Macon police fire shots at dogs

Macon police officers fired upon dogs in two separate incidents Tuesday night after the animals charged at police.

Capt. Mike Schlageter said incidents of officers firing upon animals occur sporadically, but there’s been a rise in the number of incidents this year as compared to 2009.

There have been 12 incidents so far this year, while officers only fired upon animals in seven incidents in 2009. There were eight incidents in 2008, he said.

The higher number of incidents is due to an increase in the city’s dog population and an increase in the number of people calling in complaints about dogs running loose, Schlageter said.

When an animal threatens a human life or threatens to do substantial harm, Schlageter said, the officer is authorized to do whatever is necessary to stop the threat.

In the first incident, police were called to the 3400 block of Flamingo Drive at about 4:30 p.m. in response to reports of two dogs chasing a 47-year-old man and one of the dogs biting him in the leg, according to a police report.

A police officer tried to talk with the owner of the dogs but was unsuccessful. When the officer returned to the patrol car, the same dogs charged at a woman walking down Grenada Terrace, according to the report.

At some point, the dogs charged at the officer, and the same dog that bit the man in the leg jumped toward the officer. The officer shot the dog in the head and shoulder area. Animal Control later cited the owner with two citations, according to the report.

Schlageter said the injured dog ran away, and officers haven’t been able to find it.

In another incident, police said they were called to the 1200 block of Shermount Drive about a half hour later in response to a vicious, loose dog.

Two officers found the dog and were able to trap the animal in a fenced back yard. When Animal Control arrived, the officers followed an Animal Control officer into the yard and the dog charged one of the police officers, according to the report.

The officer tried to back up, but the dog kept running and the officer fired a shot that struck the dog.

Still, the dog continued to charge at the officer, coming within a foot of his leg. The officer fired again, and the bullet hit the dog, according to the report.

Injured, the dog passed the officer and ran toward a second officer. The second officer hit the dog with two more bullets, killing it, according to the report.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.