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No McGruff: Stray dog takes a bite out of police at Shawmut station

Transit Police report an officer was chomped three times by a large dog at the Shawmut Red Line station around 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday.

Police say the officer, responding to a report of an unleashed dog running around inside the station found just that in the form of what appeared to be a German Shepherd mix.

he officer approached the dog to ascertain if there were any tags or other identifiers located on the dog. As the officer got close the dog suddenly lunged at the officer biting and maintaining that bite on the officers hand. The dog would go on the bite the officer two additional times while the officer fought the dog off. The officer determined lethal force was too risky based on other passengers in possible line of fire. Ultimately the officer fought the dog off and had to close the station and temporarily evacuate passengers.

A Transit K9 trainer arrived and managed to restrain the dog, which was ultimately handed over to Boston Animal Control for quarantine. The officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

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Comments

Hope it's minor injuries and both officer + pooch are ok.

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Voting closed 23

big sleep for the latter.

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Voting closed 7

The dog is now in our care at the Boston Animal Care & Control Shelter. He is not aggressive towards humans and likely was terrified after being abandoned.

Not to victim blame, but this is why when you see a loose dog you must practice extreme caution. Often these animals are very scared and are highly reactive. Call 311 and get an Animal Control Officer to help as they have the training and the tools to capture an animal without injury to the animal or people.

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Voting closed 49

The officer showed great restraint while being attacked. If he had shot the dog he would have been crucified by the public. As far as calling 311 the incident happened at 5:45 AM and the officer probably would have had to wait several hours before they showed up. The MBTA would have been mauled in the court of public opinion for shutting down a train station because a dog was on the loose.

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Voting closed 38

What a disappointing response completely ignoring what I stated and exposing tremendous ignorance of how animals work.

This was not a rabid animal, nor an aggressive one. The officer meant well but was attacked because he cornered a scared animal. By all reports, the animal was scared but not aggressive to anyone until it was cornered.

He was neither trained or equipped for this encounter and that is not his fault. This situation needed to be handled by the right people and was not.

Boston has two dedicated ACOs patrolling only the City of Boston 24/7. Our response time is excellent and rivals that of BPD emergency dispatch. But we also focus on animal-related cases and are not tasked with literally everything else like the police are.

So why am I replying to you at all? Well, this abandoned dog will now likely be put to sleep because he now has a bite history. Had the officer handled things differently this dog would have a chance at a new life.

It is a sad story for all involved. I sincerely hope you can see that and see both are victims here.

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Voting closed 60

Maybe things have changed, but when there was a coyote roaming my neighborhood (including my back yard) in Dorchester around 10 years ago on a Saturday morning, the cops told me that Animal Control was not available on weekends. They said all they could do was to monitor its movements around the neighborhood. And that's exactly what they did.

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Voting closed 19

Why would you call animal control?

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This was not a rabid animal, nor an aggressive one.

Any dog that bites or snaps (unless violently provoked) is an aggressive dog. That's where the bar is set.

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I’m sorry that’s simply asinine and frankly a dangerous attitude. Speak to anyone who works with animals and they will tell you that any dog can bite and will bite given the right circumstances.

Nearly all dog bites are the result of not reading a dog’s body language expressing stress and/or discomfort. Not the result of a “violent provocation”.

Most often it is children who are left alone with pets and who have not been taught properly. Your belief in some kind of clear delineation between aggressive and non-aggressive dogs is exactly why these bites are so common.

Rescues go to great lengths to assess a dog’s tolerance for mishandling and novel stimuli, precisely for this reason. You will see many rescues that stipulate that an animal should not go to homes with children due to a lower tolerance threshold. But make no mistake every dog may have a different tolerance to stressors but no animal is immune the instinct of self-preservation and will bite if it is triggered.

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Voting closed 44

Anything with a mouth can bite.

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Voting closed 19

That’s not showing great restraint. The dog saw that as aggression as frightened animals often do when approached by strangers.The officer was no doubt doing the best he could, he just made a mistake.

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You're missing the point, perhaps deliberately, or perhaps due to an incomprehension of what the phrase "victim blaming" means: to blame the victim, in this case, the police officer. The statement indicated a desire to NOT blame the police officer for anything, but to make the point that stray or abandoned dogs are often scared and reactive, and should not be approached by just anyone.

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Voting closed 19

I’m so glad the terrified dog wasn’t shot and killed. Praying they survive the quarantine. I will look into adapting this baby if no family turns up.

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Sadly, due to the animal now having a bite history he will likely need to be put to sleep. There’s a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which is due to state law.

We will work to give him the best possible care and love for the remainder of his time with us here at the shelter.

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Voting closed 30

Thank you and your colleagues for giving him good care.

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Voting closed 29

Only on UHub can a police officer get bit by a dog - 3 times - and capture him/her without harming the dog and then get blamed for how he/she handled it.
If it happened in a bike lane then this would’ve been worthy of 1000 comments but we didn’t get all the details

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Voting closed 31

Pointing out that something could have been handled better, that the ideal procedure (call a trained animal control staffer) is not the one that was used, does not constitute “blame.”

Unless of course you are of the belief that what every teacher or coach does every day is “blaming” his or her students or players.

The thin-skinned sensitivity to criticism on the part of police and their supporters simply boggles the imagination sometimes.

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Voting closed 37

This dog should not have been loose on the street alone and afraid. However the dog got out, that is what put the series of unfortunate events into motion.

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In your eagerness to cape for the police, you seem to be overlooking the fact that absolutely no one blamed the cop, for anything. Now get down off your high dudgeon before you get a nosebleed.

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Voting closed 19

Release the officers body cam video and let the public see who was the aggressor and who was the victim.

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Good boy. Also, glad the officer reconsidered opening fire on a dog in a very public transit station.

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Voting closed 17

"Why didn't they just shoot the dog in the leg?"

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