Valley police shot and killed three pit bulls last week in separate incidents after the animals attacked people and other dogs.
Tempe police killed a pit bull Thursday night after the dog attacked a woman at the scene of a disturbance call, and Phoenix police killed dogs on Monday and Friday at homes where residents tried unsuccessfully to subdue the animals with butcher knives.
In the first Phoenix incident, the dog attacked a German shepherd and lunged at a toddler. In the second attack, a pit bull latched onto a 73-yearold woman’s arm and wouldn’t let go. The woman was taken to a local hospital for surgery.
“Obviously, a pit bull is a very strong dog,” said Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill. “And when they attack somebody, we have to consider it life-threatening.”
Tempe’s incident began about 8:40 p.m. at an apartment complex at 615 S. Hardy Drive after someone called police to report a man threatening neighbors.
As a responding officer approached the apartment, the man fled with his pit bull on a leash, police said. The officer caught up with the man, who let go of the leash and fought with the officer.
Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Mike Horn said the officer then noticed the pit bull running toward a woman who was walking nearby with her mediumsized dog. The officer ran between the woman and the pit bull and tried to restrain the dog through kicking, grabbing and using his Taser weapon.
Those measures didn’t work, Horn said, so the officer drew his gun and fired a single shot and killed the dog. “The officer got there just in time,” Horn said.
During the altercation, the man who assaulted the officer left the scene. Anyone with information should call Tempe police at (480) 350-8311. Horn said the officer’s good instincts kept anyone from getting seriously hurt.
“He kept his wits about him and dealt with the situation,” Horn said.