SPD officers shoot pit bull mix after dog bites man

SEATTLE -- A dog of mixed pit bull breed was shot by Seattle police officers Tuesday morning after it attacked a man and threatened medics, Seattle police said.

Police and Animal Control officers were called to the 3500 block of S. Morgan Street around 12:45 p.m. after a person called 911 reporting four pit bulls were loose in the neighborhood, and one had bitten a man in the arm.

During the incident, firefighters called dispatchers to ask for police help after at least two of the dogs surrounded their fire engine, preventing medics from treating the bite victim, Seattle police said. When firefighters tried to treat the bite victim, one of the dogs charged a firefighter several times before police officers arrived and intervened.

One police officer sprayed the dogs with a fire extinguisher three times, but it did not deter the animals, Seattle police said. Another officer tried using pepper spray on the dogs to try to get the animals to retreat, which again had little effect.

Finally, when one dog charged an officer at the scene, another officer fired one shot, killing the dog, Seattle police said. The three other dogs have been accounted for and will be held pending further investigation.

Medics were finally able to treat the dog bite victim at the scene.

The dogs were later identified by animal control officers as two pit bulls, 1 mixed-breed dog and one Pomeranian, Seattle police said. It was the mixed-breed that was shot by officers.

The roommate of the dogs' owner said they are actually therapy dogs and that they have spent time with the elderly. She says she is a veterinarian and hasn't seen problems in the past.

"I live with them. I've lived with them. I've had many situations where these dogs could have done something to me and they rolled over and licked me," said Kim Pace. "It's not the breed. It's the situation."

But Seattle police say the dog that was killed had bitten one of their officers on the hand last summer during a welfare check on the home.

The victim confirmed to officers the dog that was shot was the dog that bit him. Seattle police said the officers who shot the dog will be subjected to review by the Firearms Review Board, per standard procedure.