KEYPORT — Officials say a police officer fired at a dog that was charging at him in a parking lot late Saturday afternoon but the animal's owner is calling the incident "animal cruelty."

Officers responded to a call about an aggressive dog cornering a woman and her own dog in the lot on Pine Street around 5:40 p.m., according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. When the officers arrived, the dog turned and charged at them, prompting one of the officers to fire his gun at the dog, officials said.

The dog was hit in its shoulder and went into a garage where the Monmouth County SPCA subdued it for treatment.

Under the guidelines of the Attorney General’s Office Use of Force Directive, the incident is being investigated by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Responsibility Unit. Their investigation will determine what will happen to the dog and whether or not the owner will be charged.

The Prosecutor's Office did not disclose how many shots were fired. Officials describe the dog as a "mixed breed" although it appears to look like a pit bull.

Blaze (Alexyss Ferrara via Facebook)

Owner says police fired "multiple times"

Alexyss Ferrara, who said on Facebook that she is the owner of the dog, accused police of shooting her dog simply "being out on its own property."

"He is being held in custody for being a dangerous dog, my dog has no record of being a dangerous dog. My dog did not touch anyone yesterday," she said, adding that the dog did not injure any person or animal.

"He is in critical condition. THIS IS ANIMAL CRUELTY!!!," Ferrara said.

On her Facebook page is a recent post for "pit bull education month."

Reaction to the incident

The Instagram account of Elmatonkennels shared Ferrara's message but also asked for people to tone down the negativity and not to take sides right away.

said her dog Blaze was shot "numerous times" by police, who left it to die.

"Our police are in tough spots all the time and we just wish the outcome could have been different and that all involved shoe just be held accountable," they said.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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