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Pit bull killed by Granite Shoals police deemed ‘aggressive’

Efrain Ramirez, the former owner of a pit bull shot and killed by police, said he would like to see a means other than lethal force used against an at-large pet. He is pictured outside his house in Granite Shoals with his 2-year-old daughter, Mia. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

Efrain Ramirez, the former owner of a pit bull shot and killed by police, said he would like to see a means other than lethal force used against an at-large pet. He is pictured outside his house in Granite Shoals with his 2-year-old daughter, Mia. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

GRANITE SHOALS —A Granite Shoals police officer shot and killed an at-large pit bull that had been deemed aggressive after complaints from neighbors, but at least one resident disputed the dog was a threat and thought the penalty too harsh.

According to the Granite Shoals Police Department, Animal Control Officer Tim Edwards, who is also a licensed peace officer, responded to a call around 2 p.m. Jan. 26 about a “loose and aggressive dog at large.”

The incident occurred in the 1000 block of Kingswell, where the officer met with a woman who told him the pit bull was being aggressive as it attempted to get through her fence to reach her dogs.

During the investigation, Edwards also observed the behavior of the dog, a medium-size, 2-year-old, tan pit bull named Blaze.

“Edwards noted the dog (did) aggressively bark and growl at Edwards as he remained in his (animal control officer) vehicle,” according to a Granite Shoals Police Department statement.

Efrain Ramirez, the former owner of a pit bull shot and killed by police, said he would like to see a means other than lethal force used against an at-large pet. He is pictured outside his house in Granite Shoals with his 2-year-old daughter, Mia. Staff photo by Connie Swinney
Efrain Ramirez, the former owner of a pit bull shot and killed by police, said he would like to see a means other than lethal force used against an at-large pet. He is pictured outside his house in Granite Shoals with his 2-year-old daughter, Mia. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

At one point, the dog’s owner called it back to the residence and attempted to put it in the house, but the animal slipped from its collar, authorities reported and witnesses confirmed.

Blaze headed back to the street, where the officer exited his vehicle and activated his Taser on the approaching dog three times. However, Edwards eventually pulled out his service firearm and shot and killed the dog, according to the report.

Across the street from Blaze’s owner, the pet’s previous owner, Efrain Ramirez, disagreed with the decision to shoot and kill the dog.

Ramirez had given the pet to his neighbor as a gift after Ramirez’s wife had become pregnant with his now 2-year-old daughter.

“They shouldn’t have shot him. He was a friendly dog. He was really playful,” Ramirez said. “The reason why I passed it on to (the neighbor) is because they have six kids. They played with that dog and fell in love with that dog.”

Ramirez believed other methods could have helped restrain the dog.

“They should have used a Taser or that wire and pole,” he said. “(Blaze was) a friendly dog, a loving dog.

“He would play with kids,” Ramirez said. “If he was aggressive, I would have gotten rid of him myself.”

Authorities cleared the officer of wrong-doing and decided against giving the pet owner a citation for violating city code involving at-large pets.

“We don’t take any use of force lightly, even against an animal,” the department’s statement read. “The department has policies, and after review, the shooting was justified.

“The Granite Shoals Police Department considers this an unfortunate but avoidable situation had the owners of the animal complied with city ordinances by properly restraining and confining the dog before it became a threat to the safety of the public and a police officer,” the statement added.

connie@thepicayune.com

16 thoughts on “Pit bull killed by Granite Shoals police deemed ‘aggressive’

  1. If the dog was out who’s fault is that, not the cops or neighbors it yours and only yours. You got your dog killed by being irresponsible.

  2. If the owner of this dog was a RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER this would not be an issue. We have had several dealings with Tim Edwards. He is not an animal killer. He is an animal lover and got put in this unfortunate position. We are also pit bull owners, but we don’t let him run the streets. We understand the resposibility of owning a dog. It’s too bad the taser didnt work on that dog 3 times. I feel bad for the dog. Blame the owner, not the dog or the cops. Wise up people.

  3. So…”Train Your Dog”, you say it’s not that easy to hit a small moving target? The officer had no problem hitting his target with his gun tho. So again…more training might be beneficial in that area. Maybe one day they will be as skilled with a taser as they are with a gun.

  4. I agree that the animal should not have been at large. Pit Bull owners especially need to be cognizant of that. However…..killing is not the answer. If he used the taser 3 times as he claims why didn’t the dog go down? Did he miss? Did this licensed Peace Officer miss his target?
    Better training seems to be in order. I am the owner of 2 Pit Bulls who are the epitome of friendly but being aware of the fear and bias people have towards them I am quite diligent in my efforts to keep them in our yard. I would be devastated if this happened to them. Fault lies in both the negligence of the owner and the too quick to kill response by the officer.

    1. Tasering a dog is not easy to do. They are lower than humans and “thinner” coming towards you. Quick moving targets. Getting both prongs in isn’t easy. Real life isn’t where every shot hits it’s target like an ex sniper.

      And he didn’t even have to miss for it to be ineffective. This officer did try nonlethal option first, and still people can’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Still you say he was too quick to kill. Can you imagine if it were you having to explain that you tried to not kill the intruder but after three failed attempts and him still coming at you, you shot him? How many nonlethal tries do you think qualifies as not “too quick”?

      Go on the Facebook page for this paper. Read about the other pit owner there. They had a similar experience…same police dept animal control, same breed of dog, dog even barking at the officer. That dog was not killed. Granite Shoals cops aren’t waiting to kill innocent dogs, not even pits. This dog was out of control and aggressive. It stinks that it had to die, but the cop is not at fault. Poor training, poorly fitted collar, and possibly poor fencing is. All the owner’s responsibilities. The owner had the dog by the collar. That should have ended it.

    2. This dog, by the way, wasn’t being the epitome of friendly. Nor the pit of the other granite shoals owner that DIDNT get killed. I am sure that here in GS your dogs are safe from officers if they are truly the epitome of friendly. We have good officers here.

      Tasers are not like shooting guns. Lots of variables. Angle the prongs hit. Distance they had to travel. Angle the shot was discharged at to hit a dog rather than a human. Give the guy a break…he tried.

      Have a good day, Harold. May your dogs stay safely at home. 🙂

  5. I am so sick of people like you. The police and military are the only thing that protects us from people like you.

  6. I support the officers. If the dog was friendly to the officer, he wouldn’t have attempted the taser and then shot the dog. And obviously this dog did not listen to it’s owner…”slipped from its collar” doesn’t mean it should have ignore the owner calling it back.

    Want your dog safe? Don’t let it run free. Yes, accidents happen. When they do, it’s not someone’s fault they react differently than you want to your dog being aggressive.

    And train your dogs to listen off leash. It would have saved this dog.

  7. Sick of these so called police killing anything that resembles a pit bull , I wouldn’t trust a police in this day and age with my pet rock . The police are the biggest threat in this country and the biggest gang of killers with a gun and a badge

    1. Granite Shoals police, including animal control, are good with dogs. Look on Facebook post about another pit bull owner who had the same officer respond…and her dog was barking at him too.

      I’m sick of people like you, who always assume the police did the wrong thing and the dog was nice just because someone familiar with it finds it nice. Yea, nice to some people. Not nice to the one who called or the officer. AND he tried non-lethal alternatives. But no, bash the police. Assume he did the wrong thing. As if you have the right to force him to risk even minor nerve damage to save a charging dog.

      There isn’t an “always” in this world. The cops aren’t always right, and dogs that the owners and friends of theirs think are nice aren’t always nice to everyone. This dog behaved badly, and when you let your dog out or it gets loose, what happened is a legitimate concern as is being hit by a car—but that doesn’t make it the officer’s fault. The dog owner is responsible for what happened. You’re responsible for ensuring that your dog can’t get out. When that fails, it is not the fault of the public or the police that your dog ends up in a bad situation.

  8. Does anyone see that the street is not paved? Been that way for many years despite the families and children that live on it. It is difficult to ask citizens to make restrictions on their pets when the city otherwise ignores the needs of their streets and neighborhoods. Except, of course, when unique situations occur like this then they respond. Sad for all involved.

    1. What pray tell does paved or unpaved streets have to do with violation of pet ordinances. I get so sick of all your negativity Mr McCoy. Why don’t you just move out of Granite Shoals and stop spewing all your hateful vitriol? Do you just love seeing your name in print?

      1. It’s not negativity or hateful vitriol. It’s more like constructive criticism. We need to be politically correct now don’t we.

  9. officer was justified, if the dog was nice and playful, wouldn’t he had been with the officer but instead aggressive. wouldn’t have this problem if the owners had him on a leash or fenced in. use your head people!!

  10. I’m so tired of people who think their kids, their animals and all are okay and they never consider anyone, never consider neighbors. The typical “my kid (or animal) can do no wrong even though he’s a bully or aggressive”. You may not think so because your sort of not that bright and are entitled. The officer was 200% justified and I’m tired of people like this dog owner. All he cared about was his little world- never cared about how this animal was behaving to others unless those people were his immediate family. Keep the pets UNDER TOTAL RESPONSIBLE CONTROL and you HAVE NO PROBLEMS. Get it?!!!

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