Pit bull shot in face, Hammond cop claims self defense

Pit bull shot in face, Hammond cop claims self defense

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HAMMOND, Ind. (FOX 32 News) -

A family is outraged after their pit bull was shot by a police officer, Monday.

The dog was recovering at home on Tuesday afternoon. One and a half-year-old pit bull mix, “Lily” was shot in the face.

Norma Maldonado said her five children love to play with her and were doing so that day.

"Very lovable. She loves everybody that comes here, she's very playful," said Maldonado.

The family was cooking out in the backyard with Lily playing outside, Monday afternoon. Maldonado said her two sons grabbed their food and started to walk up front with Lily close behind.

“Not even 10 seconds later we heard the gun shot and Lily screamed out,” added Maldonado. “And I just dropped what I was doing and I went running and I has still seen the officer pointing his gun."

It was a Hammond Police officer who was called out to check on a pit bull roaming outside unleashed.

Maldonado begged the officer to tell her why he shot the dog.

“He said, 'because your dog was loose,” she said. “And I said no she's not there's an electrical fence, read the sign."

The police department told a different story. Through a statement they said the officer called to the family and the dog charged at the officer.

He ran back 15 to 20 feet and the dog lunged at him, so he fired the shot.

The statement continued: "The Hammond Police Department has determined that based upon the circumstances that the officer was justified in defending himself at the time of the incident."

Maldonado said her dog did not lunge at the officer, adding that Lily was shot at the edge of her home near a bush.

The home is a full car length from her invisible fence line.

"He had pepper spray, he had a Taser gun, he didn't have to use his gun with my kids in range," added Maldonado.

The family plans on meeting with lawyers about the incident.

Their vet bills will total close to $5,000 and Maldonado said she will have to go to court because animal control told her the invisible fence is not allowed in her community.

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