Post Now: Owner of attacked dog supports police

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By Matt Zapotosky
Tuesday, September 14, 2010; 1:57 PM

Police have a new supporter in the Adams Morgan dog shooting case Sunday: the woman whose Bich-poo was attacked, sparking the whole mess.

Sheila Martins, 53, of Adams Morgan, said she was walking Sushi, a Bichon-poodle mix, on a leash down 18th Street in the middle of the Adams Morgan festival when the dog went to sniff what looked like a pit bull passing by, also on a leash. The other dog, whose owner has described it as a Shar-Pei mix named Parrot, attacked Sushi, Martins said, and a scramble ensued to separate the two.

Martins said she herself tried to pull Sushi away, but she "couldn't do it." Others, including police officers, also tried and failed, she said. It wasn't until a man came and lifted Sushi directly up that the fight was broken up, she said. At that time, she said, the owner of the dog that looked like a pit bull was laying on top of his pet.

Martins said she went to get help for Sushi and did not see the events that led up to the other dog being shot. Those events are disputed. Police and some witnesses have said an officer tried to control the dog by pinning it on the ground, but the dog continued to snap.

The officer eventually tossed that dog over a stairwell railing leading to The Brass Knob and shot it as it tried to charge back up, police and some witnesses have said. Many more witnesses ¿ including the dog's owner ¿ have said the situation was under control after the dog fight was broken up, and police unnecessarily separated the dog and its owner, then shot the dog as it simply tried to regain its footing from being thrown down into the stairwell.

Though she did not see it, Martins said she believes "police did the right thing because at that moment, the dog, it wasn't controllable."

"I could tell like how aggressive the dog was," she said. "If he would start running around, he would attack somebody."

Martins said that after she finished talking to police, she took Sushi to an animal hospital, where he stayed overnight. He has two broken bones and a large gash, she said, and she will find out Tuesday whether he needs surgery.

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