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Mass. officer accidently shot while battling pit bull

By Maria Cramer
The Boston Globe

P-1 Editor's Note --

When it comes to "dangerous breeds" and dog attacks, the type of force you use to subdue it depends on the situation.

(AP /Robert A. Martin, Pool)

Street Survival instructor Jim Glennon puts it this way: "If you know there will be an animal there ahead of time, bring tranquilizer rounds or rubber pellets. But if you're going to a house for a drug raid and an animal lunges at you, it's probably been trained to kill, so you'd use lethal force."

There are special considerations for using Taser on a dog. From the Taser web site: "The Advanced TASER is not specifically recommended for use against animals as its main function. The main reason is that the Advanced TASER was created for 'human nervous systems' not animals. Moreover, the Advanced TASER is designed to hit a standing vertical target which most animals are not. The shot would have to be altered and somehow aimed at the side of the animals where the wide center of mass is located and most animals don't attack from the side. Also, animals tend to recover very quickly compared to humans when hit by TASERs." That said, Taser has on occasion been used to successfully subdue a pit bull.

: Kicks, baton strikes and pepper spray are largely ineffective.

LYNN, Mass. — A Lynn police officer was accidentally shot in the leg by another officer yesterday as they subdued and captured a pit bull terrier at a house where police were pursuing suspected car thieves.

The injured officer, a six-year veteran of the police department, was attacked by the dog after he and other officers tried to subdue the animal with rubber projectiles.

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