A New York City police officer shot a dog whoÂ apparently snapped at him in a sad scene onÂ a busy ManhattanÂ street.
The dog is reportedly clinging to life afterÂ the shooting, which occurred on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 14th Street in theÂ East Village neighbourhood on Monday.
Officers responded to the corner on a reportÂ of a sick man, and found a homeless individual in front of a KFC there, whoÂ appeared to have had a seizure.
But as the officers tried to wake him, a dogÂ — which witnesses said belonged to the man — began growling at them.
Despite earlier reports that the pit bull wasÂ killed, the animal, whose name is reportedly Star, is clinging to life at AnimalÂ Care & Control in the East Harlem neighbourhood.
The man was not identified, but those at theÂ scene toldÂ DNAInfo.com that he was a drifterÂ from Poland, who often hung out on the corner with the dog.
While some witnesses said that the officerÂ was only defending himself, others accused the officer of using excessiveÂ force.
One onlooker, who wished not toÂ beÂ identified, toldÂ Gothamist that officers had sprayedÂ mace or pepperÂ spray at the pit bull before the shot rang out.
Aida Feliciano, who lives nearby, told the New YorkÂ Daily News that the manÂ was kicked by officers, prompting the dog to become defensive of itsÂ owner.
She said: ‘Instead of calling the ambulance,Â they started kicking him.’
Another witness told NY1: ‘I talked to theÂ cop afterwards. He was very shaken up. He’s a dog lover and it ruined his week,Â if not his year. And he did what he had to do to protect himself.’
Source: The Daily Mail