HINKLEY • Sheriff's Deputies shot and killed two dogs in Hinkley Wednesday after assisting County Animal Control officers responding to report of a man bitten by a dog.
Sheriff's Sgt. Robbie Ciolli said deputies were dispatched to 26175 Old Highway 58 at 3:11 p.m. Wednesday to assist animal control officers responding to a call from a man bitten by a loose dog.
Ciolli said deputies were getting ready to leave and about to enter their cars when three dogs charged deputies. Two dogs were shot dead and one injured.
"Deputies tried to whisk the dogs away, but they kept charging," said Ciolli.
The property where the dogs were shot is home to over 20 dogs. Ciolli and the man who lives at the property, Alan McEachron, 80, have been cited earlier for loose dogs. As of Thursday afternoon dogs were running loose in the street. Per county code, only five or fewer cats or dogs are allowed without a kennel permit.
Brian Cronin, Chief of County Animal Care and Control, said McEachron is in negotiations with Animal Control to surrender all but two of his dogs by Wednesday. McEachron faced multiple county code infractions from 2005 until 2008, but all were dismissed except a 2005 charge of animals running at large which was he was convicted of, according to court records.
Cronin said McEachron was issued 12 citations in December for unlicensed and unvaccinated dogs and $1,200 in related fines, which may be dismissed if the dogs are surrendered.
Cronin said the man who called animal control wished to remain unidentified, but reported that he was not bitten but only "nipped" by a dog as he walked by McEachron's house, which he passes two or three times a day.
McEachron's neighbor Teresa Phelps said she has called Animal Control "10 to 15" times over the past two years about McEachron's dogs and was distressed abut the shooting. Although Phelps only heard the shooting and did not see it, she said the shooting was unnecessary based on the location of the dogs' bodies in relation to where deputies were at the time.
Phelps said she has taken one of McEachron's dogs in and hopes to obtain a license for it so it will not be taken away if McEachron surrenders his dogs. Phelps feared more dogs would be shot if Animal Control officers went to take the dogs, but Cronin said Animal Control has access to non-lethal weapons — such as sedatives — that could be used.
McEachron was not reachable by phone and his home could not be accessed due to loose dogs in his yard.
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