A New Castle police officer fatally shot a dog that attacked him Wednesday evening.
The incident took place shortly before 8 p.m. in an alley behind a home at 1006 N. Beaver St. The resident, Loretta Bartberger, owned the dog.
Animal Control Officer Thomas Wharry responded to the intersection of Edison and Jefferson streets shortly after 7:30 p.m., where he was flagged down by a neighbor. The man told Wharry that two dogs had tried to attack him as he walked down the alley.
When Wharry entered the alley to investigate, the two dogs ran at him and tried to attack. After Wharry hit the dogs, they ran into the back yard at 1006 N. Beaver. Another neighbor told him that that was where the dogs lived.
A dog license found in the alley confirmed Bartberger as the owner, and she was contacted and instructed to return home to confine the animals.
In the meantime, Wharry said, the dogs left the yard and tried to attack other people in the area. Another neighbor said the dogs had attacked his chihuahua.
When two other New Castle officers arrived on the scene, the dogs again returned to their yard, but continued to charge Wharry periodically, each time stopping about seven feet from him.
Eventually, the officers were told by the Lawrence County 911 Center — which had located and contacted Bartberger — that she was walking up to the scene from Park Avenue. When one officer left to pick her up and bring her back, one of the dogs charged the other officer.
This time, though, the dog dig not break off its attack and the officer fired two 12-gauge buck shot rounds to stop it.
Shortly thereafter, Bartberger arrived and was told to confine the remaining dog. She reportedly told the officers that her dogs “don’t do that.” She was informed that if the dog attacked anyone else, it would be destroyed.
Bartberger was cited for dogs running at large, and her residence was placed on the disorderly house list. She also was told that the chihuahua owner would be bringing his veterinarian bill to her.
This isn’t the first time Bartberger has faced animal-related violations, including animal mess, failure to have rabies vaccinations and dog licenses, and several dogs at large citations.