Rochester, N.Y.—On Tuesday morning, the Rochester Police Department conducted a raid at134 Norton Street. When police entered the home, three dogs charged at them. One dog bit an officer on the leg and officers were forced to shot three of the dogs. Two died.
According to Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard says his officers had no choice but to shoot.
“Our policy is that if the dogs do not make way for the officers when they enter the house we are going to shoot the dogs,” Sheppard says. “ The reason for that is because we want to secure the premise to prevent anyone from grabbing a weapon or hurting any officers during entry.”
During the raid, officers could be seen carrying away what looked to be marijuana plants. RPD says one person was arrested for a felony drug charge. However, police say they also found signs of another crime.
“The location was believed be involved in dog fighting activity,” Sheppard says.
According to Rochester Animal Services, there were 16 dogs at the home. Nine were pit bull puppies and seven were pit bull adults. All the puppies were brought to RAS and one pit bull was treated for the gunshot wound. The rest of the adult dogs are also at RAS.
Investigator Reno DiDomenico is the director of law enforcement at Lollypop Farm. Hesays illegal dog fighting activity is common in rural areas and especially in the city.
“We get many calls about dog fighting from the city - probably on a weekly basis,” says DiDomenico. “[It] ranges from organized fights to amateur fights which would be people meeting on the street saying ‘Hey! My dog is better than yours’.”
DiDomenico says typically dogs involved in dog fighting can’t be saved.
“Sadly most dogs involved in dog fighting are put to sleep. They can't be put back out into to the public due to their aggressiveness at the risk of other dogs and young children.”
RAS’s Director of Animal Services Chris Fitzgerald would not elaborate on the condition of the dogs brought from the Norton Street home. RAS will now monitor the remaining five adult dogs and nine puppies for behavioral and medical issues.
Fitzgerald says once the investigation into the dog fighting allegations is complete, the puppies may be available for adoption.