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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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7 Comments on "Owner ‘can’t fault police’ after dog shot and killed"

eddie hartman
2015 years 10 months ago

k keep your negative thoughts to yourself KMA

2015 years 10 months ago

Maybe it’s just me, but one of the responsibilities of human beings is to treat others with compassion. The man has cancer. The man is undergoing treatments and you want to bash him for not following through with his plan to get the dog trained.

Maybe it’s just me, but his fight for his life takes priority over getting the dog trained.

2015 years 10 months ago

Mr. Bowens with all due respect it wasn’t the dog or the officers fault – you are right about that. if there is any blame to be laid anywhere it is with you for not taking care to train the dog. I understand you are sick and have a hospice nurse but I am sure this isn’t the first time you or the nurse has been around the dog. Had planned??? If you followed thru you wouldn’t have been attacked nor the nurse or the officer who felt the need to shoot the dog. I am sorry but the only one I feel bad for is the dog…..maybe it’s just me but one of the responsibilities of dog ownership is being able to CONTROL your pet by voice or sign commands.

2015 years 10 months ago

Wow, you are being unduly harsh to a man who not only just lost his pet, but who is battling cancer? Have you not heard of flashing light induced seizures? 3 D movies and Japanese anime have been known to induce seizures in human beings. Take a dog trained or untrained, and I bet you five dollars that police sirens and flashing lights would induce a fit of epic proportions. The dog reacted to an unduly harsh environment, I don’t think any sort of training would have stopped that.

Sir, my condolences to the loss of your precious pet.

Jillane S Kent
2015 years 10 months ago

Very harsh, indeed. Tank lived with him for only a month but brought great joy to his life. His dog snapped his lead and had a negative response to the ambulance lights and sounds. To blame this man, a man who has struggled to fight his cancer for over two years, is beyond the pale.

joe citizen
2015 years 10 months ago

Wow Ralph! Way to speak from the heart…or pre prepared statement written by Linda Rawley…who just quoted the state’s use of force law.

2015 years 10 months ago

So OK, where are all the “so called” dog/animal lovers that were on here the other day??


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