Wednesday, 29 May 2024

REGIONAL: Animal control officers attacked by pit bulls, one dog killed

MENDOCINO COUNTY – Two Mendocino animal control officers responding to a report of vicious pit bull dogs chasing people last week were themselves victims of an attack by the animals, one of which was killed.

Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported that last Friday at 11 a.m. Mendocino County Sheriff's Dispatch Center received a 911 telephone call regarding vicious pit dogs chasing people in the area of Laughlin Way and North State Street in Redwood Valley.

Senior Animal Control Officer George Hodgson and Torsten Werner, a reserve officer with the agency, responded to the location and encountered two blue nose pit bulls behind the Blacklocks Building in Redwood Valley.

Smallcomb said the two dogs immediately attacked Hodgson and Werner. Werner was injured when he was bitten on the hands and in the groin area.

Hodgson had to use his service weapon and strike one of the pit bulls to prevent any further injury to either officers or the people in the area, Smallcomb said. The second dog was captured and taken to the Mendocino County Animal Shelter.

Werner was transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center for dog bite injuries. He was treated at the hospital and eventually released, Smallcomb said.

Numerous neighbors in the area were frightened by the animals and were in fear of their safety, Smallcomb said. Several witnesses advised that if the officers had not responded they would have had to shoot the dogs.

Smallcomb said it was the first time in nine years that Hodgson had to use his authorized duty weapon to incapacitate a vicious dog.

He said Hodgson has been employed as a animal control officer for Mendocino County for the past nine years. He recently was brought in to conduct an investigation into a Lake County Animal Care and Control officer's horse neglect case, as Lake County News has reported.

Werner is a reserve animal control officer for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. Smallcomb said Werner has volunteered over 250 hours.

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