Canton police officer shoots loose, aggressive dog

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A Canton police officer shot and killed a loose, aggressive dog Thursday in the 2500 block of 6th Street NW.
A Canton police officer shot and killed a loose, aggressive dog Thursday in the 2500 block of 6th Street NW.

CANTON – A Canton police officer shot and killed a loose, aggressive dog after the animal lunged at the officer on Thursday.

Police received a report of brown dog running loose by a home in the 2500 block of 6th Street NW and being aggressive toward people walking on the street.

A witness told the officer who responded to the scene where the dog was last seen and lived, according to body camera video obtained by the Canton Repository.

The officer knocked on the homeowner's door multiple times in an attempt to address the reported animal, but no one answered.

While the officer was investigating and surveying the area, a brown medium build dog can be heard barking from behind the home and traveled down the driveway toward the officer, the body camera video showed.

The officer attempted to get the animal to trust him and told the dog, "Sup pup? Sup pup? Is this your house? Sup pup?" The dog then started growling from less than three feet away from the officer, who asked the dog "You OK? You OK?"

The dog lunged at the officer and four shots were fired, putting the dog down.

The Canton Streets Department retrieved the animal's body.

The officer told a supervisor at the scene that he'd never shot a dog before, but did not want to be bitten. After collecting a witness statement, the officer left a note in the homeowner's mailbox.

Police said they couldn't confirm who owned the dog. And as of July 1, they had not filed any charges. They said no one had made prior calls reporting a loose dog at the address of the house.

Witness account

Tracy Latimore, who lives across the street from the house where the dog lived, called 911 after she saw the dog was running loose, growling and barking when he charged a man walking through the neighborhood.

The dog did not injure him. But the man quickly walked away, cutting through her yard. She said she placed a plate of chicken wings on the house's porch to try to distract the dog.

But when the police officer shot the dog, "my heart just kind of dropped a bit," said Latimore, whose security camera captured much of what happened.

Dog had gotten loose before

After a reporter visited the apparent home of the dog the day after the shooting and left a note, Vinesa Glenn who said she owned the dog, called back the following Wednesday.

She said she was in the midst of moving from her home on Sixth Street NW to an apartment in North Canton. Glenn said she and her daughter had regularly checked on her dog, who's name was Brownie. Though they may have missed an occasional day, they had routinely left food and water in the garage that Brownie, whom she said was "fed" and " healthy," could access from the back yard.

Then they came back and found he was no longer on his leash in the backyard.

A neighbor told Glenn that a police officer had shot and killed her dog. Glenn said she and her daughter found his collar in the yard by blood stains on the sidewalk.

Vinesa Glenn looks at the area of sidewalk where her dog Brownie was shot and killed by a police officer last week.
Vinesa Glenn looks at the area of sidewalk where her dog Brownie was shot and killed by a police officer last week.

"I guess he got off his chain," said Glenn, 47, who got teary eyed. "Why would they even shoot the dog? And why didn't they call the dog warden? Because I'm pretty sure that the dog warden would be able to handle the situation better than a regular police. ... He didn't have to go out like that."

Vinesa Glenn wipes a tear while talking about her dog Brownie who was shot and killed by a police officer last week.
Vinesa Glenn wipes a tear while talking about her dog Brownie who was shot and killed by a police officer last week.

She said Brownie had gotten off his chain in the yard several times. But she said she never tried anything else other than occasionally putting him in a cage to secure him because he never left the vicinity of the house or hurt anyone when he got loose.

"Everytime that I would catch him off his chain, he'd be on the porch or the backyard. Then I winded up getting him and putting him back on the chain, no problem," she said.

Glenn said she got a piece of paper, that she later misplaced, with a phone number for the sheriff's dog warden's office and a Canton police badge number. She said it had no explanation of what had happened.

"He was so adorable," she said. "I just miss my dog."

Glenn said Brownie was a shar pei pit bull mix puppy she had gotten as a gift 13 years ago.

Vinesa Glenn and her dog Brownie.
Vinesa Glenn and her dog Brownie.

Because it would have been difficult to keep the 150-pound dog in the small apartment she was moving into, she said she had been looking for a new home for him.

Glenn said she had been unable to reach anyone at the Stark County Sheriff's Dog Warden office or the Canton Police Department who could tell her how to retrieve her dog's body.

She questioned the police officer's decision to kill her dog.

"He could have tasered him," Glenn said. "That should not be your first instinct just to shoot."

An email was sent to Canton police asking about the location of the dog's body and why a deputy dog warden had not responded to the scene.

Police Capt. John Bosley said the use of a firearm is a common response to preventing an attack by an aggressive animal.

"While some circumstances might allow for a non-lethal response such as a Taser, it is not something we encourage, as it is rarely effective," he wrote in a statement.

Reach Cassandra cnist@gannett.com; Follow on Twitter @Cassienist; 330-580-8338

Reach Robert at robert.wang@cantonrep.com. Twitter: @rwangREP.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Canton police officer charged by loose, aggressive dog