Pasadena, Maryland

From the Maryland Gazette of October 24, 2007

Investigator shoots pit bull in Pasadena

Ryan Scott knew his dog was going to die when he held him in his arms yesterday morning.

The Pasadena man came home on his lunch break to let his 7 month-old pit bull, Hershey, outside. Within a few moments, the dog would be shot by a man identified as a Social Security investigator after the animal got loose.

“I picked him up and I knew he was going to die,” Mr. Scott said.

Cpl. Mark Shawkey, county police spokesman, said officers who arrived at Mr. Scott’s home on Colony Road at just after 11 a.m. found a official from the Office of the Inspector General.

He told them he was investigating a Social Security case. They did not release his name last night.

The investigator told police he warned the person who answered the door several times to call the dog and that the animal chased after him.

Police said the animal, which weighed 50 to 60 pounds, was shot at very close range, with the shot fired almost straight down. No charges have been filed.

Dorothy Clark, spokesman for the Social Security Administration, said yesterday afternoon that her office had not been informed of the incident. She was unable to say if anyone from the Office of Inspector General was in Pasadena yesterday. The office investigates cases where a Social Security number is fraudulently used to obtain benefits.

Mr. Scott said he wasn’t outside when the dog was shot. Hershey, seeing company coming to call, was excited and jumped up on the inspector playfully, he said.

Both Mr. Preissler and Mr. Scott argue that if the inspector had time to call off the dog, there was no need to shoot him.

“Obviously he wasn’t in imminent danger,” Mr. Preissler said.

Mr. Scott’s sister had called the dog, who was running back toward the house with his back to the inspector, Mr. Scott said.

“He definitely made the wrong call. The dog wasn’t even doing nothing,” he said.

Mr. Scott said that he thought pit bulls get a bad reputation, but he has two others and doesn’t worry about the baby his girlfriend is carrying being around the dogs.

“I believe because he was a pit, they shot him,” Mr. Scott said.

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