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Victoria police defend fatal shooting of dog

A Victoria police vehicle is pictured in this undated photo. (Victoria Police Department/Facebook) A Victoria police vehicle is pictured in this undated photo. (Victoria Police Department/Facebook)
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The Victoria Police Department is standing behind the actions of one of its members who shot and killed a dog earlier this week.

"The safety and security of the community and our officers is our priority, and we have full confidence in the decision made by the officer involved," reads a statement released by VicPD for the purpose of "clarifying the facts" around the incident.

Officers were on patrol around 3:30 a.m. on the 500-block of Ellice Street when they arrested a man who had an outstanding warrant, police said.

"A dog emerged from a nearby tent and lunged aggressively towards a male officer. The officer moved away and was chased by the dog. Fearing serious injury, he discharged his firearm, killing the dog," VicPD wrote.

The dog in question, police say, was six years old and had been designated as dangerous – requiring it to be muzzled and leashed in public and for "signage" to be displayed informing people it was present.

"None of these requirements were met at the time of this incident," the statement says.

Citing local animal control`officials, the police say the dog had been involved in 11 previous incidents, including two cases where it bit bylaw officers.

The statement was a direct response to a media report where people who witnessed the fatal shooting told CHEK News the dog was a one-year-old puppy and was muzzled.

VicPD also said less-lethal options may not have been effective and that the "threshold was met for lethal force."

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