Dog owner: shooting by Ohio police justified

The dog had attacked it's owner, and attempted to bite a child before being shot

Ryan Dunn
The Courier

FINDLAY, Ohio — Two Findlay police officers who shot a pit bull acted appropriately, killing the dog before it could attack again, the dog's registered owner said Monday.

Cujo, 4 years old, punctured the skin of his master Saturday in a house trailer at 1815 Park St. as the man tried to stop a possible attack on a young boy in the house, said registered owner Jaime England of Findlay.

The dog's master, Leroy Thompkins, said he was in the kitchen when he saw Cujo about to bite the boy. Thompkins grabbed Cujo by the collar and threw him against the door of the living room, according to a police report.

"The dog then looked back at me and had this look on his face like, 'Oh, hell no,' and came at me," Thompkins told police.

Cujo bit Thompkins several times as he removed the dog from the trailer. Thompkins later received seven stitches at Blanchard Valley Hospital, England said.

"Leroy was lying on the floor and he was bleeding" after the dog bites, England said.

Once outside, the dog jumped aggressively on the trailer door, according to the police report.

Police officers hoped to confine the dog and clear a path for medical aid to reach Thompkins.

However, "The dog appeared aggressive as it was barking and showing its teeth," according to the police report.

The dog warden deemed Cujo a vicious animal and said police should shoot the 60-pound animal, according to the report.

Officer Matthew Eier shot the dog first with a shotgun. Officer Richard Warner then fired his handgun, according to the report.

England said she understands officers had to kill Cujo because the family could not risk him biting someone else.

"We didn't know how he was going to act if he came back inside," England said.

England said her son is especially saddened by Cujo's death, and she said the dog was very protective of her children.

Dog Warden Dana Berger said he has investigated several bites involving Cujo. He told police England and Thompkins failed to follow the law for owning a pit bull, and criminal charges are being sought against them, according to the police report.

Copyright 2012 Courier

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