OGDEN — Ogden's police chief says an officer who shot a dog while performing a child welfare check acted within department policies.
On Tuesday, Ogden police officers were called to assist workers from the Division of Child and Family Services at a home in the area of 2400 D Street.
"The DCFS investigator had received a report of unsafe conditions for the children in the home and requested officers be present as she attempted to contact and interview a number of adults reported to be living there," Ogden Police Chief Randy Watt said in a prepared statement.
As two officers, identified only as J. Beck and J. Grimes, walked up the driveway, they were met by a large pit bull that "approached in a clearly aggressive manner," the chief said.
The officers called out to the owner and asked if the dog was friendly. The owner said no, Watt stated. The owner then said he'd take the dog inside.
"However, before the adult male could get to the dog, the dog attacked officer Grimes, making continued physical contact with officer Grimes and trying to bite him. Officer Grimes was attempting to get away from the dog but could not because the dog continued the attack. Officer Grimes drew his duty firearm and fired one round," according to the statement.
The dog was injured but not killed. Following the incident, the dog's owner posted a video that was widely shared on Facebook. The video shows the dog with blood in its fur around its face and neck as the owners talk to police.
The owner said the shooting was uncalled for because the dog was tied up.
Watt noted that "the dog was attached to a cable that appeared to be tied to the back tailgate of the pickup truck, but the cable was slack."
The chief further stated that an administrative investigation had been completed.
"The investigation has been conducted and finds officer Grimes acted in accordance with department policies and procedures," he said. "The Ogden Police Department is sensitive to the concerns of the public in regards to the shooting of dogs, but also recognizes that sometimes situations arise in the course of an officer’s duties which require an officer to shoot a dog in order to protect themselves or a third party."
Video of the shooting recorded from Grimes' body camera was released Friday by Ogden police. In it, the dog is shot less than 20 seconds after Grimes starts walking up the driveway. The dog is seen coming around a pickup truck with a leash on. The dog suddenly starts barking and can be seen running at Grimes who then fires his gun. The injured dog runs away while making a crying noise after the shot is fired. The leash is several feet long.
Following the shooting, the owner of the dog placed a muzzle on the animal before Ogden Animal Services took the dog to a vet where he "was treated for superficial injuries and then returned to the owner."