Aggressive dog released amid troopers shot but survives

Pepper spray failed to curb canine attack.

Anchorage Daily NewsMay 23, 2012 

An Alaska state trooper on the trail of a wanted man shot a dog at a Nikiski home late Monday when it attacked, troopers say.

The "pit bull/terrier-type dog" took a bullet to the head and apparently survived, said troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen in an email.

Troopers took a report from the Kenai Police Department about 10 p.m. Monday that the driver of a vehicle headed north on the Kenai Spur Highway was either intoxicated or driving poorly. The registered owner, 32-year-old Josh Kushner, had an arrest warrant from federal court for alleged firearms crimes, troopers said.

After finding the vehicle at a home in Nikiski, two troopers tried to contact the people inside. Then someone released the aggressive dog, which charged them, Ipsen said.

"The first trooper sprayed the dog with (pepper) spray, causing the dog to turn away from and go after the second trooper, who fired the shot when the dog was almost upon him," Ipsen said.

The trooper fired three times, but it's not clear how many rounds struck the dog, Ipsen said. At least one hit the dog in the head, troopers said.

The dog ran away and was reportedly alive after receiving care from a veterinarian. The second trooper suffered minor injuries in a fall backward while trying to avoid the dog, Ipsen said.

No one has been arrested or charged in the incident, troopers said.

Charges may or may not emerge from the investigation, which is ongoing, Ipsen said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.

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