Another dog killed by an Austin Police Officer. An off duty cop shot and killed a Pit Bull inside a Northwest Austin Petco.
Austin Police tell us the officer, Leslie Lyons, was working in Petco on an unrelated overtime assignment when a Pit Bull slipped out of its’ collar and began attacking a small dog. After multiple attempts to stop the animal, Lyons pulled her gun and fired.
Pet lovers at a nearby dog park in Cedar Park were stunned to hear of the fatal shooting.
"I would hope there would be another alternative in trying to control a dog,” says Corey Weiner, Cedar Park resident.
Austin Police say there wasn’t.
"She got them to move out of the way and discharged the weapon. At which time the Pit Bull dropped the Maltese, but did not go down, so she fired a second shot,” says Assistant Chief Steve Deaton, Austin Police Department.
Assistant Chief Deaton says the department fully supports Lyons’ decision to shoot and kill the aggressive animal.
"I don't even know what I feel about that. That's a hard situation. I think I see both sides. On one hand this dog was attacking and killing another dog, but I look at it as safety inside the store. What if it had ricocheted and hit somebody else?” says Kelly Bruneman, Cedar Park resident.
There will be an investigation into this shooting, but police say it doesn’t appear any department policies were violated. Unfortunately Petco did not have cameras inside the store.
We’re told the Pit Bull didn’t have a history of violence. We spoke with PETCO and they told KEYE the Maltese is being treated at a local animal hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
In April 2012, an Austin police officer shot and killed Cisco, a Blue Heeler, after the dog ran toward the officer. The case received international publicity and Chief Art Acevedo apologized to Cisco's owner.
After this case, Austin officers received training on how to handle situations with a potentially aggressive dog. Officers are now receiving more in depth training. The training had been planned before this incident happened. There’s currently a discussion to provide larger cans of pepper spray for officers to use instead of resorting to shooting.