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Youngstown police shoot dogs guarding puppies

Published: Thu, October 15, 2009 @ 12:08 a.m.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.

The police department’s internal-affairs division is reviewing the shootings.

YOUNGSTOWN — Police shot and killed two dogs labeled as vicious in two separate incidents Tuesday.

In both cases, it was determined the animals were standing guard over fresh litters of puppies.

Last week, a woman living in the 3000 block of McCartney Road on the East Side told Dave Nelson, the Mahoning County dog warden, a friend had been attacked by a large pit bull that had taken refuge at an abandoned home in the area.

The dog had just delivered a litter of puppies at the abandoned house.

Nelson told police he had been trying to catch the dog for seven days but had been unable to get near the animal because of its size and vicious nature.

Officer Aaron Coleman and Detective Sgt. Ismael Caraballo walked to the rear of the abandoned home just before 3 a.m., and the dog charged both officers. Coleman fired two shots from a department-issued shotgun, killing the dog.

Nelson took possession of the puppies at the house.

The second shooting incident took place mere hours later in the area of Jacobs Road and Wardle Avenue, also on the East Side. Officers Michael Walker and Gerald Maietta were sent to the area at 8:20 a.m. to assist Nelson with “two large, vicious dogs” that recently had attacked an auto-salvage company employee.

According to reports, Nelson found the dogs at the rear of Mount Hope Cemetery and shot one of the animals with a tranquilizer dart, rendering the dog unconscious.

Nelson attempted to use a tranquilizer on the second dog, a large German shepherd, but the animal charged him in an aggressive manner, so he shot the dog with a firearm.

Walker, Maietta and Nelson searched for the animal and found it limping in a nearby garage. The dog ran into the garage and tried to conceal itself under a wooden shelf.

Maietta fired one shot from a shotgun into the dog. He fired a second shot, and the dog attempted rise and was shot again, according to reports. Maietta shot the dog two more times and was out of ammunition.

Walker shot the dog four times, then, police said, the dog charged officers. Maietta fired four rounds from another firearm as the dog charged officers, causing the dog to change course and run out of the building.

The dog tried to hide under a nearby patrol car, crawling along the underside of the car as officers tried to move the vehicle. Ultimately, Walker drove the car quickly away and Maietta shot the animal three more times with a shotgun before it died, according to reports.

Nelson collected the dog for rabies testing after learning the animal had bitten the auto-wrecking company employee. He also found, and took possession of, three puppies hidden near the garage the animal had run into.

The police department’s internal affairs department is reviewing the shootings.



1Father_oftime(5 comments)posted 5 years ago

Hey LOL so should all ignorant people. Should the all german shepards be shot also?

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2retirednavycpo(1 comment)posted 5 years ago

I feel sorry for the dogs. But it takes a YPD officer 11 shots to kill a dog. Their just lucky the dog wasn't shooting back. 11 times you got to be kidding. Need to take these bozo's Deer hunting.

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3AtownParent(562 comments)posted 5 years ago

I am with you hope. More than likely, they moved and just left those dogs to fend for themselves. According to the article, that one dog was shot 12 times. Really, 12? And 7 of those shots with a shot gun??? That just does not make sense to me. Either the officers have really bad aim or Vindy got something wrong.

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4verita(14 comments)posted 5 years ago

And the officers were wrong....because??? The dogs attacked people and were obviously not tied or leashed. People need to be responsible owners. I feel sorry for the dogs who get stuck with ignorant owners and have to suffer needlessly. I'm betting the dogs have more of an instinct to protect and care for their young than the owners do if they have children. Taking a cheap shot at officers for taking 11 shots to kill a dog without knowing the circumstances is juvenile and foolish.

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5aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years ago

L0L -- All pitbulls should not be shot, because all pitbulls aren't aggressive dogs.

Hope, I agree. It should be the owners that are shot. Who are these owners, anyway? Worthless, pieces of crap that probably aren't even capable of taking care of themselves, let alone an animal. If these people got off the streets, got a job, and stopped letting drugs and violence consume their lives, then maybe they wouldn't have the time to sit around teaching these dogs how to fight and become aggressive. These people give dogs a bad rap, especially pitbulls. I know of several pitbulls that are the sweetest and most loving dogs!

And Atown... the YPD has no shame when it comes to killing dogs. This definitely isn't the first time it's taken them multiple shots to kill one.

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6AtownParent(562 comments)posted 5 years ago

You are an idiot.

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7AtownParent(562 comments)posted 5 years ago

That was for verita.

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8Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

lots of ignorant people...

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

Lots of activity and lots of criticism . Why not use a live animal trap to catch unwanted stray dogs ? One could easily be built by city employees from the streets department .

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10Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

Classic case of irresponsible pet owners. These dogs were probably someone’s pet (I use that word loosely) that were dumped and took refuge and in the end only to be shot to death because they were terrified.

I love the media/officials propaganda against pit bulls.

Thanks for all your hard work and determination.

Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

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11luvsdogs(70 comments)posted 5 years ago

where are the puppies?

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12JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years ago

"Joseph Goebbels would be proud."

Because rabid anti-Semitism that perpetuates a Holocaust and perceived animal cruelty are pretty much the same thing. Wait...

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13Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

"Joseph Goebbels would be proud."

Because rabid anti-Semitism that perpetuates a Holocaust and perceived animal cruelty are pretty much the same thing. Wait...

the propaganda machine you dimwit!

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14JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years ago

Yeah, I'm aware you were referring to the propaganda aspect. The notion that methods of promulgating the systematic execution of six million PEOPLE compares in any way with factual publications reporting the destruction of dangerous animals at the hands of law enforcement is patently ridiculous.

You people love dogs so much because they don’t call you out on moronic statements like these. Look a Holocaust survivor in the eye and sway them on the validity of your comparison.

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15Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

Yeah, I'm aware you were referring to the propaganda aspect. The notion that methods of promulgating the systematic execution of six million PEOPLE compares in any way with factual publications reporting the destruction of dangerous animals at the hands of law enforcement is patently ridiculous.

You people love dogs so much because they don’t call you out on moronic statements like these. Look a Holocaust survivor in the eye and sway them on the validity of your comparison.
Are you serious?? Get a freaking life.
It's a comment section dude....

Better yet, get laid.....bet you need that.

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16JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years ago

Yeah, that's right, "it is a comment section so I shouldn't be held accountable." That's a cop-out but right on.

You are very perceptive; I definitely need to get laid. Broads are not always receptive to my proclivities. See, I dress up like a cop/dog catcher and I have the broad dress up in a furry dog mask and suit...perhaps I've said too much.

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17verita(14 comments)posted 5 years ago

Hey all-knowing Atownparent - If a person is an idiot for giving someone the benefit of the doubt and not pre-judging, then how would you classify people who make ASS-umptions about others without knowing the facts? Your sophomoric reaction to my post speaks volumes about you.

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18Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

I bet you are blast to be around the hoildays.

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19JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years ago

Seriously though, do you see my point?

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20Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

That you disect everything?

Agree to disagree.

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21Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

sorry *dissect

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22TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 5 years ago

Never heard of a Poodle charging a Police Officer and then being shot and killed. Obviously, a Pit Bull has a record of being a vicious dog; and if I was in possession of a firearm and one was charging at me I would shoot it, too. Maybe in two shots or less.

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23POOLJUNKIE1977(12 comments)posted 5 years ago

I was bit by a poodle once, boy was it a mean dog! Not sure why the tranquilizer didn't work on the dog unless he just had the one dart not the twelve he needed? It's in a dogs nature to protect its pups, can't blame the dog.

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24JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years ago


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25henryviii1509(274 comments)posted 5 years ago

I'm, laughing my a** off at JeffLebowski ! ! !

nicely done!

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26woolyd(579 comments)posted 5 years ago

If this had been a court ordered exeecution it would have been called "cruel and unusual" after the first couple of shots diddnt kill the dogs. Then they would have been sent back to OSP for more free livin. Damn do death row inmates have it easy!!!!!!

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27sweetsue(3 comments)posted 5 years ago

It is so unfortunate that we not look more into what has occurred. It appears the police officer who shot the dog numerous times was excersing some sort of power thing. It was a defenseless animal at some point, so why the need to shoot so many times.

What if that had been a human? It seems that law enforcement always has a justification for what may appear to be a violent act.

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28genius_girl(20 comments)posted 5 years ago

If owners would take responsibility for their pets (I use this word loosely) then this wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, the laws allow anyone who wants an pet to have one. How would they feel (owners) if they were left to fend for themselves? I can almost guarantee that they wouldn't like it.

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29max340pug(11 comments)posted 5 years ago

Now that is messed up.What is wrong with them??? Sounds like some disciplinary action is in order here. If they would do their jobs, like protecting others from harm, including animals instead of doing the harm themselves, it would actually make some sense.

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30max340pug(11 comments)posted 5 years ago

And Jeff L., you are an idiot.

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31max340pug(11 comments)posted 5 years ago

and LoL, maybe someone should shoot you too.

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32gypsygirl720(186 comments)posted 5 years ago

With all due respect: This is a disgrace. Firmly believe the "OFFICERS" need training.
I understand they were doing their jobs, but, to kill the dogs?
Mr. Dave Nelson: Where are they puppies?

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33romance(1 comment)posted 5 years ago

pups from both litters stand little chance of survival without their dam.
as for the cops were they using birdshot? using proper shot and spending a bit more time at the target range might be in order.

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34Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

The pups dont have a chance....anything remotely resembling a "pit bull" in youngstown will be destroyed.

BSL doen't work.

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35AtownParent(562 comments)posted 5 years ago

verita, it's the pot calling, you're black.

Ginger, couldn't agree more about BSLs. They are a complete overreaction by people who do not understand that it is not the dog, it is the owner.

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36Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

I wish we could ban the people instead. Its frustrating because I have a bully mix. The media just wants to destroy this people pleasing breed. It breaks my heart.

(sorry about the mistyping - keyboard is acting funky lately...spilled coffee)

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37YoungstownFan(2 comments)posted 5 years ago

If the police shoot my dog, they will have to shoot me.
I would flip! My dog (pit mix) is not vicious.

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38Catz1269(8 comments)posted 5 years ago

This story is horrible. I understand that stray dogs can be dangerous, ALL breeds, its all in how they were raised obviously. But in this matter the cop went too far. They knew the dog was vicious, why even be there especially at 3am??

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39paulydel(1307 comments)posted 5 years ago

It sounds to me that the dogs may have been protecting the pups. the dog warden did try to capture them to no avail. By the same token you an't allow the dogs to go after people. If they hadn't acted on the calls then people would complain that the police did nothing.

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40ads(109 comments)posted 5 years ago

Any animal would protect their pups, I was attacked by a beagle protecting her litter, should we ban all beagles? My lab has bitten, should we ban labs too? People, when will you get it, it's not the breed but the people responsible for "training" them to be mean. Let's ban the man not the dog!
By the way I think some of YPD needs to hit target practice! How disgusting but let's face it, if Dave Nelson would have succeeded in catching them, they would have just ended up heart stuck, which is more inhumane?

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41FifthAve(168 comments)posted 5 years ago

This story and, any like it, makes me sick. The pit was killed because of its breed. I don't believe that the dog posed a real threat. But even if it had because of its instinct to protect its pups, the cops should have used a tranquilizer since they knew they were going to an abandoned house. What's up with them going to the house at 3 am? Was it a slow night? Did they need target practice? Were their fingers getting itchy? I can't imagine what kind of reasonable explanation they will fabricate. And they will fabricate it because people are gullible when it comes to this breed of dog.

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422ez2c(17 comments)posted 5 years ago

he should of used the 12 guage the first time , the dog already bit someone . half of these people cant take care of their own kids let alone a dog breed that was made for fighting . luckly the cop wasnt hurt

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43bernie003(1 comment)posted 5 years ago

The majority of dogs can be rehabilitated. Take a look at Michael Vick's dogs. All but two of his dogs have found loving homes and have become wonderful pets (articles in Sports Illustrated and Dog Fancy magazines). Those pit bulls were extremely vicious and unsocialized but were given to a loving family that helped in their rehabilitation. Those dogs that were shot and killed could have been given the same chance.

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44ads(109 comments)posted 5 years ago

The dogs were NOT bred for fighting, ignorant people who "figured" out that the breed was very loyal and has strong jaws TURNED them into fighters. Once again it's not the dog/breed but the people who so call train them to be this way. Ban the man!

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45Ginger76(178 comments)posted 5 years ago

ugh! any dog can bite, can be vicious when treated like garbage.

This wonderful LOYAL breed will do anything to please; has been exploited by awful SHI***Y people and thanks to the wonderful media machine has blammed an entire breed for "problems" not brought on by themselves.

And the answer to the "problem" is multiple gun shots or heart stick at the pound.

Disgusting. Im certain the puppies share the same fate as their mother.

And uneducated people wonder why we like our dogs more than most people and will defend them till the end? It's pretty simple. Loyalty.

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46Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 5 years ago

First, if a pitbull or german shepard that has attacked before is viciously charging to attack me, and I have a gun, you can bet I would shoot it.

Having said that, it is very unfortunate that the situation would come to that. As mentioned a few times previously, these dogs did not start out this way, and a lot of the blame is on the owners for etiher raising these dogs to be that way or simply neglecting them. It is a terrible thing.

Animal neglect should be a felony, as would be abandonment because that in of itself is a form of neglect. If you make the penalties stiffer, some of these issues might be resolved. Currently, I believe these crimes are only misdemeanors in Ohio.

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47Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 5 years ago

By the way, I do know of friendly rotweilers, german shepards, and pitbulls. They can be great dogs, and unfortunately for their breed, their reputation discredits them. They are smart, strong, and loyal, and as Ginger has said, they are exploited. They also can do a lot of good too if you teach them.

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48diamondgirl(3 comments)posted 5 years ago

i so agree with everyone that wants to blame the owners of these dogs and any other breed that has gotten a bad rap. i have been a dog lover all my life and any female will attack if provoked or put in a position that she feels is threatening to her pups. have any of you ever seen a chihuahua get snarly? i have and many other breeds from a-z. and again, where are those precious pups that need a good and loving family? yes family, kids too, they are great protecters!

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49diamondgirl(3 comments)posted 5 years ago

i am so tired of the big dogs getting the bad rap and death! any female dog with pups will do whatever it takes to protect her young. put yourself in their fur, and ask yourself how far will i go to protect my young? what they need and want is caring and compasion, the bullys should try it!
almost any dog can be talked down, patience and love, share it

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502ez2c(17 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

i haven't seen any bulls to heard around youngstown ,it would be wise to ban this aggressive breed from cities before more people get hurt by these getto dogs

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51Ginger76(178 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

i haven't seen any bulls to heard around youngstown ,it would be wise to ban this aggressive breed from cities before more people get hurt by these getto dogs

you have no clue do you?
any dog left for garbage would protect its young.

Lets start with being a responsible person and NOT punish the breed.

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52Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

I do agree that some of these dogs do need to be banned from the city of Youngstown, not because they are inherently vicious but rather because these dogs are sought after to be trained for a purpose--aggressive and vicious behavior. While I agree this behavior is something learned not inherant, the chances of these dogs being kept within the city to be trained for good nature rather than bad is very unlikely, and ultimately it is not fair to the dogs or the victims.

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53Morbidcherub(30 comments)posted 4 years, 12 months ago

BSL aside, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MORONIC COPS IN THAT GODFORSAKEN CITY??????? There is no need whatsoever to shoot a dog that many times, especially when it has a) already been shot and b) it is running away and trying to hide.

To do what they did is disgusting and they should be punished. Take their firearms because they are clearly a bit too overeager to use them.

And please spare me the 'Oh they were just doing their jobs' crap. How much do you want to bet there were at least 15 drug deals going on within 1 square mile of where this happened - and they couldnt care less about that. They had to go out at 3am and hunt down dogs, then shoot them an inordinate amount of times.

That city and it's so-called 'safety force' disgusts me. I left 15 years ago and from what I read on here (and from what I see when I go back to visit my family), there is no reason on this planet to move back to that dump.

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