A New York City police officer shot a dog who  apparently snapped at him in a sad scene on  a busy Manhattan  street.

The dog is reportedly clinging to life after  the shooting, which occurred on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 14th Street in the  East Village neighbourhood on Monday.

Officers responded to the corner on a report  of a sick man, and found a homeless individual in front of a KFC there, who  appeared to have had a seizure.

But as the officers tried to wake him, a dog  — which witnesses said belonged to the man — began growling at them.

The dog then leapt up at the officer, who  fired one shot, striking the dog in the head as terrified bystanders looked  on.

Despite earlier reports that the pit bull was  killed, the animal, whose name is reportedly Star, is clinging to life at Animal  Care & Control in the East Harlem neighbourhood.

The man was not identified, but those at the  scene told  DNAInfo.com that he was a drifter  from Poland, who often hung out on the corner with the dog.

While some witnesses said that the officer  was only defending himself, others accused the officer of using excessive  force.

One onlooker, who wished not to  be  identified, told  Gothamist that officers had sprayed  mace or pepper  spray at the pit bull before the shot rang out.

Aida Feliciano, who lives nearby, told the New York  Daily News that the man  was kicked by officers, prompting the dog to become defensive of its  owner.

She said: ‘Instead of calling the ambulance,  they started kicking him.’

Another witness told NY1: ‘I talked to the  cop afterwards. He was very shaken up. He’s a dog lover and it ruined his week,  if not his year. And he did what he had to do to protect himself.’

Source: The Daily Mail


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