Grand Island Police Shoot & Kill Pit Bull During Dog Fight

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Grand Island Police say they responded to a violent and bloody scene Tuesday morning where they were called to breakup a dog fight. Something the Central Nebraska Humane Society said could have been avoided.

A fight between two pitbulls Tuesday morning at the Relax Inn in Grand Island leaves a woman with a dog bite injury, one dog at the Central Nebraska Humane Society, and another dog shot and killed by police. A series of events that the Humane Society says could have been avoided.

The issues began early in the morning with breakfast a day after both pitbulls were bought from an unknown source.

"She was feeding one of the dogs and the other dog walked by and it appeared to her that that first dog that was eating was trying to protect his food," said Captain Dean Elliot of the Grand Island Police Department.

The Humane Society said that isn't surprising, especially in a confined space like a hotel room.

"What we would have liked to have seen is that you would have picked a smaller dog, that it would have already been neutered or spayed, that you would have had separate areas. You always have to be careful being around animals when they're eating. And just spending a lot of time going slow and giving them an opportunity to get adjusted," said Laurie Dethloff, the Executive Director of the Central Nebraska Humane Society.

Rebecca Creech called police at 7:30 a.m. to help break it up, but before they arrived, she was bit and scratched resulting in minor injuries. However, Creech was covered in blood, some hers, some the dogs. Officers called the Humane Society and Animal Control to assist.

Captain Elliot said, "Before the Humane Society could get there, the dogs actually stopped fighting, turned towards the officers, and approached the officers in somewhat of an aggressive manner. Once the dogs got within three feet, one officers fired one round killing the first dog at which point in time the second then retreated back to the corner and did not come back at the officers."

The officer used a semi automatic service rifle to kill the dog. The rifle was used because it is guaranteed to kill, where a taser or pistol may not.

Dethloff said this event will slow their pitbull adoptions for a month or more.

She said, "What this does for the pitbull population is put a stigma right back on them and it's beyond their control. Some of this is nature, some of this is just not taking the time to let them be safe."

But despite what happened, Dethloff said she supports the police.

"They can judge and assess a situation and if this was the action that needed to be taken, we fully support what was going on. I'm sure they did not want to have to do it what they did and they see a lot of things and we're backing them 100% with what they needed to do," she said.

Creech has no charges against her for the incident and released custody of the remaining pitbull.

The living pitbull will stay at the Humane Society receiving antibiotics and other medicines, but will eventually be available for adoption.


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