Officer shoots dog |

Officer shoots dog

An officer was forced to resort to gunfire Wednesday to defend himself against two charging dogs, Douglas County Sheriff’s investigators said.

The officer was attempting to find the owner of a vehicle blocking traffic on Logging Road, by going door-to-door. As he walked up a shared driveway for three residences around 9 a.m., a pit bull and rottweiler-mix came at him, barking and growling, investigators said.

Sgt. Lance Modispacher said the officer “backpedaled” down the icy driveway, but as the dogs drew closer and appeared they weren’t going to stop, the officer drew his handgun and shot the rottweiler-mix. Both dogs then ran, and the officer contacted the owner of the wounded dog, Jim Handlin.

“The dog received a flesh wound in his left shoulder. The bullet entered and exited the dog,” Modispacher said. “We’re extremely relieved the dog wasn’t killed because it wasn’t the officer’s intention to kill the dog just stop the attack.”

Handlin, 21, said he doesn’t believe his 2-year-old dog, Mickey, or his roommate’s pit bull were aggressive.

“We’ve never once had a problem,” Handlin said. “My dog has never bitten anyone in his life. I had just let them outside, and I was walking upstairs when I heard three gunshots. I didn’t hear them bark. It just happened so fast.”

Handlin took the dog to Sierra Veterinary Hospital for treatment. Mickey was released around 4:30 p.m.

Handlin said he plans to pursue damages from the county for the dog’s vet bill of $410.

“It shouldn’t of happened. The dog was on my property,” Handlin said.

Modispacher said that Nevada law allows a person to protect him or herself from a canine attack without liability, and Douglas County ordinances require that people keep their dogs under control.

“The officer could of just had the car towed,” Modispacher added. “He was trying to be a nice guy and locate the owner.”

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