Aurora police: Officer did what he was trained to do when he shot dog during traffic stop

AURORA, Ohio - A lieutenant with Aurora police calls the shooting of a woman's dog during a traffic stop tragic, but says the officer did what he was trained to do.

"First and foremost, our condolences go out to the family for the loss of their dog which for many of us is like having a family member," said Aurora police Lt. Rob Hagquist.

Last week, we talked with the irate dog owner. On Monday, police told us what happened, according to officer Chris Ryder.

It all started when police got a call about a possible drunk driver on State Route 306. Officer Ryder said followed the car that matched caller's description and followed it and pulled the driver over in her East Garfield Road driveway.

"He approaches the car and notices a large, black dog snapping, barking and charging the back window," said Hagquist.

Police said the officer yelled twice to the driver to put the windows up, but the officer said the window stayed down.

"So the dog escaped the car and begins to charge the officer. The officer is retreating backwards," said Hagquist.

Police said, Pele, the 6-year-old Australian Sheppard, kept coming at the officer.

"He gets to the point where he has to resort to his firearm to stop the dogs aggression and from getting bit," said Hagquist.

Lt. Hagguist said the officer had pepper spray and a stun gun on him, but those options may not have worked.

"Which one was going to stop the threat? And that was the one he had to resort to," said Hagquist.

The dog owner, Thomi West, was charged with driving left of center and driving with a suspended license a week later. Hagguist said there was a reason the charges came after the incident.

"It's better to let things calm down and then we can look into charging appropriately," said Hagquist.

West was arraigned Monday morning in court and pleaded not guilty.

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