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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police shot and killed a dog after it attacked two people including its owner last night.

Stephen Bowen says police and EMS were outside waiting for him and his hospice nurse to take him to the hospital for treatment before the attack.

Bowen says when he and his nurse walked out of the front door, he grabbed the dog by the collar, which startled the dog. He also believes the lights of the ambulance scared his pet.

The dog then attacked Bowen and the nurse. When a police officer tried to help, The dog charged him, too. That’s when the officer shot the lab-hound mix.

“I can’t fault the police for what they did,” Bowen said. “They didn’t have much choice. I would have done things differently in hindsight, but wouldn’t we all.”

Bowen says if he had another minute to think, he would have left the dog upstairs.

He says he had plans to take the dog to classes to have him trained as a therapy dog.

Bowen says he is working with his doctors to adjust his chemotheapry now, so thinking about getting another dog would be a ways down the road.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said in a statement:”Officers are justified in using deadly force in order to defend themselves or a third person from what they reasonably believe to be use or imment use of deadly force. While this policy covers persons it can also be applied to vicious animals. We encourage our officers to use extreme caution when approaching or responding to vicious animal calls. While our officers are not trained to engage these animals our number one priority is protecting the public and ourselves.”

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