LISBON – A Lisbon family is devastated and raising questions after police shot and kill their dog.
The dog’s owner Alan Ryerson said “I’ve had him for five years since he could fit in my hand.”
Five year old Nike lived in a Lisbon home with Alan Ryerson and his step-dad, Vernon Hamilton. Vernon said “I just want people to know that he was a very good dog.”
A good dog, they said, that died at the hands of a police officer Tuesday night.
Ryerson said “He was bangin on my door. By the time I walked from my bedroom to the front door that’s 20 seconds it takes me to get here. He already shot my dog. That’s crazy.”
Police said the shooting was justified. Lisbon police Chief Marc Hagan stated “When Officer Levesque knocked on the door he saw the dog on the other side of the door barking, growling at him.”
Chief Hagan said the second the front door opened, the dog lunged at Officer Andrew Levesque, biting his hand and chasing him off the porch. He stated “The dog repeatedly kept coming after Officer Levesque. Dog came down onto the ground where Officer Levesque was, came at him again.”
After being bitten twice more, once on each thigh, Hagan said the officer pulled out his gun and fired three shots. The chief said “Officer Levesque did what he was trained to do. He tried to get space between himself and the dog he initially went for his OC spray or the taser and he couldn’t get to them cause he was fighting the dog off.”
Hamilton said he was trying to hold Nike back when the officer first arrived, but the officer pushed the door open to get in. He said “A Rhodesian ridgeback is a big dog and I couldn’t hold him you know.”
Nike was put down the next day due to the extent of his injuries.
Ryerson buried him in Litchfield, adding a sweatshirt bearing the logo of his namesake over his grave. He said crying “That’s my baby he took my baby away from me.”
Two weeks ago, police got a complaint that Nike had been aggressive with a neighbor’s dog, that resulted in charges against Hamilton for keeping an unlicensed dog, failing to vaccinate a dog, and having a dog at large.
No charges have been filed in this incident.