TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - An American pit bull was shot and killed by Toledo Police Tuesday as they were responding to a stove fire at a home on the 1800 block of Mulberry around 1:30 p.m.
Police said one officer went to make sure the occupants of the north Toledo home were out when he was attacked by the dog.
Police say the dog first attacked the officer in the leg and the officer was able to shake the dog off. Police say the dog then bit down on the officer's left arm. That's when the officer shot and killed Duke.
The dog's owners are frustrated and sad now. Demetruis Holmes said his emotional support pit bull Duke has never bitten anyone, but he did act as a guard dog for the family.
"Ya'll could have done more to not make it a situation, you didn't have to kill my dog," said Demetruis Holmes, Duke's owner. "Ya'll could have tased him. You tase humans and humans are stronger than animals."
Toledo police say they responded to a fire call. While one of their officers was working to get a fire extinguisher the other went to make sure the home was clear. During that time police say the dog attacked the officer.
"The dog who's unsecured at that time, they had just fled out the back door, sees the officer and immediately attacks the officer biting his leg," explained Sergeant Kevan Toney with the Toledo Police Department. "The officer tries to knock the dog off, the dog charges again, bites him in the arm causing pretty significant lacerations to his arm and at that point the officer shoots the dog to defend himself."
The officer is expected to return to work after the incident, but Duke was shot three times and died. Police say if the dog was restrained while the family was leaving the home it could have been different.
"When a dog is attached to your arm biting you, you have to quickly make a decision and it could potentially cause further injury," said Sgt. Toney. "So, I think the officer in this case was doing just what he had to do."
Holmes admits he has trained his dog to protect his family in north Toledo where they live and said the officer, to his knowledge, did not announce his presence into the home. He and his wife are devastated. The dog was certified as an emotional support animal for Demetruis.
"Like I said it's a member of my family," said Holmes. "I've had him since he came out the womb as a puppy for four years and he is like my first-born son. I had him before I had my first child. It's just kind of hard right now."
Police said because a gun was used in this case it will head to the firearm review board and be investigated thoroughly. They also said the family could be charged because the dog was not restrained, but that is pending on the investigation.