Phoenix police are asking for the public's help finding a dog that earlier this month teamed up with a second dog to take down and kill a steer.
Patrol officer Adam Lewis said that at 8:35 a.m. on Dec. 14. someone walking a dog reported two other dogs chasing a steer in a field in the 2300 block of Houston Road, just west of Phoenix.
Lewis said when he arrived on the scene about five minutes later, he met a woman near the property who told him two pit bulls were chasing livestock and possibly had taken down a steer.
"As I was heading across the field I could hear the cow out there bellowing in pain," said Lewis. "I made my way out to where the cow was, and I could see the two dogs were eating it alive and it was trying to get up and it couldn't."
A police dispatcher contacted the rancher who owned the steer, but by the time he arrived, the animal had died.
Lewis said he shot and killed one of the dogs with his rifle as it was feeding on the steer, killing it immediately. The other dog then ran northeast toward the railroad tracks and back into Phoenix city limits.
Lewis said the dogs were clearly in an agitated state and he fired on them rather than put himself at risk.
"I wasn't going to give them a chance to turn on me," he said.
Lewis said he fired at the second pit bull as it ran away, but missed it. It's described as light brown or tan and about 80 pounds. Both dogs had collars on and looked well-fed and cared for, said Lewis.
Lewis said he followed the second dog's paw prints toward town. Police believe the dog's owner may live near North Rose Street, Dano Drive, Dano Way, Barnum Drive or Arana Drive.
"I believe the pit bull is from the north end of the city," he said. "I followed the dog's footprints from when it left the field. I could see the muddy footprints from where it went on the railroad tracks."
The dead dog is a female, brown in color with brindle markings. She weighed about 50 pounds.
The dog's body was taken to Jackson County Animal Control where authorities hoped the owners would come to claim it. Police want to speak with a man and woman in their 20s came to animal control and identified the dead dog, but said that they were only friends of the owners.
Police ask anyone with information about the two dogs or their owners to call 541-535-1113.
— Mandy Valencia
Read more in the Mail Tribune on Saturday.