PD: El Mirage officers shoot, kill 2 'vicious' dogs

EL MIRAGE, AZ - Police are investigating an incident where officers shot and killed two "vicious" dogs late last month in El Mirage.

According to a police report, an animal control officer was not available to take the dogs away.

The police department spoke to ABC15 Thursday about an administrative investigation into the July 23 incident near Cactus and El Mirage roads.

An officer was first called out to the area around 10 p.m. on July 22 for a complaint of two dogs running in the road, a Rottweiler and pit bull, which he was not able to locate, according to the report.

Two additional calls about the dogs came in from residents within the next few hours, police said, prompting officers to try to get animal control staff to the scene multiple times.

At one point, an officer at the scene tried to "carefully" open his patrol car door, but the dogs charged at him, growling.

Another officer then called a lieutenant, who advised him to contact animal control again. He was told an animal control officer would not work after hours unless the dogs had bitten someone or there was an ongoing attack.

"By this point all of the officers were concerned that these dogs might again escape into a neighborhood where they would be a danger to others," the report said.

An officer then decided to shoot the dogs when it was safe, according to the report. An officer pulled his car up by the dogs and was given the OK by another officer to shoot.

The other officers then also shot the dogs multiple times until they died, the report said.

They then told dispatch to let an agency know they needed to come pick up the dogs, including Public Works, but they did not show up for about five hours, police said.

The dogs were later removed by a contract service provider, said El Mirage Police Chief Steven Campbell.

The following statement came from Campbell:

"I think the real focus should be the fact the officers were dealing with 2 vicious dogs who had already confronted two separate residents. This was a dynamic situation that kept moving through the residential streets. Officers made every effort to call for animal control resources from several surrounding cities, all the way up to the last call from a citizen who was challenged by the dogs. Officers were able to coral them in a wash area and were subsequently charged at by the dogs.

"Given the previous 9-1-1 calls of vicious confrontations to citizens and the fact the officers were charged at, the officers had to take steps to protect themselves and the citizens to remove a health and safety threat. The animals were removed later by a contract service provider.

"The Police Department is currently conducting an administrative investigation, which is normal policy and protocol anytime an officer discharges his firearm."

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