Dog days for Alachua cops

Published: Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 12:05 a.m.

An officer with the city of Alachua Police Department, who had been called out to a report of a dog killing a neighbor's cat, shot at dogs that charged at him last week, the agency reported.

The case was the second incident in which the law enforcement agency's officers have fired at a dog they reported tried to attack them.

In another case in October, two dogs attacked Alachua police officers who were investigating a fight and were trying to speak to a suspect in the case. A gun was fired during the dog attack, but the dogs weren't hit.

One officer used a Taser on one dog. The county's Animal Services office did not have a history showing any problem with the dogs.

The most recent case occurred Christmas Eve at a home in the 11500 block of NW 145th Terrace. Officer Jeff Boyd reported three dogs charged at him after the resident had gone back into the home. He tried to back away but, when they were close enough to attack, he fired one shot, hitting one of the dogs that later died, police said.

Watch groups: An alert neighbor who thwarted a residential burglary attempt over the weekend has deputies touting neighborhood watch groups.

The resident spotted people crawling through a window of a neighbor's home in the 1600 block of SE 41st Avenue early Sunday and called 911. Alachua County sheriff's deputies arrived, surrounded the home and made four arrests in connection with the case.

The four arrested, three juveniles and an adult, may be connected to other area burglaries, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Art Forgey.

The case spotlights how residents can help prevent crime in their own neighborhoods. To start a neighborhood watch group, contact Deputy Leo Lowe at (352) 367-4043.

Animal fighting: A tip line now is available for Floridians to report complaints about animal fighting, the Florida Attorney General's Office reported.

The toll-free tip line was first set up in Georgia by The Humane Society of the United States and the Atlanta-based corporate security firm Norred & Associates Inc. after the Michael Vick case, in which the NFL star pleaded guilty for involvement in a dogfighting ring. The line now is being expanded to the Sunshine State to help stop dogfighting and cockfighting in Florida.

Floridians can report animal fighting and be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000 by calling the society's tip line at 877-847-4787.

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