Incident occurred at Dagsboro animal control facility

According to Dagsboro Chief of Police Floyd Toomey, his officer's decision to shoot and kill a dog that was attacking a woman yesterday were "decisive, crucial and heroic ... potentially saving life and limb."

On Monday, June 6, around 4 p.m., police from the Dagsboro, Selbyville and Frankford departments, as well as Delaware State Police, were dispatched to 32978 DuPont Boulevard in Dagsboro, the location of All Aboard Kennels, for a report of a dog attack in progress on a female Delaware animal welfare officer.

All Aboard Kennels shares its facilities with the Brandywine Valley SPCA, which has the state contract to care for stray dogs. Strays found in Sussex are brought to All Aboard by animal control officers and held there for at least three days. The stray holding kennels are completely separate from the boarding business.

A Dagsboro police officer was the first to arrive on scene, and he observed the victim being attacked by a "white and brown pit bull terrier type dog." He immediately attempted to engage the dog, but that only "increased the ferocity of its attack." At that point, fearing for the safety of the victim, the officer shot and killed the dog. Other police units and EMS arrived on the scene and the victim was taken to Beebe Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

The Delaware Division of Public Health, which oversees the Office of Animal Welfare and animal control officers, released the following statement:

"The Division of Public Health and Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) are grateful for the assistance of Dagsboro Police, Delaware State Police, and the Frankford and Selbyville Police Departments in an incident where one of our OAW Delaware Animal Services (DAS) officers was attacked by a dog on Monday afternoon in Sussex County. As a result of an officer in distress, OAW followed standard emergency protocol in contacting 911 to seek assistance from the closest possible emergency responder to assist the officer. The officer is currently recovering from injuries sustained in the attack, and DPH will not be releasing additional details regarding the incident to protect the individual’s privacy. DAS officers are highly trained, and OAW is committed to officer safety.  Working with animals can be unpredictable and while OAW trains its officers to be ready for any situation possible, there are times when circumstances out of officers’ control occurs, and part of our post incident protocols are to analyze what happened and determine, what if anything can be done to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future. Again, the OAW wishes to express its gratitude to the officers and EMS agencies that responded to assist our officer."