CROWN POINT | Two dogs that behaved aggressively toward officers were fatally shot by police Wednesday, officials said.
A woman called 911 to report dogs dragged her cat down a nearby creek bank and were cornering her husband, who had gone to retrieve the cat, Chief Pete Land said in a prepared statement.
The caller originally described the dogs as "wolves," Land said. Officers at the scene at first thought they were large-sized coyotes, based on their appearance and behavior, Land said.
The dogs' coats were dirty and muddied, and they were not wearing collars and tags, Land said.
It later was determined they were Siberian huskies.
Officers at first dispensed pepper spray on both animals and tried to scare them away from the immediate area, Land said.
When each dog began to circle toward the officer and the cat owner, an officer, believing he was in danger of being attacked, shot one of the dogs, Land said.
The second dog continued trying to attack the cat while the owner tried to protect it, Land said.
"The second dog was also shot due its continued aggressiveness towards the officers and owner," Land said.
Both dogs were killed.
Brad Nitz and Lindsay Schild, the dogs' owners, said the two female Huskies were "super sweet, loving and friendly," and there had been no other instances of aggressive behavior.
Schild said she and Nitz obtained the dogs, named Atka and Kenai, about three years ago when the animals were about a year old.
The dogs had been staying with a relative in the Liberty Park neighborhood of Crown Point when the shootings occurred Wednesday afternoon, Schild said. Neither she, Nitz nor the relative witnessed it, Schild said.
Schild said she doesn't want the dogs' deaths to be in vain.
"I'm going to do everything in my power to try to get something changed so people become more aware of huskies. I want to get something out there so this doesn't happen again," Schild said.
Land said officers did all they could to deter the dogs.
"The absolute last resort was to have to shoot either dog," said Land, adding one of the police responders is a department K-9 officer.