Philadelphia police shoot pitbull that attacked, killed smaller dog walking with owner

Police in Philadelphia shot and killed a stray pitbull after investigators say it attacked another dog and its owner while they were out for a morning walk.

Chief Inspector Scott Small said officers were called to South Dover Street around 4 a.m. for reports of a "vicious dog" and two dogs fighting in the street. 

Officers found a dead dog on the side of the road and its 67-year-old owner struggling to hold down the pit bull as he was being bitten and scratched. 


Small said an officer was bitten when he tried to help the man control the dog. That's when investigators say two officers shot and killed the pitbull. 

The officer was taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital for treatment. The owner also suffered bite marks, but was not immediately hospitalized. 

"This all happened right in front of the home where the dog lived with the 67-year-old owner," Small said. 

Jeff Burger is the owner of the small dog and is devastated over the incident. He said Belinda came into his life nearly six years ago after she was discovered in a box in Nicetown. 

"She was very friendly," said Burger. "Everybody in the neighborhood loved her. We’d even take her to the coffee shop. I would walk her around the neighborhood. I would take her to the post office, and she loved being walked"

Burger said Belinda was wearing a leash and collar, but the pit bull had neither. He’s now urging dog owners to be observant over their dogs and to always keep them on a leash. 

Police said the dog could be a stray, but Burger and his neighbors suspect it belonged to someone in the area.

"It may not be the dog’s fault. It’s the owners that train dogs or don’t train them. Some dogs are trained to kill," said Burger.