Police shot and killed one pit bull and used a stun gun on another after the animals ran loose in northeast Reading for an hour Sunday, investigators said.
Both dogs were shot with tranquilizer darts during the chase but were so vicious that police had to take more drastic measures, Sgt. Jeff Stone said.
“They started getting groggy, but as soon as we got close, they popped right up again,” Stone said.
Stone said he made the decision to have the dog killed because it posed a hazard in a heavily populated area.
About 6:15 p.m., police blocked off the 1100 block of Amity Street, where they cornered one of the dogs and shot it four times, Stone said. Police alerted people in the area, including those at the nearby 11th and Pike Playground, during the chase.
Officers subdued the second dog with a Taser after they cornered it on a porch in the 1500 block of North 15th Street, Stone said. That dog was placed in the care of the Animal Rescue League, he said.
Neither of the dogs wore collars, and Stone said it would be difficult to identify the owner.
Stone said the owner may have removed the collars before setting the dogs free, a practice he described as common after owners grow tired of their pets or feel they can no longer care for them.
“It’s very common with pit bulls, too,” he said. “We find a lot of pit bulls like that.”