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Pitbull Shot and Killed Through Police Kill Order

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By Clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

UNION CITY, Tenn. - A kill order was issued and carried out by Union City Police, garnering praise from some and concern by others.

Chief Perry Barfield says a vicious pitbull had been roaming the streets of the city for more than a month. He says the animal never attacked anyone but says the department and Animal Control felt they had to act before that changed.

The order was carried out behind the Save-A-Lot in Union City in a field. Those who live near said they heard the shots. Others said they actually saw the animal get shot. One of those residents was Elanor Payne.

"It was a loud 'pow' like a firecracker," Payne said. "That's what I thought it was."

Inside the city limits, dogs are required by law to be leashed. Officers said this particular dog would charge at them. They said its lack of human contact made it a danger to them and the community.

"To protect the citizens of Union City, especially children, it was the only route we had to go," Animal Control Officer Elizabeth Myatt said. "I'm sorry it happened but it had to."

The pitbull had no known owner and was fed by those living in the East Side Apartments. "The dog was really never an issue around here ," Oscar Garcia said.

Ventrelle Noonan says he feels a sense of loss without the dog he's used to seeing. "Saw it everyday, non aggressive. I'm scared of dogs myself and it didn't bother anybody," Noonan said.

Chief Barfield says choosing to kill the dog was not an easy decision, but a necessary one. "A lesson learned for everyone. If you have a dog that's aggressive something needs to be done with the animal," he said.

Kill orders, according to Barfield, are a very last resort.