Animal Control officer shoots pit bull


A pit bull was shot on Saturday morning by a Tucumcari animal control officer after the dog tried to attack him, Police Chief Larry Ham said.

Animal Control Officer Mike Martinez came into contact with the dog when he responded to a call about a dog growling and barking at a woman outside of her house on Max Street, Ham said.

Martinez arrived at the woman’s house, got out of his truck and the dog tried to attack him, Ham said.

Martinez fended off the dog with his control stick and quickly got back into his vehicle, Ham said.

It was at that time that Martinez “felt the animal was a danger to himself and the public and he had to shoot the dog,” Ham said.

The dog was injured by the gun shot and later put down by Animal Control, Ham said.

Ham said the dog was shot during Martinez’ response to a second complaint that morning about the same pit bull. The dog was owned by Dean Billings, according to police reports.

Billings could not be reached for comment.

Earlier on Saturday morning, Martinez had responded to a complaint about two pit bulls at large in the 1500 block of South Adams. Martinez followed the dogs to the Billings residence. Billings was warned at that time about letting the dogs roam by the animal control officer, Ham said.

When Martinez responded to the second call, he recognized the dog as one of the two pit bulls he had followed to Billings house, Ham said,

After the dog was shot, the dog ran back to Billings’ house. At that time, Martinez went to Billings’ house and spoke with him about the dog, Ham said.

Billings then signed a waiver giving ownership of the dog over to Tucumcari Animal Control, he said.

Animal Control then disposed of the dog, Ham said.