Spokane police shoot pit bull after attack on five people


Police shot and killed a pit bull Wednesday night after it attacked five people and tried to evade capture in north Spokane.

It’s the third serious pit bull attack in Spokane in the past week.

The attack Wednesday happened at an apartment complex in the 6800 block of North Atlantic Street, said Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service director Nancy Hill. When an animal protection officer arrived, the animal was still loose and the SCRAPS officer tried to catch it. “An apartment complex is not well-suited to cornering and capturing the dog,” Hill said.

A Spokane police officer assisting with the call killed the dog with a shotgun when it could not be caught, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory.

“They wanted to be as humane as possible,” he said.

Gregory said it’s his understanding that the dog was new to the family that owned it. “It went ballistic,” he said.

The dog’s owner was the first victim. “It sounds like the owner was outside playing with the dog and it bit him,” Hill said. “Maybe the dog somehow got overexcited.”

The owner has not yet been interviewed. SCRAPS will do an investigation to determine what happened and if charges should be filed against the dog’s owner, Hill said. “It’s too early to say,” she said.

Last week, a pit bull attacked an 8-year-old girl and the two men who came to her rescue. The dog bit her on all four limbs, and gashed a man’s face and arm that required 40 stitches.

That dog, a tan pit bull named Girl, will be euthanized next week when a 10-day rabies wait period passes. Another dog in the attack was a Labrador/pit bull mix that nipped at yet another man trying to stop the attack by hitting the pit bull with a shovel.

That dog – named Demon – has been deemed potentially dangerous even though it did not participate in the attack on the girl.

The owner of the two dogs, Kathy Southern, intends to retrieve Demon, but has signed Girl over to SCRAPS to be euthanized.

Southern is charged with keeping a vicious dog. Police issued her several citations for a dog running at large, owning a dog with aggressive/threatening behavior, and no pet licenses. The fines are $748.

And on Monday, a pit bull attacked a police dog in Spokane Valley that was pursuing a burglary suspect.

Spokane County Deputy Jeff Thurman shot and killed the pit bull after it bit K-9 Laslo on the leg and wouldn’t let go. The bite required six staples, and Laslo is expected to recover.

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