Williamson County deputy shoots dog to save couple from attack

A Williamson county deputy says he was forced to shoot and kill a dog that attacked a woman in North Austin.

The deputy says the full grown chow was just seconds away from attacking a second victim when he fired at it.

Deputy Jeramiah Ellison with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office was working overtime in the Rattan Creek subdivision at 8:45am Wednesday when he spotted a woman with deep wounds to her arm.

The woman told him she had just been attacked by a loose dog in the area. She was taken to St. David's in Round Rock with significant injuries.

"You see those in stabbing victims and shooting victims, not necessarily dog victims, but those were some serious wounds she received," said Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody.

Immediately after his interaction with the victim, Ellison, who is also a K9 officer, grabbed a leash from his car and started searching for the full grown Chow. He spotted the dog near a playground where two children were playing, approaching two people out walking their dog.

The deputy stepped in between the dog and the couple and tried to calm the animal, but was unsuccessful.

"Deputy Ellison has seen this before. He knew an attack was coming, the dog still comes forward growling, Deputy Ellison felt it was necessary, which we would agree... Deputy Ellison took two shots to put the dog down," Chody said.

The second couple was uninjured.

Deputies were able to track down the dog's owner, who claimed his Chow was stolen. A hole in his fence made deputies think there were other reasons the dog was loose.

"This was one of those unfortunate incidents where an owner didn't keep the dog secured the way it should have and, because of that, one of my deputies was forced to make a decision that he shouldn't have and this is the tragic result of that and we hate that it happened," said Chody.

Neighbors in the area were shaken by news of the aggressive animal loose near a playground.

"You can't predict what animals are going to do sometimes, especially when you don't see a person with them that can control them. That's nerve wracking," said Ashleigh Barcuch who lives in the Rattan Creek neighborhood.

Both the deputy involved and those who live nearby said they wish it didn't end the way it did, but they are also grateful it wasn't any worse

"He is a little distraught about the shooting, but, though a little distraught, he understands he had to do it to stop the attack of the next resident of the Rattan Creek area," Chody said.

"It's sad that that's how it had to happen, but I mean, it's good to know that they quickly responded and made a judgement and it was a good judgement in this case, I think," said Barcuch.

The Sheriff's office has contacted the DA to figure out what charges the dog's owner should face. Meanwhile, animal control will be testing the dog to make sure it hadn't been infected with rabies.

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