A New York City police officer shot a dog who apparently snapped at him in a sad scene on a busy Manhattan street.
The dog is reportedly clinging to life after the shooting, which occurred on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 14th Street in the East Village neighbourhood on Monday.
Officers responded to the corner on a report of a sick man, and found a homeless individual in front of a KFC there, who appeared to have had a seizure.
But as the officers tried to wake him, a dog – which witnesses said belonged to the man – began growling at them.
Despite earlier reports that the pit bull was killed, the animal, whose name is reportedly Star, is clinging to life at Animal Care & Control in the East Harlem neighbourhood.
The man was not identified, but those at the scene told DNAInfo.com that he was a drifter from Poland, who often hung out on the corner with the dog.
While some witnesses said that the officer was only defending himself, others accused the officer of using excessive force.
One onlooker, who wished not to be identified, told Gothamist that officers had sprayed mace or pepper spray at the pit bull before the shot rang out.
Aida Feliciano, who lives nearby, told the New York Daily News that the man was kicked by officers, prompting the dog to become defensive of its owner.
She said: ‘Instead of calling the ambulance, they started kicking him.’
Another witness told NY1: ‘I talked to the cop afterwards. He was very shaken up. He’s a dog lover and it ruined his week, if not his year. And he did what he had to do to protect himself.’
Source: The Daily Mail