Police: 2 pit bulls attack Miami-Dade police; 1 dies

Police officers say they were forced to shoot pair of pit bulls

By John Buckner - Assignment Editor

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A Miami-Dade police officer responding to reports of a burglary said he shot and killed a pit bull and injured another Tuesday. But the dog owner said the dogs were not pit bulls. They were American Bulldogs.

Police and K-9 units were looking for burglars in a perimeter set up in the area of Southwest 223 Street and 117th Avenue in the Goulds neighborhood.

Two pit bulls escaped from the back yard of a home in the area, police said. One of the dogs attacked a police dog and was biting it on the neck. Unable to remove the pit bull's jaws from the police dog, an officer said he decided to shoot him.

An officer said he also shot the second pit bull. The white dog was covered in blood before animal services picked it up from the home.

The dog owners said police was wrong about the breed and took them to South Kendall Animal Hospital instead. The dogs were American Bulldogs, Amy Rojas said.

"I was devastated," Rojas said about having to carry her dog and losing another. Now she said in tears that she was struggling to cover the veterinary expenses.

The officer and the police dog survived the attack without injuries.

Owning a pit bull became illegal in Miami-Dade County, after the February 1989 vicious attack of an 8-year-old girl named Melissa in West Kendall. American Bulldogs fall under the pit bull category in Miami-Dade and owners face a $500 fine and a court order to remove the dog. 

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