A dog shot and killed by state troopers Sunday was acting aggressively toward humans and causing a traffic hazard, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
Trooper Robert Kunsman, of the Ebensburg barracks, said state police received 23 calls about the dog, which was "laying along the road" on Route 36. Kunsman said numerous motorists stopped for the dog, but it acted aggressively toward all of them.
One caller, a man who remained on scene until police arrived, said the dog had been carrying a raccoon in its mouth, which may have bitten it, Kunsman said. Troopers found a wound on the dog's leg and saw that its eyes were red and bloodshot, indicating some kind of brain trauma, he said.
Ellen Whited of Gallitzin Township told the Mirror on Thursday that she stopped for the dog and that it did not act aggressively toward her. She said she was asked to leave by police, who she said threatened to arrest her, and then shot the dog once she left the scene.
"I sat there. The dog was fine as long as everybody left it alone," Whited said. "There was no aggression."
Whited said she would have taken the dog in and cared for it, if allowed.
Kunsman said police officers were forced to shoot the dog after attempting to corral it because it was so aggressive. It "started to bark at them showed them its teeth numerous times," he said.
Parts of the roadway was shut down because "it would not stay off the road," Kunsman said. The dog's body was pulled into the woods so that passing motorists would not have to see it.
Kunsman said state troopers deal with numerous calls about dogs and that killing them is a last resort.
"We're not in the business of just going and shooting a dog," he said.