Police said an investigation of a complaint that Saginaw residents were growing marijuana in their backyard on Gaylord on Monday resulted in two arrests, the seizure of "several" suspected marijuana plants and a dead pit bull.
Saginaw Police Sgt. Kevin Revard of the gang task force said officers arrived about 11:30 a.m.
Revard said homeowner Krystal Houck initially denied officers' requests to search the backyard, where Revard said "multiple" dogs were present, for marijuana plants. While police waited for a warrant to search the yard, Houck's dog, Scooter, left the fenced area moving in the officer's direction.
Revard said Scooter "charged" the officer, who backed up until he was stopped by a car in the driveway. The officer "was trying to get onto the hood of the car," Revard said.
Houck said the policeman ordered her to grab the dog but shot the animal before she could. She and neighbors Anthony T. Astbury Jr. and Scott Mauro objected to the use of lethal force.
Revard said he supports his officer's decision.
"These dogs are very protective of their territory," Revard said. "The dog wasn't chained up or in a pen.
"I'd rather see my officer going home safely to his wife and kids."
The dog "was totally out of control. The officer did what he had to do," said Saginaw Police Chief Gerald H. Cliff.
Scooter "laid there suffering" for over an hour, waiting for Saginaw Animal Care Center employees to take it to a veterinarian, Houck said, adding police refused to let her take the dog herself.
Police said Hauck couldn't leave because she was part of the investigation and they feared the dog might react unpredictably because of its injuries. It was later euthanized.
While there, police arrested a 21-year-old former Michigan resident from Fort Myers, Fla., who was wanted on a probation violation and Nicholas C. Roesner of Saginaw, 25, a friend and parent of Houck's child, on an outstanding warrant for keeping an unlicensed dog. Houck said they had licensed Scooter after a resident filed a complaint about it.