Police Officer Shoots, Kills Pit Bull

Wednesday, April 30th 2008, 12:20 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa animal lover says his family pet was gunned down right in front of his house by police. Officers say the pit bull was on the attack.

The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports it seems the term "vicious dog" is truly in the eye of the beholder or pet lover. Tulsa police called the dog vicious and a threat. Its owners say it was anything but.

Robert Bruce knows the reputation pit bulls have, but he says that just wasn't his Layla.

"This dog will lick you all day long. It is a lap dog. It is a baby. It did not hurt anyone, nor would it hurt anyone," said Bruce.           

But someone did think Layla was dangerous. The dog slipped out of an open gate. And a neighbor called police, claiming the pit bull was chasing them and they weren't able to leave their home.

"We've got a citizen saying ‘Hey I can't get outta my house. I'm cornered.' A call was put into animal control. But we can't wait too long for animal control to get there," said TPD Officer Leland Ashley.

Bruce says animal control called him and he called his ex-wife.

"By the time she walked out of the front door the cops had already shot her," said Bruce.

Officers say before animal control arrived the dog turned on them.

"Unfortunately this dog charged one of our officers and we had to put it down," said TPD Officer Pat Dunlap.

Bruce doesn't buy that story, because of one simple fact.

"Someone walked up to this dog and got my phone number off its collar and called animal control and they called me. So it's not very vicious if someone did that," said Bruce.

Bruce says pictures of Layla with his 6-month-old granddaughter shows what kind of dog she was. Bruce's daughter is the one who owns Layla and to make matters worse she's out of town and hasn't been told what's happened.

"I don't plan on it until she comes home. It's the first vacation she's been on in a while and she doesn't need this right now," said Bruce.

Bruce says he thinks his daughter is going to take the situation extremely hard.

The people who called police and a man who watched the shooting say Layla did seem vicious and was growling.

Another set of neighbors, who have dogs, described her as sweet and loving.

As with all deadly shootings, TPD will review this case.