New York cop shoots dog as it guards stricken owner - video
Graphic video shows police officer firing on pit bull as it rushed him
SHOCKING video of New York police shooting a dog as it tried to protect its unconscious owner has been posted on the internet. The footage shows the animal, apparently called Star, snapping at a bystander before running at a police officer.
As the pit bull nears the officer he shoots it with his pistol, and another policeman appears to fire mace, and the animal slides along the street. It then lies writhing in the road.
The footage was posted on the website Gothamist, which spoke to eyewitnesses. One said that the dog's owner, believed to be a homeless man, had suffered a seizure and was lying on the pavement. The animal was standing guard over him, growling at anyone who got too close.
Despite being shot, the dog reportedly survived and is being treated at an animal welfare centre. It's owner, named as Lech Stankiewicz, was described as a drifter who was well known in the area and had problems with drink and drugs. He was wanted by police and was arrested after being taken to hospital.
Witnesses, and commenters on internet message boards, were split in their opinions of the police officer’s actions. Some felt the police had used excessive force, but others said they would have done the same if they were attacked by a pit bull.