Dog attacks police officer; Hanceville woman arrested

Shannon Michelle Cooper (Hanceville Police Department)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – A police officer was injured, and a Hanceville woman arrested after her dog attacked the officer.

Officers with the Hanceville Police Department responded to a call about a vicious dog near the 500 block of County Road 540 Wednesday evening around 7.

According to HPD Assistant Police Chief Adam Hadder, the complainants reported a neighbor’s pit bull attacked their dog, severely injuring it, and also attempted to attack them.

“While on scene, officers did find an injured dog at the residence,” Hadder said. “Officers began an investigation by attempting to locate the vicious dog and identify the owner. They went to a nearby residence where they observed Shannon Michelle Cooper with a white pit bull on a leash.”

Hadder said officers attempted to speak with Cooper and the dog was freed from the leash and immediately attacked one of the officers on scene.

“As the dog bit the officer several times in the lower leg, the officer drew his weapon and discharged one round, killing the dog,” Hadder said. “The officer was transported to Cullman Regional Medical Center where he was treated for several bites and puncture wounds and was kept overnight for observation.”

Hadder said Cooper had no proof of a rabies vaccination for the dog.

“Its remains were taken to a local veterinarian office where it will be tested for rabies,” Hadder said.

Cooper was charged with allowing a vicious dog to run at large, non-control of a dangerous dog, reckless endangerment and third-degree assault.

She was booked into the Hanceville City Jail that evening pending bond.

Hadder said no person or officer ever wants to have to put down an animal, but in this case, he said, the officer’s life was threatened, and the need was imminent.

“Emily’s Law went into effect in Alabama in 2018 after a dog attack on a 24-year-old woman,” Hadder said. “This new law provides a way to humanely euthanize a dangerous dog that has killed or seriously injured someone, provided the dog kills or injures without justification.“

The Hanceville Police Department released video of the attack, posting it on its Facebook page.