The owner of a pit bull mix euthanized her dog after it was shot by a Coral Springs police officer when it acted aggressively toward him.
Officers were called Monday to the area of the 3500 block of NW 114 Lane, where they wrangled another dog running around the neighborhood, the Coral Springs Police Department said.
When the officer brought the dog back to where neighbors say it belonged, the officer said he encountered an "aggressive" dog, a white and brown pit bull mix, outside of the owner's front door.
Police say the dog charged at the officer, growled and showed its teeth. The officer tried to back away -- and when the dog charged again, the officer fired one shot at the dog, hitting it below the eye.
"You just heard a bang and barking, and that was it," said Lonnie Diles, a neighbor who heard the gunshot. "That dog's not vicious or nothing like that. It's a little dog, maybe 25 to 30 pounds. It doesn't do nothing, it just barks."
The injured dog was taken to Coral Springs Animal Hospital, where the owner decided to put her down.
"She didn’t attack him or anything, but since she started barking and jumping, I guess he got scared and then he shot her in the face," owner Julissa Santos said of her dog, who was named Juicy. "She ran back to my house, there was blood everywhere."
Coral Springs police said in a statement that the department recently experienced a similar incident where the officer was bitten by a dog and had to be hospitalized. They are urging people to secure and leash pets for everyone's safety.
"I just want to raise awareness," Santos was emotional when she spoke to NBC 6. "There's many ways, less lethal ways they could have used."