EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 1, 2013

UPDATE: Dog shot to death this morning was a Shar-Pei, not a pitbull

LAWRENCE — A city patrolman shot a dog to death this morning after it charged him repeatedly, according to police.

According to a memo of the incident from Lawrence Sgt. Joseph Beaulieu to Police Chief John Romero, Patrolman Eric Cerullo "needed to shoot and kill a pitbull ... for his own safety" at around 8:15 a.m.

Animal Control Officer Ellen Bistany said the dog that was killed was not a pitbull. She said it was a Chinese Shar-pei, a 60-pound dog that can be aggressive and is sometimes used for fighting.

Sgt. Beaulieu said in the memo on the incident that at around 5 a.m., police got a call from a man at 28 Summer St. who said he was stuck in his car with his daughter and couldn't get out because a dog that he thought was a pitbull was trying to attack them.

Officer Cerullo went to the scene and was able to distract the dog so that the man and his daughter could get out of their car and enter their home. He said that during that encounter, the dog charged him several times. Further, he said he was unable to locate the owner.

About three hours later, at around 8:15 a.m., Cerullo was called again to the same address because the dog was trying to attack another person, according to Beaulieu's memo.

Animal Control Officer Bistany was notified, and Cerullo waited at the scene for her to arrive. He cleared a parking area of bystanders while also attempting to locate the dog's owner.

Cerullo said that as he was watching the dog, it charged him several times, and at one point, got within a few feet of him.

"At this time, Off. Cerullo, with his department issued firearm, fired approximately 3-4 shots at the pitbull, striking him," Beaulieu said.

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