Off-duty animal control officer shoots dog that attacked puppy

Published: Saturday, March 3 2012 7:54 p.m. MST

TAYLORSVILLE — An off-duty animal control officer shot a dog that was attacking his puppy inside the boundaries off an off-leash dog park Saturday.

Both dogs were treated for their injuries and were expected to recover.

About 12:40 p.m., an adult bull terrier attacked a puppy at the Millrace Dog Park, 1155 W. 5400 South, said Taylorsville Police Sgt. Tracy Wyant. It was not immediately known what breed the puppy was.

Several people tried to pull the dogs apart. The owner of the puppy feared the adult dog was going to kill his pet, so he shot it with his gun, Wyant said.

Both dogs were taken to a local animal hospital, one with a gunshot wound and the other with multiple puncture wounds.

The puppy owner was an off-duty West Valley Animal Control officer and a registered concealed weapons holder. Because Taylorsville contracts with West Valley for animal control, Salt Lake County will handle the investigation into the dog attack, Wyant said.

As for firing a gun within the park, Wyant said his office was still conducting an investigation before determining if there was criminal negligence or if any charges would be filed. The officer's gun was seized, he said.

Both parties agreed that the bull terrier grabbed the puppy, there was some concern over the puppy's safety and the adult dog was shot. But Wyant said there were inconsistencies between the two dog owners on what happened between the time the incident began and ended, including their stories about whether threats were made to the other person.

— Pat Reavy

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