Police officers were forced to shoot and kill a pit bull that attacked a Martins Ferry woman who later was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment.
Officers responded to a call at about 4:20 p.m. Saturday at 806 Carlisle St., where Sharon West, 54, had been severely bitten by a neighbor's pit bull. Paramedics were first on the scene. Officer Chad Kuhn was next to arrive followed shortly by Officer George Shreve.
According to the officers, West was letting her small dog out when the pit bull in a neighbor's yard broke free of its chain, ran into West's yard and chased the small dog under the porch. West chased the pit bull away and went to retrieve her dog from underneath the porch. The pit bull returned and bit West on the calf of her right leg.
When officers arrived, they said the dog was hovering over the victim and began to turn toward Officer Shreve. Kuhn and Shreve formed a triangle formation with both officers firing one shot each. Shreve hit the dog in the shoulder and Kuhn hit the head, killing the animal.
West was taken by ambulance to Ohio Valley Medical Center and later flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital where she required surgery on her leg. West's husband also was bitten by the dog, but the extent of his injuries were not known.
"This is the worst dog bite I have ever seen," Kuhn said. "If we would not have done something, the situation could have been far worse."
Shreve said the dog's body will be sent for testing, and the matter has been turned over the to Belmont County Prosecutor's Office for possible charges.