Ohio Police Officer Fatally Shoots A ‘Playful’ Dog: Was The Cop In Danger?

Mike GrollMike Groll

Moments after hearing that her dogs had escaped from her yard, Morgan Furry was informed that the family pit bull, named China, had been shot and killed by a frightened police officer.

Josh Tenney, a local cop, claims that the dogs — three in total, including China — were charging toward him, with China showing signs that she was going to attack him.

Tenney was responding to a nearby resident’s complaint that three dogs were on the loose in Alliance, Ohio.

But Morgan Furry believes officer Tenney reacted prematurely and that her beloved China was, in fact, being playful, not aggressive.

Video footage, captured by officer Tenney’s bodycam shows the cop summoning the dogs towards him.

“Come here, puppy, come here,” Tenney calls.

At the time, the three dogs — two Pit Bulls and a Rottweiler — were sniffing around a car wash and barking. Tenney can be heard coaxing them again.

“Come here, hey, hey!”

That’s when all three dogs started running toward the officer, who believed that the animals were aggressively charging. As China takes the lead, one of the other dogs nudges her out of the way. But the pit bull continues to run at Tenney, who then reacts by opening fire.

A moment later, the body cam shows China — a former winner of the Coastal Products Pet Show — lying still in the distance, rapidly dying.

A police officer in Ohio has shot and killed a dog that he claims charged at him and was captured on his body camera
Poughkeepsie police officer Justin Bruzgul training a pit bull as a crime-fighting, drug-sniffing police dog, a move experts believe will counter the stereotypical image of the dog as a dangerous breed. [Image by Mike Groll/AP Images]Featured image credit: Mike GrollMike Groll

Meanwhile, Furry had alerted her fiancee, Mark, to the fact that their dogs had managed to slip under their perimeter fence and were on the loose. According to Furry, Mark “immediately got in the car and went to go look for them.”

As reported by the Daily Mail, Morgan had allegedly also made a call to the police, to report the rogue animals.

“So I told Mark, ‘hey go get them they were just spotted on Salzburg about 5 minutes ago’.”

China’s owner is now demanding answers from authorities as to why her pet was killed.

“I don’t understand why the police officer got out of the car and approached three dogs he didn’t know. They would have been fine until Mark got there.”

Moreover, Furry says that she will find it very difficult to explain to her children that their beloved China has passed on.

“How do you explain to your three-year-old that your dog is not coming home,” Furry said, apparently overcome with grief.

As the dog advances the officer resorts in shooting the pup - named China and a winner of the Coastal Products Pet Show - down, killing it
Kids belonging to the YMCA get a demonstration on how to approach and be safe around dogs like pit bull "Lucy." [Image by Amanda Lee Myers/AP Images]Featured image credit: Amanda Lee MyersAmanda Lee Myers

Nevertheless, after reviewing the bodycam footage, authorities investigating the incident determined that officer Tenney acted appropriately under the circumstances.

According to Sergeant Michael Yarian of Alliance police department, “[Tenney] did not have any other choice. The chief said he was within policy.”

Stark County Dog Warden Jon Barber said, “No officer puts their uniform on in the morning, planning to go in and kill something that day.”

Local authorities confirmed they had been informed that in 2014, China, the pit bull, was allegedly involved in an attack. They are also currently looking into the possibility that one of Furry’s dogs was responsible for an attack on a 63-year-old man in March this year.

[Featured Image by Mike Groll/AP Images]