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Howell Police Shoot Pit Bull On Home Visit, Following Complaint

Cops say shooting the dog was unavoidable; dog owner says action was wrong.

Bentley George at Bisozio's Susan Court home.
Bentley George at Bisozio's Susan Court home.

A Howell Township Police Officer fired his weapon three times at a pit bull at a Susan Court Way residence on Wednesday night. The dog died on the way to a veterinary hospital in Tinton Falls, police said. 

The officer was following up on a complaint phoned in to police some time earlier about an incident with the dog. According to Det. Sgt. Eileen Dodd, a visiting hairdresser said she was attacked by the dog when she entered the house, but came through with only a scratch since she was able to protect herself with her handbag.

The Howell police officer was planning to ask the pet owner for proof of rabies vaccination, a departmental procedure. But he states that when he started up the long driveway to the home owned by Nina Bisozio, the pit bull named Bentley George charged at him from an open garage and did not heed a command to stop. The officer shot three times.

"The officer didn’t want to shoot the dog," said Det. Sgt. Dodd. "But the dog was aggressive, the dog was charging, and I really don’t think he had any options." 

A housekeeper telephoned Bisozio, who was not home at the time, and the officer explained what had happened to the pet owner. 

The dog's owner is upset, according to a family friend who recounted the incident in a post in the Speak Out section of  Howell Patch. "I'm heartbroken. He was like my kid. How do you kill someone's family member and not think twice before you do it?" said Nina Bisozio.

Det. Sgt. Dodd said that whenever a police officer shoots his or her weapon, the case is reviewed by a neutral party. The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office of Professional Responsibility and the Monmouth County SPCA have received official accounts of the incident. 

This story includes reporting by Christina Johnson (Editor) 

Lucretia B June 07, 2014 at 04:23 PM
This incident really makes me sick.
Lucretia B June 08, 2014 at 10:27 AM
This animal was attacking someone he thought had broken into his home. When he attacked that lady it was because he was in a defensive and protective mode...much like any dog would do. K9s at their homes do the same thing only after an attack, they don't get 3 bullets in the chest for it. They get a pat on the head and maybe a treat. Im telling you....this was wrong, wrong and more wrong and the officer needs discipline before he ever receives the public trust again.
Jenn Free June 13, 2014 at 05:39 PM
There had been multiple complaints about this dog being loose for months. Everyone was worried that it would get run over on the very busy road near the owner's house. Even when the dog was shot it was loose in an open garage and unattended. There is a leash law in NJ. Follow it. Not to mention seeing a 75+ pound dog roaming around at will alone is not very settling when you have small children who may be scared of dogs and under 40 pounds. While it did seem calm, you don't know how it would react under stress or when it felt provoked. It was not a small "puppy". If you google the owner you will see she seems very irresponsible including in the past 5 years having an underage DUI and then 2 years later drug arrest (including heroin). I wish they could ban people from owning dogs- she would be a good candidate.
Lucretia B June 15, 2014 at 08:26 AM
It was a pit bull, is that what youre saying? Big jaws, nasty disposition and the willingness to bite so hard youd neve get his teeth loose? I don't buy this for all pit bulls any more than I would for all other dogs.

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