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SWAT officer shoots dog after serving search warrant

Police siren picture. (PHOTO: courtesy of Getty Images)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Police say a SWAT officer shot a dog Wednesday morning after the animal charged at officers who were serving a search warrant at a condemned home.

Officers executed the search warrant at 7005 W. Gates Ave. around 8 a.m. after the Salt Lake County Health Department condemned the home.

Police say people have been sneaking into the home and staying there. Additionally, there have been reports of weapons and drug activity.

Officers found six individuals inside the home, three of whom were arrested on outstanding warrants. Three others were cited for trespassing, West Valley police said.

At the conclusion of the search, a dog, believed to be a pit bull mix, broke free from its tie-up.

“And charged one of our officers,” said West Valley City police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku. “At that time the officer did use his weapon and the dog was struck by the weapon.”

The dog survived being shot.

“As far as the injuries are concerned, it was an injury that didn’t appear to be life-threatening, but would require medical care,” says Vainuku.

Animal control picked up the dog and took it to receive veterinary attention.

Police say harming an animal is always a last resort, but the officer in this situation acted according to proper protocol.

“When an officer is confronted with a situation as potentially dangerous as being attacked by a large dog, this is something that authorizes the use of deadly force,” Vainuku said.

It’s unknown if the dog belonged to the homeowner or one of the other individuals found inside.