On May 11, 2018, Newark Police received at least two different reports of two dogs running loose in the area of the Hudson State Service Center at 501 Ogletown Road, according to Lt. Andrew Rubin.
Rubin said arriving officers found two dogs, a Pitbull and a German Shepard, in the area. Neither dog had a collar or tags and appeared to the officers to have been possibly abandoned.
The dogs were aggressive towards the officers by sprinting towards the officers, baring their teeth, growling and foaming at the mouth. There were civilians in the area, including people walking and riding bicycles on the sidewalk on Ogletown Rd and others patronizing local businesses. The dogs began to chase these passersby and the officers were able to divert the dogs’ attention back towards the officers in an effort to protect the public. The dogs would then again charge at the officers. The dogs continued to be aggressive towards people leaving the Hudson Center, said Rubin.
Newark Police called for animal control officers from the State of Delaware Office of Animal Welfare. Three officers from the Office of Animal Welfare and more than a dozen Newark police officers attempted to corral and capture the dogs for nearly 90 minutes, using dog treats, catchpoles and other less than lethal methods to capture the dogs. The officers were not successful in capturing the dogs and the dogs continued to be aggressive and charge at officers and passersby.
Due to the existence of a busy highway (SR 273), open businesses on Ogletown Rd, foot traffic in the area and residential neighborhoods nearby, a decision was made in conjunction with officers from the Office of Animal Welfare to use lethal force to capture these aggressive, apparently abandoned, dogs. Because the dogs were not contained in a specific area and would run from officers, Newark Police officers were forced to strike both dogs with their vehicles. One of the dogs, a German Shepard, ran away after being struck and was not captured. This dog was last seen on Marrows Road. The second dog, a Pitbull, ran away after being struck and was then shot and killed by Newark Police.
Radio traffic of the incident, monitored by First State Update, indicated that the officers felt that the dogs were a danger to themselves and the public.
This incident occurred as thousands of University of Delaware students were flooding main street, after attending a celebration on the Green. It’s unclear if that information played a part in the authorities decisions.