Video released of Lebanon Police officer-dog shooting – ABC27


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LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – Lebanon Police say an officer shot a dog after it got loose in an area of Lebanon on Wednesday, July 6.
According to Lebanon City Police, at around 10:26 a.m. police were called to a residence on Tiffany Lane when a caller stated a stray dog was found in their backyard. Police say the dog had wandered out of one yard and into another.
Responding officers called the Lebanon County Humane Society and the Pa. Dog warden but say no assistance was available at that time.
Janea Davis, who owns a nonprofit which with dogs, said Lebanon County does have a shortage of humane officers.
“It is hard to reach people. I know as a rescue, we’ve had a hard time reaching people when we’ve encountered difficult situations,” she said.
Officers tried to determine the dog’s owner using departmental records, as there was no collar on the dog, but they were not able to identify the owner.
Police say officers spent one hour making attempts to catch the dog without having a catch pole, but all attempts were unsuccessful.
Three officers on the scene then made several attempts to catch the dog with a catch pole, all of which were also unsuccessful. Officers then decided to use a taser to incapacitate the dog so they could use a catch pole. Officers were then able to loop the catch pole on the dog, and an officer held the catch pole in an effort to calm the dog.
Police say the dog started to bite the catch pole, which required more officers to help control the catch pole, which became loose.
Police say officers believed the dog was a threat to them and the public, leading the officers to fatally shoot the dog one time. Lebanon Police Chief Todd Breiner said the officers believed if the dog escaped, it would attack. He said the shooting was “regrettable” and a “last resort.”
abc27 received surveillance video from the home. The video shows just two minutes of the interaction. It appears to show the officers trying to capture the dog with the catch pole and the dog struggling. Eventually, the video shows an officer drawing his handgun.
The homeowner’s doorbell camera also recorded a brief conversation with one officer.
The officer said, “It was our only option,” and added, “If it got off that noose, we were going to be on the receiving end of a four legged chainsaw.”
The homeowner has not shared any video with Lebanon Police, which said they are doing a routine internal investigation.
abc27 reached out to Breiner and Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello. abc27 wanted to know the names of the officers involved, what training police get for situations like this, what standard procedure is and whether any of the officers have been involved in similar situations in the past.
Capello said they are not naming the officers involved and that training and procedures will be evaluated as part of an internal review. She also said this “is a tragedy and not the ending anyone would have wanted, including the Officers.”
abc27 found the dog, Gunner, was adopted just under a year ago from Davis Dog Farm, a nonprofit which rehabilitates and rehomes stray and surrendered dogs.
“Gunner from day one was a smushy, lovey, affectionate and cuddly puppy,” founder and executive director Janea Davis said. “What I hope for as a community and the police force is that we find a way to move forward in a way that allows this to never happen again.”
The dog owner was identified shortly after the incident when she contacted police to report the dog missing. She told officers her two dogs had been running at large, however, she was able to recover one of the dogs prior to contacting police about the second dog.
The owner responded to the Lebanon City Police Department at which time the owner told police she suspected an unknown person opened the gate to her yard releasing the two dogs. Police returned the dog’s remains to her at her request. Police are asking for assistance to identify the person responsible for the gate as was said by the owner.
At this time, Lebanon police are conducting an internal investigation of the incident.
abc27 reached out to the dog’s owner, but she did not want to comment.
This is a developing story. Stay up to date on the latest from abc27 News on-air and on the go with the free abc27 Mobile app.
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