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 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Originally published 1/18)