PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A pit bull is shot and killed by Portland police officer after it attacked a smaller dog and refused to let go.
And the pit bull's caretaker told KOIN 6 News Tuesday there was nothing she could do.
The smaller dog, a pomeranian mix named Simba, was on a leash on an afternoon walk with its owners when the pit attacked.
"The dog was biting our dog, and it was pulling it away," said Katie Yashenko, "and I accidentally dropped the leash and they kind of ran into the field."
Little Simba sits comfortably in his owners arms Tuesday night -- just hours after being in the mouth of another dog. That dog bit down on Simba's right ear and wouldn't let go.
Thirteen-year-old Katie Yashenko and her 10-year-old sister Victoria were out walking Simba near SE 136th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard around 3:15 p.m. That's when they say the pit bull, named "Villain," attacked.
Villain's caretaker, who does not want to be identified by last name, said she and another neighbor desperately tried to get Villain to let go.
"I broke sticks on his back," Claudia said. "...Nothing was working."
That's when police were called. At first officers tried using pepper spray, but to no avail. As a last resort an officer shot and killed the pit bull. The dog died instantly.
Neighbors said Villian, despite his name, was a kind and gentle dog who had showed no previous signs of aggression.
"Because he was my little pal, he followed me everywhere," said neighbor Jeanne through tears. "He had a big old smile he would look at you with. He was the nicest dog ever. He would never hurt nobody."
Claudia says Villain belongs to her ex-boyfriend -- and she holds no grudge against officers.
"They're animals," she said. "There's no way of seeing how they'll react."
She believes the deadly outcome was needed to save Katie Yashenko's pomeranian.
"I didn't think they were going to shoot it," the 13-year-old told KOIN 6 News. "I thought the dog would just stop when they sprayed the pepper spray, but it wouldn't."
Veterinarians say Simba will make a full recovery though he does have puncture wounds to his ear. But, in the process, police were called and said they had no choice but shoot to kill.
At this point no charges have been filed against the pit bull's owners.
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