Pit Bull Recovering After Being Shot By Tulsa Police Officer
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa police officer shot a dog early Thursday. The dog survived, but her owner is upset - while the police say the officer was just protecting himself.
The officer fired three times - and hit the dog at least once - which despite being injured, took off and ran several miles before someone found it and got in touch with the owner.
Ruby is a 3-year-old pit bull. She's leaving one vet clinic for specialized care at another, after she was shot Thursday morning by a Tulsa police officer.
"I'm sure she could look threatening; she could look scary; it's her territory - it's her property," said owner Lana Ellsbury.
That's about as much credit as the dog's owner is willing to give the officer who shot her. The officer was checking an alarm call at a house when the dog came around the corner of another house, according to the officer, barking and ready to bite.
"He's at the point now that there's no return, either take a dog bite or be mauled or protect himself and that officer chose to protect himself," said Officer Leland Ashley, Tulsa Police.
The police say it's clear cut, but Janet Ellsbury, who heard it all happen, thinks the officer should have retreated to his car or somehow fought off the dog.
"And I just think something else could have been done other than shooting that dog three times," said Janet Ellsbury.
Ruby has several wounds, but it's not clear how many times she was hit. She took off running from the scene, near the airport, and was found along a road in Catoosa.
"She was mangled, her jaw, she got shot in her jaw, shoulder and thigh," Janet said.
Ruby is going to recover, but needs surgery, and Ruby's owner wants something from the police.
"I want an apology from the officer for one and I want them to pay for everything," Lana said.
There was another dog shot by an off-duty officer later Thursday. He was walking his dog when, according to police, he felt threatened by the dog and shot it. The department considers that, too, simply an act of defense.