Police shot and killed a six-year old pit bull Thursday morning after it attacked a 37-year old man and later tried to attack police officers.
The victim had several serious wounds, none of them life threatening, police said. The victim was taken to a Modesto hospital for treatment.
The Merced resident told police he was returning from a store on the 2100 block of Keely Avenue when the dog attacked him, said Merced Police Lt. Andre Matthews.
On his way to the store the bite victim said he saw the dog fenced in a yard with two smaller pit bulls, police said. When he returned, the dogs seemed agitated and were jumping up and down on the fence.
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The larger dog pushed on the fence hard enough to open the gate and the dog ran out and bit the man's left forearm, legs and ankle, Matthews said.
Neighbors were able to temporarily chase the dog away.
A police officer driving by the neighborhood spotted the injured man and stopped to offer him first aid, Matthews said.
As the police officer helped the man, the dog returned the scene and ran aggressively toward the police, police said in a news release. In response, police fired shots at the dog.
This is just one of several recent dog attacks and dog shootings in the Merced area involving the Merced police.
Police said they continue to educate pet owners about their responsibility when it comes to aggressive animals, Matthews said.
"Pet owners are encouraged to contact Merced Police Department Animal Control, the Merced County Animal Shelter, the SPCA or any local veterinarian with questions about responsible pet ownership," Matthews added.
Police are still investigating the attack and charges against the dog's owners have not been filed.
Reporter Jamie Oppenheim can be reached at (209)385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.