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Hobart chief defends using Taser on dog

From Staff Reports Published: June 13, 2009
HOBART — Police Chief Rex Brown said one of his officers, who is an animal owner herself, was trying to use "the most humane method she could” to subdue what he described as an aggressive Labrador retriever. He made the comments after a cell phone video showed the officer repeatedly using a Taser device on the dog.

"I understand there was a video that shows the animal being Tasered,” Brown said. "And it shows the weapon doing exactly what it is supposed to do — incapacitate a subject until they can be secured.”

The dog survived and is recovering, Brown said.

The dog’s owner was issued a citation for allowing the Labrador to run at large, he said.

Police received a call about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday that a "vicious dog” had cornered a woman and her child as they were trying to get in their vehicle in the 300 block of N Lowe St., the police chief said.

Because the city’s animal control officer was on leave for an on-duty accident, Brown said, the only police officer on duty that evening responded to the scene alone.

After determining who owned the animal, the officer, whose name was not released, went to the house to see if the dog had been secured, the chief said.

"At that point, the dog came around the corner of the house and started barking and growling in a threatening manner,” Brown said.

The officer tried to scare the dog off with the sound of her Taser "arcing,” Brown said.


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