Officer kills pit bull after dog injures him during welfare check

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU and wires) -- A San Francisco police officer who shot and killed a dog that bit him during a welfare check at a home in San Francisco's Bayview District Sunday evening is recovering from the attack, according to a police spokesman.

San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said Monday that a 911 call came in to dispatchers from a home in the 1400 block of Oakdale Avenue, near Keith Street.

Dispatchers were unable to communicate with the caller, but detected a crying baby and suspicious background noises. When dispatchers were unable to reach the caller via phone, an officer was dispatched to the home to make sure everything was okay, according to Andraychak.

A male police officer responded to the home at 6:08 p.m. and as he made his way to the home's front door, via a walkway near the garage, an adult pit bull terrier attacked him, Andraychak said.

Andraychak said that the pit bull terrier bit the officer in the hand and buttocks.

The officer then shot the dog to stop it from biting, he said.

The dog died at the scene and the officer was treated and released at San Francisco General Hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening.

Andraychak said that the incident remains under investigation and that so far no citations or arrests have been made.

He said police officers eventually spoke to the occupants of the home and didn't find anything that might have prompted the 911 call.

The case now goes to San Francisco Animal Care and Control, who will investigate whether the dog was provoked, had a history of aggressive behavior or rabies and determine whether the owners will face a citation for having a dangerous animal.

Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for Animal Care and Control said Monday that the dog, named Zoey, was female, at least nine years old, had white and gray fur and was up to date on her shots.

Campbell said Zoey had been spayed and doesn't have a recorded history of biting. She said Zoey had once been brought to the shelter as a stray but was reunited with her rightful owners.

Andraychak and Campbell both said that pet owners in San Francisco are responsible for their pets and can be sited by Animal Care and Control for having a dangerous animal if their pet harms someone.

"If your dog bites someone you're responsible," Andraychak said.