PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia police officer shot a dog that continued to attack its owners despite the couple's teenage sons hitting it with a baseball bat several times, authorities said.
Investigators said it happened just before 1 a.m. Thursday near where the family lived at the intersection of 5th and Venango streets in Hunting Park.
Police said the pit bull bit its 41-year-old male owner all over his body.
"He's bit on the head, the neck, several times in his torso, arms and legs and he has some large injuries from the dog bites on his body," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.
Small said the dog was locked onto its owner's arm while the man's 18 and 19-year-old sons struck it with a baseball bat trying to make it let go.
Police said the dog appeared to bite down harder every time it was hit and would not release.
An officer on the scene then took action.
"One police officer from the 25th district fired one shot striking the dog one time in the side and that did its job. The dog immediately released his grip, stopped biting this male," Small said.
Police said the man was rushed to Temple University Hospital in critical condition, but has been stabilized.
Investigators said the dog also bit the man's 38-year-old wife on the leg and left her with a large and severe injury.
She is stable at Temple Hospital, according to police.
It's unclear what led to the attack.
Police said the dog survived after being shot in the side and that Animal Control was called to the scene to retrieve the pet.