementary school, and didn't want to risk waiting for the net gun.

According to police, a shotgun was used because its maximum range is not as great as a handgun or rifle.

The black dog, a Great Dane known as Titan, yelped and ran with the brown dog back to its owner's residence, that of Shannon Hall and Danielle Evans, according to the report.

"He had a small hole in his left back leg and a very large hole is his right cheek and underneath his left jaw bone," Evans said. "I called for (Shannon) to come out and she realized he had been shot and so she went inside to get a towel and I put him in the back of the car."

Titan was loaded into his owner's vehicle and taken to the Saline County Veterinary Clinic.

Evans states the vet believed the injury to Titan's leg would be fine, but the injuries to his jaw were too traumatic to be healed.

Officers were later notified the injuries to Titan were extensive enough to warrant the dog be euthanized, according to the report.

"We did call the authorities," Hall said.

Evans explained they had called the police department Friday morning to let them know Titan was out, gave a description of the dog, notified the police Titan was up to date on all shots and left contact information in case he was found.

"It's heart-wrenching," Hall said. "We want to know why, since we called the authorities, why they didn't call us and let us know."

Both Hall and Evans state Titan was a friendly, non-aggressive dog.

"He was the nicest dog we ever had," Evans said.

"He was around people all the time," Hall added. "We've had him up at the parades. Kids and strangers would come up to him."

Hall and Evans believe there are many other ways the situation could have been handled.

"I just want to know why there weren't other means. If the tax payers have paid money for these net guns and stuff why there weren't other means. I know my dogs were not vicious," Hall said. "We just want some change."

"We don't want anyone else to lose their dog, their baby," Evans said with teary eyes. "We don't want it to happen to anybody else because it's horrible."

Contact Kelsey Alumbaugh at kalumbaugh@marshallnews.com
(Originally published 1/18)

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So...was someone bitten or not? If so, who is this mystery man? If the dog bit someone that changes things, but shooting a dog in the face at close range with a shotgun seems unusually cruel. Sounds like they were just frustrated with not being able to properly catch the animal. How about a statement from the chief?

-- Posted by outsider on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 8:23 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
The dogs reportedly bit a pedestrian, who reported the incident before officers located the dogs. The situation was considered urgent because 1) the dogs bit someone 2) they behaved aggressively toward officers and 3) they were near a school.

The report, as printed here, does not indicate that the police verified that the man was actually bitten. It states he reported he was bitten. Did the police ask to see the bite marks? If I report my house was robbed don't the police come to the house and look at the evidence to verify that I was robbed? Did the man making the complaint say what kind of dogs bit him? I don't mean a big black one and a little brown one. Could he not identify the breed? Lots of holes in this story.

-- Posted by momaster on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 8:16 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Officers observed the bite marks, according to the report.

Let's just start off with titan was never an aggressive dog. He was your typical greatdane, Marmaduke style and class. He just turned two the day before so he was still very much a puppy in a giants body. So this whole incident has just knock the breathe right out of us. We called the authorities as soon as we knew he was loose, we went out searching the streets. We followed everything a owner should have done. I just want to know why the authorities never called us back and why they couldn't have used other means. Our last memory of our baby was him bleeding to death and him scared to death not knowing what he did wrong. This was cruel and its never ok to shoot an animal so it suffers. We are sorry for the gate being opened some how but its not like we neglected on trying to do the right thing. Now we would just like for the mpd to do the right thing.

-- Posted by justicefortitan on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 8:06 PM


-- Posted by wheresthelove on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 7:49 PM

There is NOT one proof of evidence to say that a "gentlemen" was bitten by this dog. The officer was scared because Titan was a big dog! The owners called to MPD to let them know that Titan got out, and that they were looking for him. They called the MPD for help.. They knew what the dogs looked like, and instead of calling the owners back saying the cop located the dogs, The cop SHOT an INNOCENT dog.. My heart goes out to my dear cousin!! We have a long list of people that will stand by you on this!


-- Posted by MIZ_ZOU on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 7:30 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Officers observed an abrasion and a puncture wound where the man said the dogs bit him.

Just so everyone knows, Titan was not running loose because we weren't paying attention to him or because anyone just let him go. Apparently the wind from the storm the night before blew a part of the gate open just enough for him to get out. He was only let out of the house seconds before we realized he was gone, and as soon as we realized he was gone we called the authorities to let them know that he was out and that we were looking for him. We also let them know that he was a friendly dog and was up to date on his shots. We drove around for a long time calling for him, with no success. Awhile later, we went back out to look for him and as I stepped out my front door, he came up to me gushing blood from two large holes in his face and one in his leg. As we put him into our car to take him to our vet, the officer came around the back of our neighbors' home with his shotgun drawn and his finger on the trigger. He asked if that was our dog and when I said yes, he informed me that he had been shot. I said that we were taking him to our vets and he said that they would follow us there. He did not follow us there, but another officer did. When we arrived at the vets, she had to sedate him in order to assess the damage done to his face. While he was in the back being worked on and we were waiting in the front, the officer who had followed us took a phone call from someone, and come to find out, there was absolutely no proof that he had bitten somebody. Then she went back to talk to the vet and then walked right past us with nothing to say, and left. A few minutes later, the vet came out and informed us that a large portion of his bottom jaw had been blown off and there was no way that she could fix it. We then had to accept the fact that he had to be put down.

This dog was our baby. He has never hurt anyone in his life. Our 7 year old daughter has lost her best friend. Thank you, Marshall Police Department.

-Titan's Heartbroken Family-

-- Posted by sdm100909 on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 7:04 PM

If your dog runs loose, it is YOUR liability. No one elses. Build a proper fence or kennel. My dog ran deer. If she ran cattle or horses, that owner had every right to shoot my dog. No need to call the sheriff. My dog or your livelihood. No question in my mind.

-- Posted by SalineVoter on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 6:39 PM

Hey what ever happened to personal accountability and personal responsibility? If you own dogs they are YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. By no means should anybody allow their dogs to run lose. If your dog is chained up outside you need to pay attention to make sure it doesn't get lose. If your dog gets lose and bites somebody thats the owners fault. Most communities have laws in the books that prohibit people from allowing their dogs to roam the streets. The owner of the dog can also be sued by the person it attacked. I do find it to be a bit unusual that a Great Dane would behave aggressively because they are not known for that, but this one may have been inbred. I find no fault at all with the Marshall Police and their actions. They were only keeping the community safe.

-- Posted by D_Cassady on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 5:34 PM

You can rewrite the story all the times you want. The facts still remain. 1) A marshall police officer discharged a firearm at a dog inside the city limits. 2) The marshall police department has neglected to properly equip the animal control officer with proper equipment to do the job. As taxpayers are already footing the bill for all the new toys why not buy a tranquilizer gun. Tell the animal control officer to quit spending hours of the day at a friends house or quit. Nonlethal force should be used unless the animals ARE ATTACKING!!! I hope the television media gets ahold of this..

-- Posted by 1laststand on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 4:23 PM

Thank you Mr. Policeman for taking action. Dogs

should not run loose. The dogs could have bitten several children on their way home from school. Think of the children, how scared they would have been and what if one or both of the dogs had been rabid. Really people, use common sense.

-- Posted by Cat Lover on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 4:18 PM

There was no reason why this dog had to be shot, there are other ways of getting a dog and shooting one is NOT the answer, MPD have shot enough dogs inside city limits. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

-- Posted by loisjean on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 3:21 PM

Isn't a capture net, tranquilizer dart, even pepper spray safer than discharging a firearm in a residential area? A dog sprayed with pepper spray will retreat, allowing a window of time to find other ways of controlling/capturing a domestic canine. Or don't the police carry anything but guns to subdue/capture something or someone?

-- Posted by former editor on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 3:09 PM

Why were patrol officers on the scene and not the Animal Control officer? Also of note this is not the first time the Marshall police have fired on a dog they said was aggressive and anyone who knew the dog commented the other way. Was the officer aware of what was behind the dogs when he fired? The statement says the brown dog was behind the Great Dane but they weren't sure if the brown dog was hit. Why the Shotgun and not a single round from the service weapon carried on the hip?

-- Posted by Selmac8 on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 3:03 PM

As a animal lover I will tell you right now if this police department doesn't get sued for this they are lucky. Why in the world do they not use a tranquilizer gun or this net they had to have. Is the net lost already or are we spending all the money on all the new vehicles. Wake up police department there is non lethal measures that can be used. Shooting a firearm inside town at a animal should be illegal.

-- Posted by 1laststand on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 2:33 PM

As a dog and cat lover who gives to the Saline Animal League AND to the shelter; I think that if a dog bites, he needs to be put down, especially if he is running loose.

People, if you let your dogs run loose, they have a great chance of injury by car, other animals, or being shot by a policeman if the situation arises.

If the dog was properly contained, there is no way this would happen.

Don't blame the officer; blame the owner.

-- Posted by Interested Too on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 2:20 PM

As a dog lover I do agree that owners of animals should be held responsible but was this incident investigated thoroughly? What happened to the dog net we tax payers paid for? Was a 12 gauge shotgun really the answer? A dogs life is taken because it 'matched the description'. This towns police department needs improvement. I'm disgusted.

-- Posted by mtownproud on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 1:59 PM

May I say thank you to the Marshall Police Officer for taking the action he did. When we have laws about anamils running free and people do not comply with them and people are biten by the animals, I truly appreciate the Officer for his actions. Again Sir (THANK YOU) Also, The owner needs to be held responsible for the actions that the dog done to the gentleman that was bitten. It just makes my blood boil when you cannot walk down the strees without this kind of incident happening. I hope that the owner understands the responsibility that comes with owning an animal now. Hope that the Gentelman that was bitten is alright.

-- Posted by values on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 12:56 PM