FORT MYERS, Fla. Two pit bulls are set to be euthanized for allegedly attacking a Lee County Animal Control officer last week, the Fort Myers Police Department said.
Keith Sechrist, an animal control investigator, and two police officers responded to 1816 High Street last Friday after receiving a call about two escaped dogs, named Lil’ Man and Stewart, chasing a neighbor, according to police.
But when Sechrist attempted to detain the dogs, they became aggressive and Stewart bit his hand. Police then subdued the dogs with pepper spray, according to reports.
Sechrist, who needed stitches after the attack, said he had to use a control pole to capture one of the dogs, as he was forced to turn in his pepper spray last month for unknown reasons.
“It’s like sending a police officer in the field with no gun, no taser or spray to defend themselves,” he said. “That’s our only means of defense.”
Kelly Nichols, the pitbulls’ owner, wasn’t home at the time and believes her dogs were provoked.
“Lil’ Man never bit anybody… Stewart bit the man because he was choking him out and he was maced,” she said.
However, this isn’t the first time Animal Control has dealt with these dogs, according to Sechrist.
Sechrist is currently on medical leave. The two dogs were surrendered to Animal Control and are scheduled to be euthanized next week.
Lee County Animal Control couldn’t be reached for comment when questioned about equipping officers with pepper spray.