The German shepherd suffered several bites and an eye injury.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Despite being viciously attacked by two pit bulls, the officer didn't fight back.
He did exactly as he was trained to do. During Thursday's attack by the two pit bulls, Ariss, a German shepherd, stood still and did his best to protect his partner, Patrol Officer Sherrey Ewanish.
According to Police Chief John Mandopoulos and city law director Greg Hicks, Ewanish and Ariss responded to an alarm Thursday morning near Olive Street. Moments after they got out of the cruiser, the pit bulls attacked Ariss.
The dog suffered a serious eye injury and several bites but did his best to keep Ewanish safe. She suffered minor scratches, Mandopoulos said.
"Ariss suffered a bad bite on his forehead and his eye was damaged," the chief said. "Right now we are not sure how bad the damage is to his eye. We'll have to wait and find out."Ewanish and another officer tried several times to get the dogs off Ariss but had no luck.
Out of control
"They were forced to shoot the two pit bulls," Mandopoulos said, noting the owner of the dogs had no control over the animals.
"The man had three pit bulls and they were all loose," the chief said. "He was able to get the one dog in the house but the other two would not listen."
"All of the officers did everything right by the book," said Mandopoulos. The name of the owner was not available Thursday evening.
The chief said the owner will face a misdemeanor charge of not having the dogs properly secured.
The city health department will also investigate, Mandopoulos said. The owner was unable to tell the officers where he purchased the animals and if they had received their shots.
A valuable asset
"This is very serious because, for one thing, the city paid close to $10,000 for this dog," said Hicks. "He is very well trained and we have a lot of time invested."
In 2003, city council voted to pay $9,040 to Vohne Liche Kennels Inc. of Indiana for Ariss.
The chief noted that in addition to the monetary investment, there is also a strong emotional bond with all three of the department's K-9 officers.
"It really saddens me that he was hurt," Mandopoulos said. "This dog would take a bullet for me. He doesn't care that I'm old and ugly."