TPD said both shootings were in self-defense and justified.

TOLEDO, OH – Toledo police shot and killed two dogs over the weekend that they say were acting aggressively toward officers. TPD argued that both shootings were justified and in self-defense.

Officers responded to a home in the 3800 block of South Avenue at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday after the homeowner reported an unidentified man sleeping in the backyard. The caller said the man had a dog with him and the dog “ran” at the caller’s mother, according to the police report.

The officer spotted Aaron Emerson sleeping near a picnic table. Police say Emerson’s dog “lashed out and lunged” at the officer, who then fired twice, wounding the dog. Her condition was unknown as of Monday evening.

The dog trainer took possession of the animal. Emerson was arrested and charged with criminal trespass.

On Sunday, officers were called to the 2000 block of Cherrylawn Drive around 6:30 p.m. after a resident reported a dog running around the neighborhood. The caller told police the dog “lashed out” at her.

According to the police report, the officer found the dog in an open yard. While on the scene, police say the dog “charged” at the officer, who fired seven times, injuring the dog.

The dog then retreated to the back porch where it remained until another resident took control of the animal.

The dog, named Gucci, later died after her owner Derrick Johnson took her to an animal hospital after the shooting. According to him, he was not at home at the time of the incident.

Johnson owned Gucci for six years. He wouldn’t go into detail about how the dog was able to get out, but said she had struggled with the behavior for years. She was a good dog to him, just overprotective.

He said TPD should not have killed his dog. He said he would “probably own a dog again” but he had learned from the incident and would take more safety precautions in the future.

“The moral of the story is that dogs are smart, and sometimes they’re not good for you,” Johnson said. “And even if you have that closeness with them, you might need to adopt them if they get too mean or what have you.”

Toledo Police Lt. Paul Davis, public information officer, said officers should be especially careful with dogs that are not on a leash or in a cage. They can’t be reasoned with, so if he attacks someone or lunges at them, they are legally allowed to use deadly force.

Davis said the county dog ​​handler won’t come and pick up the dog until it’s caged or locked up, but because dogs often defend themselves against strangers who try to corral them, that could lead to a situation where officers will have to defend in turn.

“Every situation is different and it happens in a split second,” Davis said. “They’re just trying to stop the threat, they’re not thinking about how many shots they’re taking. An unrestrained dog can run around and not cause problems. He might get hit by a car or might attack someone or a child on the street. Therefore, we simply ask you to keep a dog in the yard or at home.”

WTOL 11 requested body camera video of both incidents.

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