A police officer in California shot five caged dogs last week.
Volunteers at the Selma, California Animal Shelter were horrified when they heard the news that a Selma police sergeant took out his department-issued gun and shot and killed five caged pit bulls.
Selma Police Chief Myron Dyck admits the shooting happened, but says that is not the whole story. Dyck said that the officer called a local veterinarian to euthanize the dogs,
When the veterinarian couldn't come out to the shelter, the officer planned to take the dogs to vet's office. Dyck says when the officers started to enter cage the dogs attacked.
"As soon as they went to open the gate the dogs rushed the gate," Dyck said "They felt if they opened it up they would be bitten at minimum and if opened all the way they would be knocked down and mauled."
Monday, Dyck met with shelter volunteers to discuss details of the shooting. He told them that the officers feared for their lives. He also told them that new protocols would be established. The volunteers said that Dyck assured them it would never happen again, except in a case of "life or death"
Thay say the police department now plans to implement other options, like first using tranquilizers or even sedatives for aggressive dogs that need to be put down.
Dyck says the shelter's commitment to animals can be seen in statistics: Only six dogs were euthanized out of more than 300 dogs taken into the shelter in 2012.