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Last updated on Friday, May 10, 2013
(MONTPELIER) - A Montpelier police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of a pit bull last month that sparked public outcry.
Special police Officer Chad Blakely fatally shot Ozzy, a pit bull he said charged at him and several children on April 21.
Blakely was flagged down by a church bus driver who said the dog was running loose and intimidating children and they were trying to get on the bus, police said.
When Blakely tracked down the dog, he said it was acting aggressively and refusing to respond to verbal commands.
He tried to use a chemical spray on the dog, but when the dog continued to charge, the officer opened fire, killing the animal, police said.
"After a thorough investigation and statements from witnesses, Officer Blakely's actions were justified," the department said in a statement Thursday. "It is indeed unfortunate that the owner could not keep the dog restrained as required and the dog had to suffer the consequences."
Police said after the dog was shot, neighbors came forward to say the dog had threatened others on numerous occasions.
Ozzy's owner, Heather White, who maintains the dog was attempting to drag himself to safety when he was shot, began a Facebook page asking people to sign a petition for more animal training for police officers.
Police said the department has learned from the incident.
"This incident has raised some important issues, and the Montpelier Police Department will review their procedures and policies with regard to future animal control issues," the statement read.
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