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Owner of pit bull that was shot by police is charged

April 10, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Officer Georgia Martin on Monday filed charges against the owner of a pit bull that attacked one Waynesboro police officer and chased another before being fatally shot last Thursday morning.

Kyle Ditch, 24, of 46 N. Potomac St., Waynesboro, has been charged with (lack of) confinement and not maintaining a valid license for the dog.

Each violation carries fines up to $300 and restitution, said Magisterial District Judge Larry Pentz, whose Washington Township, Pa., office processed the charges Monday afternoon.

Police allege the dog bit Cpl. John Shindledecker when police responded to a call at 7:06 a.m. Thursday at 25 N. Grant St. Several people reportedly sought safety in their vehicles when chased by the dog.

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The dog, which was shot several times by police, had a current rabies vaccination and tested negative for the disease, according to Martin.

"The Waynesboro Police Department found the owner," Martin said.

She described it as "an unusual circumstance," saying it had also happened several years ago in Greencastle, Pa.

In Martinsburg, W.Va., in February, several Berkeley County Sheriff's deputies squared off with a pit bull who eventually was subdued by a Taser dart gun and was hog-tied by deputies. The dog was not killed and was eventually spared by Berkeley County's Nuisance Appeal Board.

Although pit bulls have been criticized for aggression, Martin said dogs of any breed can be dangerous under certain circumstances.

"When a dog is running at large and leaves the owner's property, it's an animal and you can never tell how the animal is going to act," she said.

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