Pit bull shot, killed near I-90
| April 8, 2010 9:00 PM
POST FALLS - A wandering pit bull that has had multiple aggressive incidents since Friday was shot to death by police on Wednesday after it was spotted near school playgrounds and became a traffic hazard along Interstate 90.
The adult male dog, which weighed 80 to 90 pounds, was shot to death by an officer around noon on the north side of I-90 near the Slab Inn after it had been seen in the vicinity of Seltice Elementary and CornerStone Christian Academy.
"We became very concerned because it was aggressive," Post Falls Police Lt. Greg McLean said. "When officers tried to catch it, it would intentionally run toward them, then veer off. With all the kids in the area, a lot of things weighed into the decision."
The dog's owner is unknown because it wasn't wearing tags.
The pit bull attacked and injured a black lab along 14th Avenue on Friday, ripping both of its ears, McLean said. The pit bull was stunned with a Taser gun before it ran off.
It later attempted to attack another dog and when the owner approached the pit bull to shoo it away, it chased him.
Police spotted the pit bull again on Monday, but it remained on the loose after a 45-minute search.
On Wednesday, an officer shot the pit bull in the back on the south side of the freeway. It then ventured to the north side, where it was Tazed. When the dog attempted to take off, it was shot twice and died.
McLean said officers checked to see if there was a reported missing pit bull after it attacked the lab, but none was reported.
"This dog was constantly sprinting toward people and other dogs in an aggressive demeanor," McLean said. "It was determined not to be captured."
He said it seemed to be hanging out in the 14th Avenue area before it ventured south toward I-90 on Wednesday.
A Kootenai County deputy shot and killed a loose pug along I-90 at Post Falls last year after multiple agencies couldn't catch it and it nearly caused a crash during rush hour. The incident drew outcry, including from some who witnessed the incident.
McLean said he believes officers had even more reasons to shoot the pit bull. In addition to it being a traffic hazard, it had attacked another dog, chased a man and was an aggressive threat to officers and children.
"We weren't just dealing with little Fluffy causing a traffic hazard on the freeway," McLean said.
Police Chief Scot Haug said he supported his staff's decision.
"Based on the information our staff had, and the potential injury to citizens, including children as well as other animals, the officers made the difficult decision to euthanize the animal," Haug said. "Our staff handled this vicious dog professionally with the community's safety in mind."