DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Saturday night, the 100 block of McReynolds Street became the scene of an active investigation after witnesses said an officer wrongly shot a puppy.
Dayton police officers originally responded to the east side area to address three adult dogs, including a white pit bull, that witnesses said were on the loose after attacking another neighborhing pit bull.
Jenah Pearson and her husband, Curtis Gifford told 2NEWS that while chasing a dog an officer opened fire on Tike, their 4-month-old pit bull puppy.
The bullet hit the tri-colored pit bull in his left hind leg, sending him to the vet according to the owners.
Saturday they said they want justice for their pit bull.
However, police officials had a different story.
Officials said Officer Jason Olson tried to secure one loose dog in the alley when the puppy charged towards him, causing him to open fire.
But Pearson and Gifford deny that version.
The two own a licensed kennel, Roscoe’s House of Blues, and said their $5,000 show dog was trained to stay on their property; in fact, they allege Tike was inside their gate going to the bathroom when they said the officer attacked.
“I heard my neighbor screaming, ‘They shot your dog, they shot your dog’ and then when I went out there I found my puppy laying in a pool of blood,” said Gifford.
Moments after the shooting, two of the three dogs were caught and taken away by Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.
At least eight police cruisers responded to the scene, as growing crowd surrounded the neighborhood.
One man, Gifford’s brother, was later arrested after jaywalking and refusing to provide his identification.
Following this incident and a family member’s arrest, the owners said they want an apology and for Officer Olson to be held accountable.
“Right now, I feel the police department should be sued for my medical bills and for two they should be sued for the fact that my dog will never be able to placed in a show again,” said the owner.
Saturday’s incident is not the first time Dayton police have shot a pit bull; however, Sergeant Steven Bauer believes the breed is not the problem.
“I don’t think it’s just a pit bull problem that we have. I think it’s a problem where the dogs aren’t socialized with other people and other animals from being kept outside on chains 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” he said.
Sgt. Bauer told 2NEWS he will be conducting an administrative investigation; officials said they are still on the lookout for one loose dog.