ROGUE RIVER — An aggressive pit bull that appeared malnourished forced a grade school lockdown Wednesday and prompted police to attempt to kill the dog.

ROGUE RIVER — An aggressive pit bull that appeared malnourished forced a grade school lockdown Wednesday and prompted police to attempt to kill the dog.

It was the second day that the dog was spotted near Beck Athletic Field on Berglund Street in Rogue River.

Officers there received several reports on Wednesday and Thursday of people being menaced by the dog as they walked around the track, Rogue River police Chief Ken Lewis said in a news release.

Rogue River Elementary School, which is across the street from the athletic field, was placed on temporary lockdown Wednesday for fear that the dog would enter the school area.

Lewis said the dog has been living in thick blackberry bushes near the northwest corner of the field.

"When officers approached the dog, it charged them and they attempted to herd it over the edge of the field and down the bank of Evans Creek, where it could be dispatched," Lewis wrote in the release.

However, the dog escaped from the officers and fled the area.

Jackson County Animal Control officers were called to the scene and they attempted to trap the dog, Lewis said.

The dog, a brindled pit bull, appeared underfed and possibly abandoned, Lewis said.

Officers posted signs near the field asking the public to stay away from the area until the dog is captured or killed by police.

Lewis did not return calls and emails Thursday seeking further comment.

Colleen Macuk, the manager of Jackson County Animal Control, said her agency has placed a humane trap in the area in order to bring the dog safely to the shelter.

Macuk said the trap consists of a large cage that is baited with food.

When the dog enters the cage it trips a mechanism that shuts a door behind it.

"It eliminates the chasing game," Macuk said. "We don't have to call in an officer with a tranquilizer."

Macuk said an officer and Rogue River police would check on the cage every few hours to see whether the dog is trapped.

"We don't want it remaining in the cage overnight," she said.

Macuk said a decision would be made on the dog's future after it is captured.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.