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Published August 02, 2011, 05:19 PM

Residents Surprised by Dog Shooting in Grand Forks

Some pit bull owners are surprised that a police officer shot one of the dogs this weekend. The pit bull in question bit a woman on the arm, then charged at a Grand Forks police officer who came to the scene.

Some pit bull owners are surprised that a police officer shot one of the dogs this weekend.

The pit bull in question bit a woman on the arm, then charged at a Grand Forks police officer who came to the scene.

Brian Anvarinia has had two-year-old pit bull Syrus since he was five months old.

"When I walk him everybody wants to stop and pet him because he is all white, kind of a distinct looking dog and then sometimes they'll be petting him for five minutes and when they find out he's a pit bull then they pull back a little bit," Anvarinia said.

Anvarinia says, although pit bulls have a bad reputation, Syrus is pretty laid back. That's why he was surprised to hear about a pit bull getting shot by an officer in his neighborhood.

"I was very surprised. I mean, there are a few pit bulls around here and for the most part, all that I've met, they've all been very friendly," Anvarinia said.

Officers responded to the 700 block of 9th street after a call that someone had been bitten on the arm by a dog. The pit bull charged a responding officer, and the officer had to shoot, the police department said in a release issued Monday.

"Certainly you can never tell with any dog what a dog is going to do or how they're going to react to strangers. I would say pit bulls are quite commonly the dogs we deal with that are more aggressive in town. That's just from my experience," Sargeant Jason Dvorak said.

This is the second time Grand Forks officers have had to shoot a dog in the last few years because of attacks. Both dogs were pit bulls.

Some dog owners say it's all about the training.

"I think when you get a pit bull, you need to socialize it. That's kind of the main thing for that breed and other breeds too that are aggressive like that," dog owner Melissa Ramsay said.

Although some people may be scared of pit bulls, owners like Anvarinia are hoping to change perspectives.

"They're just dogs, same as any other dogs. They're friendly, aim to please, they're just happy dogs. It's all about how you raise and train them," Anvarinia said.

The pit bull that was shot was owned by Rosendo Lopez Jr., who was issued a citation for dog at large.

Police officers say shooting a dog is a last resort and they only do it if there is no other way to control the animal.

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