Police forced to put down dog suspected of having rabies

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GERMANTOWN -- Police were forced on Thursday, September 27th to put down a dog described as vicious -- and suspected of having rabies.

The owner of a German Shepherd brought his pet to a veterinarian early Thursday because the dog had been acting strangely and sickly. The dog bit the owner while in the parking lot at the vet and then fled.

Germantown police say the dog was foaming at the mouth, was in attack mode and was a threat to the public at large.

While running, the dog was chasing and biting at cars. There's reason to believe the dog was rabid or was accidentally poisoned.

"One of my officers actually bumped the dog with his squad car, but the dog pulled away,"

By 2:00 p.m. Thursday police called Germantown High School.

"Everyone was alerted to that and got on the buses and I'm sure they were alerted to stay away from it," Germantown High School custodian

At 3:00 p.m., the German Shepard was spotted near Pilgrim and Freistadt roads. Officers got close enough to try to retrieve the dog, but Germantown police say the dog went into attack mode.

"Had no other option but to dispatch the dog due to concerns for people's safety,"

Dr. Robert Mitchell at Germantown Animal Hospital said given the dog's behavior and condition, it most likely had "ferocious rabies" -- the type of rabies that's so severe, even if officers would have been able to catch the dog, they would have had to euthanize it.

The state will examine the dog to determine whether it had rabies.

The dog owner's condition is unknown at this time.