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(Source: MGN)

A police officer shot and killed a pit bull in Forest Park early Thursday after the officer says the dog lunged at him.

The incident began when the officer responded to an animal nuisance call in the 500 block of Shellnut Drive.

When the officer arrived, he was met by a barking pit bull that ran away from him as he approached, according to a statement released by the department. He then spoke with the person who called police and was told which house the dog belonged to.

The officer says he had to speak with the complainant through her door because she was afraid to open the door.

When the officer went to the home where the dogs belonged, he was followed by the barking pit bull when another pit bull came from the back of the house through a "dilapidated portion of the fence barking and growling at him," according to the statement.

The statement went on to say the officer was cornered on the door stoop when the second pit bull lunged at him, which is when he shot and killed the dog.

The department says the officer shot the dog to avoid being attacked, adding that it wasn't the first complaint they received about the same dogs.

Meanwhile, the owner of the dogs posted to social media, saying the dogs were protecting her home after recent thefts, saying the officer "killed my dog today for protecting my house while [I] wasn't home."

The police department posted their statement to Facebook Sunday after coming under attack on social media due to the incident, saying they wanted to make sure they set the record straight.

The department says Thursday's incident was the second time they had to use lethal force on a dog since 2017.

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