Dog shot by officer in serious condition, owner wants answers

‘This is a veteran officer and dog lover. He feels for the animal, but had no choice.’
Updated: Apr. 2, 2019 at 4:18 AM EDT
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WEST PRICE HILL, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati police officer shot a dog in West Price Hill Sunday while responding to a residential alarm, a police spokesman said Monday.

The officer attempted to defend himself by kicking at the dog before shooting the dog twice and stopping the attack, police said.

“The officer was charged by the animal and was a fraction of a second from being badly injured when he defended himself. This is a veteran officer and a dog lover. He feels for the animal, but had no choice,” Sgt. Dan Hils, president of the union that represents Cincinnati police, wrote in a post about this story he shared on Support the Blue in Cincy page on Facebook.

But the dog’s owner has several questions and wants to view the officer’s body camera footage.

The 2-year-old pit bull mix, Jackson, was shot shortly after officers responded to the 4700 block of Highridge Avenue around noon.

They said they found a dog on a chain on the front porch of the home.

Jackson, likes to jump when he gets excited, according to his owner, James Ludwig said.

Ludwig wasn’t home at the time, so he told FOX19 NOW he is relying on a family friend’s accounting of events.

“I get a call that they shot Jackson because he pushed out the door. For some reason, our door didn’t shut all the way,” Ludwig said.

The family friend, Luke Woodall, said officers were called to the house after he keyed in the wrong security code on the home alarm system.

“The cop was standing right here and Jacks came running out right at him but he was just trying to say ‘hi.’ He’s just a playful little puppy,” Woodall said.

The officer somehow ended up on the ground before he fired his weapon, according to Woodall.

“He jumped onto the cop but didn’t try to bit him or anything and I don’t know exactly what happened like he must of tripped or something and he fell to the ground and bang, bang he fired two shots,” Woodall said.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals responded to the scene and removed the dog.

No officers were physically hurt.

Ludwig said he wants to reserve judgment until after he sees the officer’s body camera footage.

“If my dog was in the wrong, he was in the wrong, the cop did what he had to do. I understand that," Ludwig said.

He did, however, have questions about the officer’s tactics.

“Instead of using lethal force against an animal, why not use a Taser first?” Ludwig questioned.

He said the veterinarian told him the next 24 hours will tell them more about Jackson’s chances of survival.

He is in serious condition at the vet’s office.

“This has just been an emotional roller coaster, you know. You don’t -- you can’t ever imagine your dog getting shot," Ludwig said.

Cincinnati police and the SPCA are investigating this incident.

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