Officers with Bay St. Louis police fatally shot a German Shepherd on Saturday night, Chief Gary Ponthieux said.
Around 7:30 p.m., officers responded to the 600 block of Spanish Acres Drive in response to three separate 911 calls reporting two large German Shepherd dogs on the loose. Ponthieux said the callers reported that the dogs were being aggressive toward other animals and residents in the area.
Police officers and an on-call Animal Control officer responded to the scene and observed both dogs displaying signs of aggression by charging at the officers, Ponthieux said.
Officers used pepper spray in an attempt to deter the aggressive behavior of the dogs, and they were able to secure one dog in a patrol vehicle, Ponthieux said.
The second dog made several aggressive charges toward the officers, during which one officer fired a single shot fatally wounding the dog, the chief said.
The dog secured by officers was released to its owners after they arrived to the scene. The dog that was killed was taken to the Hancock County Animal Shelter by the animal control officer.
Ponthieux said Sunday the Bay St. Louis Police administration met with the dog owners and other family members. Details of the incident along with body cam footage were reviewed by the family, the chief said.
"The department's administration has thoroughly reviewed this incident and concluded that the officer was justified in his actions," Ponthieux said. "While the loss of a family's dog is always regretful, the safety of our officers and citizens must remain paramount."