Rochester, N.Y. - Rochester Police executing a warrant during a drug raid were confronted by 18 dogs suspected of being involved in a fighting ring. Police shot three of the dogs after one of them clamped down on the calf of an officer.
"As they went to make entry the dogs were terminated," says Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard. He says two of the dogs died, the third is being treated for gunshot wounds.
The officer was treated and released from the hospital.
Police were responding to repeated complaints about drug dealing at 134 Norton Street. They executed warrants on the upper and lower residences at 11:15 Tuesday. Undercover officers wearing face masks could be seen carrying out what appeared to be marijuana plants.
Chief Sheppard says officers confiscated other drugs.
"The purpose of the dogs is to protect the owner and their illegal property and at the same time it acts as an impediment to the officers and allows the suspects to destroy evidence," says Sheppard. He says it is police policy to take a dog out if it impedes an officer's ability to secure a scene.
"Its a question of safety. You're not goign to take time to put a noose on the dogs so that the owners of the home can destroy evidence...or tries to retrieve a weapon," says Chief Sheppard.
Seven of the 18 dogs at the location are puppies. The living dogs were taken to Rochester Animal Control and appear to be in good health. But police say there was evidence at the location to suggest dog fighting had been going on there.
One person was arrested at the home on a felony drug charge. The alleged dog fighting remains under investigation.