A pit bull named Mister, which got loose on Sunday, survives a bullet shot by a Menlo Park police officer, who says the dog charged at him. George Kiriyama reports.
"Mister" the pit bull came within centimeters of certain death after he was hit with a bullet.
A Menlo Park police officer shot the dog near his right eye and the bullet exited right below his ear. X-rays show the bullet left fragments in his head.
"I don't know if I would have been able to shot in the face and come home the same day," Richelle Nice, Mister's owner, said from her living room couch in Menlo Park on Wednesday.
Mister and another pit bull owned by Nice managed to get loose early Sunday morning and they eventually made their way to Maricela Aguilar's home in the 1200 block of Carlton Avenue, just two doors down from the Nice residence. Aguilar's mother was in the driveway and was getting ready to go to work when the two dogs chased her back into her house.
"She was shaking," Aguilar said. "She was very, very nervous."
The Aguilars called 911 and when police officers arrived at their home, they spotted the two pit bulls. They were barking and growling. Police say that's when Mister charged at them. Both officers fired their guns. One bullet hit Mister in the head. Officers say Mister hit the ground and then got back up. Mister and the other dog ran back home.
"The whole right side of his face from his nose all over was covered in blood all the way down," Nice said.
Nice rushed "Mister" over to the South Peninsula Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Palo Alto where doctors immediately began to clean the wound.
"He's very lucky," Dr. Susan MacInnes, a veterinarian, said. "If it had been a little bit further in the middle of the eye it would have gone in into his skull and into his brain."
If that happened, Mister would more than likely not have survived. Nice is upset the officers chose to use their guns.
"You have a baton, you have mace, you have a car. Get in your car and call the Humane Society and sit there until they get here," Nice said.
Menlo Park police say an internal investigation is underway. The officers in the shooting will not be placed on administrative leave because it involved an animal, not a person.
Nice says she's going to do a better job of keeping her dogs on her property.
"I will not give Menlo Park Police Department another opportunity to shoot my dog ever again," Nice sai. "I will make sure they don't get out".