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Dog Shot By Off-Duty Officer on Route 206

Hamilton Township cop tries to help catch stray dogs when one bites his foot.

An off-duty police officer from Hamilton Township, in Mercer County, shot a pit bull that bit his foot as the officer attempted to get the dog and another stray out of Route 206 traffic at about 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

The off-duty officer had stopped to help a Hillsborough Rescue Squad member trying to get the stray two pit bulls out of the road between Raider Boulevard and Amwell Road, where the dogs were creating a traffic hazard and in danger of being hit by a vehicle.

But as the two approached the dogs, they became aggressive and one attacked the off-duty officer, biting his foot. The officer fired one shot, hitting the dog biting him but not mortally wounding the animal—both dogs reportedly ran off towards a nearby residence.

Police said the Hamilton officer suffered a puncture wound and was taken to Somerset Medical Center for treatment.

Animal control officers from St. Hubert's captured the dogs, and the wounded dog is being treated.

The dogs' owner has been identified and police are checking to verify both are current on required vaccinations. 

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Jennifer Dietrich Fernandez December 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Here is a story of another perspective that I think deserves equal coverage. Sugar a beautiful,l sweet pitbull terrier has now lost her home to 2 storms: hurricane Katrina & hurricane Sandy. She is sitting at the Pleasantville Animal Shelter (a kill shelter) and they are almost full so she only has a day or two:( Sugar is as sweet as her name, about 40lbs, and was dog tested with a little male and did great. She just wanted to play. Please help her. If you are interested in adopting or are a rescue group that can save her please call the shelter at 609-485-2345 or email lilospromise@hotmail.com. Please help her find a home before the holiday and it is too late, she has done nothing wrong and is truly a victim of circumstance. Here is the link to her picture: http://www.facebook.com/photo.phpfbid=524673090878340&set=a.210251502320502.57238.210079549004364&type=1&theater
JohnnyR December 22, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Pascale, you might possibly be the dumbest person on the planet. You know, people that stupid should be locked in a pen and muzzled to prevent them from saying something as ignorant as your views on pit bulls.
Karen P December 22, 2012 at 09:02 PM
its really ignorant people like you that are the problem ... it was German Shepherd, Dobermans, Rotties .. now Pits ... Smaller dogs bite more then larger dogs you just dont hear about it in the news .. educate yourself before you speak ...
Karen P December 22, 2012 at 09:06 PM
if some man came running up to a lost child who didnt speak english and that child went in to a panic and was punching and kicking the officer would you be shocked? The dogs have no clue if people are saving them or hurting them .. there is a safe way to help lost animals and obviously both people involved had no clue on how to do this or no one would have been bit ... if the dog was attacking him is would have bit more then his foot ... it was out of fear ....
Jack December 22, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Tom Lubucki, read the article. The dog bite the cop. Sorry but if a dog was attacking me I'd shooting too.
lizturkerific December 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Amen, Annmarie, Tom, and Nicole! Frightened animals = dangerous animals. Yanno, that whole fight or flight thing? My parents always told me never approach a scared animal. Incidentally, pits are NOT the most likely to bite in the dog world, and they are high-rated in intelligence and breed temperment tests. Morons who think they're a badass dog make them monsters, abusing their desire to please and empathy. At least this cop didn't shoot to kill.
Edward P. Campbell December 23, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Good thing it was a policeman the dog went after, because here in Jersey we paltry citizens aren’t allowed to carry a sidearm, you know just in case. Nope, here in Jersey you are supposed to stand there and let the dog chew your leg off while you call 911 and pray the police get there before you bleed to death! Worse, if one of us measly citizen was actually carrying a gun (illegal in Jersey) and we shot that dog before it bit our leg off, we'd end up going to jail for 15 or 20 years. Black Bears are becoming a problem in some areas of Jersey, including here, but that's another story!
Edward P. Campbell December 23, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Nicole, do you live near S. Triangle Road?
Beth December 23, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Any Dog no matter how friendly, if its hurt or scared could bite out of fear, it has nothing to do with the breed.speaking from experience.
Karen P December 23, 2012 at 05:44 PM
there is a large population of people that have "Pitbull type" dogs ... (btw Pitbull isnt really a breed) When German shepherds were popular it was them dobermans, rotties ... the news (and people like you) name any stocky breed dog a "Pitbull" ... "inherently violent and dangerous to the public" most crimes are committed by men maybe we should get rid of them too??? Well statistics cant be wrong ...
Pascale Moffet December 24, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Pit nutters are the best! They really are out if touch with reality in the most sociopathic of ways. Like the guy in august who while at work his pit bull attacked and killed his pregnant wife and unborn baby, cops arrived and shot the dog, and then the owner buried all three together - what a awesome breed and what great owners they have. Congrats to all pit bulls! You've made 2012 your most murderous year yet - the only solace for us normal folk that at least half of all fatal attacks are on owners and their families. Karma
Karen P December 24, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Yes Pascale and I'm sure you believe the media tells you all the fact and isn't picking what they report... They report all the new everywhere .. They don't manipulate things so that people watch their channels ... Other breed dog attacks don't get the views that a dog that may resemble a Pitbull but no one is sure cause its a mix so lets call it a Pitbull ... They wouldn't just report those cause they are honest and aren't looking for rating!! Right? I truly believe in Karma and anyone with so much hate in them like you have will get what you deserve in the end ... I really feel sorry for you that you have nothing better to do with you time and life then to go around posting nasty comments ... It's sad really
Pascale Moffet December 25, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I would think the media would find it quite mundane at this point to put up another pit bull kills, or pit bull attacks story. They happen do frequently, daily in fact, that it isnt even worth reporting anymore. It's like saying 'sun came up today'. I think they would love something different like "cocker spaniel attacks and kills 2 year old", "goldendoodle mauls jogger to death" or "labrador kills pregnant owner and unborn child", etc. those would be good stories. These things aren't happening and just aren't being reported, THEY JUST ARENT HAPPENING. Pit bulls are doing these things, other breeds aren't. Stop making up inplausible excuses and take responsible for your dangerous decision to own a lethal and angry animal. Society is tired of being chewed to pieces by the breed you will think is sweet no matter what atrocious things they do.
John Patten (Editor) December 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
The fact the dog was a pit bull is secondary: the news story here is that an officer fired his weapon in a heavily trafficked area. We would have reported the story exactly the same regardless of the dog's breed.
Karen P December 26, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Pascale feel free to google Labrador attacks and tell me how many of those stories have you seen in the news.. Try golden doodle and cocker spaniel too
Karen P December 26, 2012 at 04:20 PM
The medial loves adding the "pit bull" part because people will read it..
Pascale Moffet December 26, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Karen, did it and all i get is pitbull attacks labrador retreiver, and pit bull attacks goldendoodle, etc
allsokay1 December 28, 2012 at 07:43 PM
let's remember it could have been anyones dog who happened to dig under the fence that day. because they were pitbulls they were deemed dangerous and both have been put down
Abt December 29, 2012 at 05:17 PM
allsokay1: do yo have reliable information about the dogs having been put down?
Abt January 02, 2013 at 06:36 PM
How do you know they've been put down?
allsokay1 January 04, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Yes. I know the owner and both dogs (good dogs - bad situation) were voluntarily put down.
Abt January 04, 2013 at 05:37 PM
So, whose idea was it to put the dogs down? I suppose the owner's? In any case, so much for the officer's plan to move the dogs to safety. If he just kept driving, the dogs would still have a chance to get home and not hit by a car. Thank you for your service...
allsokay1 January 07, 2013 at 01:13 PM
because the off-duty that shot the one dog couldn't verify which dog actually bit him the DOH had to deem them both "potentially dangerous". (i find it hard to understand how he couldn't identify which one actually did the biting, but the cops/DOH only had his story to go on, so it is what it is i suppose) BUT, rather than endure a court case and potentially a worried community, the owner chose to have them both put down.
Abt January 07, 2013 at 02:28 PM
This is odd indeed, especially because there was a witness. But there is proper procedure to declare a dog potentially dangerous, and 4:19-23 makes an exception for bites that were provoked. The owner is probably not in full possession of their faculties.
Abt January 12, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Pascale: Just to let you know that I doubt that you are a doctor.
Kristen January 31, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I agree with karen...this is an ignorant comment. the breed isn't dangerous and if you knew anything about dog breeds you would know that. i have 2 pit bulls who are both trained therapy dogs. this is yet another case of people making assumptions and being quick to pull the trigger on a pitbull. they should have called animal control to handle the situation from the start since they obviously aren't trained to handle situations like this.
Kristen January 31, 2013 at 06:51 PM
well stated!!
Kristen January 31, 2013 at 06:54 PM
agreed.
Abt January 31, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Pascale, you're just a transient megaposter spreading hate, and I highly doubt that you have anything to do with the medical profession.
Paws April 09, 2013 at 09:28 AM
Maybe the police officers should be trained on how to approach a scared dog that is going to protect itself rather than just winging it and endangering themselves, the dog and any others around them for no reason! Cops think they are tough and Know-it-alls, they should take the time to learn more about dog behaviors before attempting something like this. Or at the very least, call in a K-9 unit officer who at least has some experience with dogs.

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