Pit bull recovering after getting shot by Minneapolis police

At the end of May, a North Side woman filed suit against the city of Minneapolis and two police officers over the death of her young pit bull, who she had to put down after police shot the dog ten times. A few weeks later, police shot another pit bull in north Minneapolis, but this story has a happier ending.

The dog, who Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC) named Chance, was shot on June 16 around 8:30 p.m. in Columbia Heights. Rachel Mairose, the director of local rescue group Secondhand Hounds, met him last Thursday, when MACC made him available for rescue. The next day, she took him home to foster.

One bullet traveled through Chance's face, shattered his bottom teeth and exited his neck. "This was not a long range shot," Mairose said. The dog also has a puncture wound in his front right shoulder that may be a second bullet, and that causes him to limp. Despite the shooting, Chance does not seem violent. "If there is any sort of aggressive history, MACC can't release the dog for rescue," Mairose said. "So we know there's nothing recorded."

She adds that Chance passed a temperament test "with flying colors," and fits in well with her two-year-old daughter and her two other dogs, one Havanese and one pit bull. "He's a big marshmallow," she said. "He's been an easy dog to adjust."

According to Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty, the shooting happened after the dog was loose at a sporting event of about 160 people. An animal control agent came to round him up, but couldn't catch him, so the agent called police. Still unable to secure the dog, police shot him.

There is no report of an attack. "The background is hazy," Mairose said. "And there's a lot of people angry that this would happen, but most of the details are speculative. In general the police department has been great about bringing the dogs they find to MACC, so I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it seems like a weird situation that a dog this friendly and this people-oriented would have to be shot at."

Chance is scheduled for X-rays this week to check for a lodged bullet on his right side, and for any lingering bone or tooth fragments that require surgical removal. Mairose hopes to have him healthy enough for adoption by August.

The Star Tribune reports that Minneapolis police shot and killed 12 dogs in 2011, and park police shot and killed one.

The pit bull Chance recovering from a bullet wound.
The pit bull Chance recovering from a bullet wound.
Amber Johnson / Modern Life Photo

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >