2 dogs shot by deputies in Fla. Panhandle

— A couple in Escambia County say sheriff's deputies climbed through their open window while searching for a suspect in their neighborhood last Saturday and shot two dogs.

The couple — Christina Moses, 32, and her fiance, Travis Nicholas, 22 — told the Pensacola News Journal (http://on.pnj.com/1cvu12x ) they were sleeping about 10:30 p.m. when deputies entered their home and dragged them from their bedroom into the hallway.

According to a press release from the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, the deputies were in the neighborhood looking for an armed suspect who had been involved in a disturbance down the street earlier in the evening. Witnesses indicated the suspect often frequented the house where Moses and Nicholas live.

While checking the perimeter of the home, deputies spotted a footprint on top of a bucket under a window. They tried to get someone inside the house to open the front door, but no one responded, according to the release.

"Deputies enter the house through the open window in an effort to locate the suspect and to assure the safety of the occupants," the release said.

It wasn't clear how many deputies entered the home, but Moses told the newspaper there were about a half-dozen.

According to sheriff's officials, the dogs didn't seem aggressive at first.

"Upon encountering the people in the house, the dogs became aggressive," the release states. One dog "bit at" the deputy's leg and he pushed it away. It "came at him again so he shot the dog in self-defense, at which time the second dog began to run towards him. For his personal safety, the shot the second dog."

When the shooting ended, 13-month-old blue pit bull Gracie and a 3-year-old bulldog mix named Rocky were injured.

According to the newspaper, Gracie was euthanized on Monday. Rocky is recovering at home.

Moses said she heard five shots.

Sheriff's deputies took the dogs to a veterinary hospital.

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