ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Gun violence doesn’t just plague St. Louis city streets. A pet rescue group says animals are also suffering from the violence.
In the last three days, three dogs were shot in the city. One was killed.
Animal activists say it’s an epidemic they need citizens to help stop.
News 4 spent the day talking to residents in the neighborhood where a dog was shot Wednesday night.
But residents say it isn’t necessarily what you may think.
One man called the dog scary and even says he heard the gunshot Wednesday night.
Animal activists call the incident animal abuse.
Those living here argue the dog acted aggressively and call the incident self defense.
Yvonne Woods lives a block away from Schulte Avenue—the north city neighborhood where a pit bull was shot in the face two days ago
“I don’t want to see any animal get hurt or anybody for that matter,” she said. “I’m putting myself in that person’s situation, if it was my kids, I probably would have done the same thing.”
Police say three 911 calls came from the block Wednesday night. One of those callers even said they heard someone saying they were going to shoot the dog.
Randy Grim at Stray Rescue says they treat more than 1,000 dogs every year for gunshot wounds.
St. Louis police say they’ve received more than 1,100 calls this year pertaining to animal problems on city streets.
82 of the calls are in reference to animal bites, four coming in since the start of August.
Woods says sometimes it’s best to stop an aggressive animal first, then call police or animal control second.
“You never know,” she said.
The circuit attorney’s office says if a dog attacks you or comes at you on your property, the law—though it’s pretty general—does protect you to take action.