Bellingham officer cleared in fatal shooting of dog

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- A Bellingham Police officer has been cleared in the fatal shooting of a dog during a theft investigation.

The Bellingham Herald reports Police Lt. Danette Beckley said the testimony of officers at the scene of the Oct. 12 shooting as well as body camera video and witness statements support Officer Andrew Wassel's statement that he shot the dog because he thought it was going to attack.

Officer Wassell and officer Clark Bourgault were investigating in the 1300 block of Orleans Street when Wassel shot the dog, an 80-pound German shepherd/Siberian husky mix.

Beckley says the dog's owner told police her dog was protecting her when it ran toward the officer. Both the woman and Wassel said the dog was baring its teeth, barking and growling as it charged the officer.