On Friday, October 25, 2019, at 4:52 p.m., Riverside Police received many 911 calls reporting a loose German shepherd on the 400 block of Uvedale Road. The initial caller said he observed the Shepherd walking without its owner in and out of yards and that he feared for his safety as the animal was acting aggressive as it wandered on the 300-400 blocks of Uvedale.
When the first police officer arrived, the animal took an aggressive stance and began to growl and bark upon the officer's arrival. The second responding officer arrived and they attempted to get a dog retrieval pull and capture the animal, which was unsuccessful. The officers recognized the animal from prior contacts and believed the dog lived on the 100 block of Southcote Road.
The dog owner stated the dog had gotten out of the home because it had pushed past her at the door of the residence. She was unable to control the dog at that time and the 80-pound male German Shepherd ran free.
The officers then watched the dog return to the area where it lived, but the dog again took an aggressive stance and started to growl toward the owner and continued to bark as it got closer. As pedestrians were passing, the dog started to aggressively charge individuals walking in the area. The dog was a clear danger it dog started to circle and run around. At one point, it ran through wet pavement in an adjacent property and was so aggressive that one neighbor suffered a panic attack and Riverside Police had to call paramedics to treat the individual.
As the dog then charged at one of the officers, Riverside Police Officer tased the animal in an effort to subdue him. The Taser worked and officers were able to get the dog pull on the animal and transport it to a local veterinarian for follow-up care. The dog survived the Taser deployment and was unharmed.
Riverside Police officers attempted to subdue the dog for over an hour before the dog was tased. Riverside had numerous prior contacts with the owner and the dog, so the dog was taken into custody and is currently being held at a local veterinarian facility. Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel declared the dog vicious and started the process to have the owners come into compliance with the vicious dog ordinance in Riverside. The ordinance has certain mandated requirements that the owner would have to accomplish, including fencing in a yard, muzzling the dog, not allowing the dog off leash, and, in extreme circumstances, euthanizing the dog. At this point, the dog has been declared vicious, but no final outcome has been determined. Chief Weitzel said the case is still under investigation and additional charges or sanctions may be forthcoming against the dog owner. Initially, the dog owner was issued several citations related to Dog at Large.
Riverside Police will release more information on this case once their investigation is complete and a determination has been made on the sanctions against the dog owner regarding the vicious dog declaration.