Mineral Wells Area News

MWPD Releases Statement of Dog Euthanized After Biting Officer

MWPD Releases Statement of Dog Euthanized After Biting Officer
October 09
16:27 2023

Public Information Released By Chief Tim Denison

The police department was made aware that there are citizens in the community who are upset with a recent decision to euthanize a dog. Chief Denison had a great conversation with a couple of citizens today regarding this incident. Chief Denison wanted to provide the community with information regarding this incident for better understanding and to clear up some of the misinformation being projected on social media.

On 9/27/23 at about 0840 in the morning, an officer was dispatched to a loose dog call. The dog was in the backyard of a residence and the homeowner had never seen the dog before. The officer put gloves on and attempted to remove the dog from the back yard. The dog fell into an inground swimming pool, no water was in the pool, and the officer climbed in to get the dog. The officer picked the dog up and was carrying the dog out of the pool when it bit him on the hand, through his glove, breaking the skin. The officer dropped the dog from being bitten. The Officer was able to secure the dog and take it to the Animal Shelter. The dog was released to staff at the Animal Shelter. The dog did have a collar but no owner or shot record tags attached. The officer was treated for his injuries.

Several hours after the officer being bitten by the dog a decision was made to euthanize the dog where it would be sent to a lab for rabies testing. State laws were followed regarding this incident. That afternoon, the police department learned that there was a social media post regarding a missing dog. The police department reached out to the person on the social media post, advised them of the incident and set up a meeting with the family the following day. The police department met with the family where they were advised of the details of the incident, provided condolences to the family, and listened to their feedback. The family was obviously upset but understanding of the incident.

Obviously, this was an unfortunate incident, and nobody likes or enjoys making these types of decisions. We had to take into consideration the time it takes to have an animal sent in for testing and to get results back and weigh that against a human contracting rabies, which can be fatal if not caught early and treated. This is the first incident of its type in the city that Chief Denison is aware of, I understand that this may be an unpopular decision, however; we must choose the safety of human life first.

We want the community to know that we have recognized some deficiencies surrounding this incident. On the date of the incident, the police department did not have any Animal Control Officers, as both resigned from the city taking different jobs. We recognize that our officers are not trained nor equipped to handle animal control calls. These issues are being addressed in new policies and procedures that will be implemented as soon as we are done with revisions. We have hired two Animal Control Officers since this incident. One new employee has experience and certifications and will soon be operational. The second will have to attend some training and obtain some certifications prior to being operational by themselves.

The Animal Shelter does not have a set of policies and procedures that provide a guideline for all the calls they may encounter. We are addressing this issue and hope to have their policies in place by the end of the month. We will always take each incident on its own merit, in the future, if the situation allows it, we will do our best to locate the owners of any pets we take possession of. This was an isolated incident, and we want to assure that community that we do everything that we can to protect our pets. Chief Denison wants to assure you that we will continue to educate our staff and provide the best possible training.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Chief Denison.


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