CRIME

Georgia Police Shoot Pit Bull Puppy That Bit Officer

04/22/2015 12:19 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

A family in Buford, Georgia, is mourning the loss of their 7-month-old puppy after Gwinnett County Police officers shot it to death last Tuesday.

Police said the dog, a pit bull named Scrappy, charged officers when they inadvertently let it out of a garage while responding to a call for suspicious activity. One officer fired two shots at the puppy when it attempted to bite the officer on the leg, and a second officer fired a round from a shotgun, WSB-TV reports.

The dog's owner, Karen Rios, told the station her family was in the process of moving into the house and had left their two dogs in the garage while they moved belongings. A neighbor, believing the house to be vacant, called police and reported the potential break-in. Police opened the garage door to investigate.

Following the shooting, Gwinnett Animal Control retrieved Scrappy's body, along with the family's second dog, Rocky, and left a note telling the family that their animals were at animal control, WSB Radio reports.

Rios told WSB-TV in a different interview that she returned home to find blood all over the ground outside the garage.

"My kids were crying, crying, crying because they saw all the blood," Rios said. "They think someone came and did it to us.”

Rios said she called 911, but got no answers. She didn't realize her dog was dead until she visited the animal shelter, she told WSB-TV.

"They didn't even have a warrant to come into my house," Rios added to WSB Radio.

According to a copy of the incident report provided to HuffPost by the Gwinnett County Police Department, the officer Scrappy bit suffered "no obvious puncture wounds," though the dog's teeth did pierce the officer's pants and cause "some abrasions."

"The dog ... lunged at me as I moved to my left and the dog bit my left thigh," the officer wrote in the incident report. "I reacted to the lunge and turned away from the attack, but I felt the dog's teeth on my leg as it moved past me ... I drew my pistol and shot the dog as it continued past me."

"The dog stumbled, but immediately turned back around, facing me, and began to lunge forward at me with its mouth open," the officer continued. "I saw the dog's front paws leave the ground as it lunged forward at me again when I fired a second shot at the dog ... the dog fell to the ground. When I cleared the dog, [another officer] shot the dog a third time with his shotgun."

Department spokesman Cpl. Deon Washington told the Gwinnett Daily Post that the officers would not be investigated for the shooting, and that they acted appropriately.

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