Off-duty officer opens fire during dog attack in Southwest Philadelphia

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Off-duty officer opens fire during dog attack in Southwest Philadelphia
Off-duty officer opens fire during dog attack in Southwest Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A woman is in the hospital after being attacked by a group of dogs in Southwest Philadelphia.

It happened near S. 58th Street between Pentridge and Willows Streets around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Police say a 43-year-old off-duty officer on the scene called 911 to report a female being attacked by dogs on the road.

Police say a 31-year-old man had been walking three of his dogs when two of them became agitated and got loose and attacked the 52-year-old woman, who suffered arm, leg, and head injuries.

"I heard pow, pow, pow. Five shots," said Jimmy Rese, who was nearby at the time. "I went back that way. Back by the tree. I ain't crazy."

The off-duty officer then discharged his non-service weapon six to seven times, according to officials.

ACCT Philly says one of the dogs had to be euthanized.

"Officers spoke to the owner who did decide to surrender the dog due to the severity of the injuries. Because, with multiple bullet wounds, that was a situation where humane euthanasia was the most humane option for that dog," said Sarah Barnett, the executive director of ACCT Philly.

Neighbors say they saw the man walking three dogs before the attack, all of which appeared to be leashed.

ACCT Philly says this isn't the first dog attack in recent weeks and the trend is concerning.

"It is something where people need to be careful, both in walking their dogs because an altercation can happen and you may be holding onto your dog whose normally the world's best dog but is trying to get protective of you," said Barnett.

The victim was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on Cedar Avenue. Neighbors say they're glad the off-duty officer was there to intervene.

"I think he did the right thing," said Rese.

Police are investigating the incident. The off-duty officer has been on the force for two years and is assigned to the 17th district. Investigators say he's been placed on administrative leave pending internal affairs and officer-involved shooting investigations.

ACCT Philly says the second dog that was shot appears to not have life-threatening injuries, but the owner was instructed to get the animal emergency care.

Police say the third dog got loose and has not been found.