Humane Society: No charges against man who shot dog

March 4, 2011

A Colorado Springs man who fatally shot a 108-pound bullmastiff mix that attacked his greyhound Wednesday evening will not face animal cruelty charges, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region said.

Police had already determined that Robert McCombs had a permit for his handgun and fired in self-defense.

Determining if charges should be filed in the dog attack was left up to the Humane Society, which closed its investigation Friday.

McCombs told The Gazette that he was walking his 6-year-old greyhound Cooper when a large dog broke away from its owner and latched its jaws on his pet's neck. McCombs said he tried to grab the attacking dog's leash and kicked it before resorting to his gun.

He fired twice, killing the animal.

“I could see that my dog was dying because his eyes got real red,” McCombs said.

Cooper required five staples to close the gash on his neck.

Police initially identified the dead dog as a 140-pound bullmastiff. Humane Society spokeswoman Erica Meyer said an investigation found that the animal was a mix that weighed significantly less than what police estimated.

The owner, Tammy Martinez, was cited Thursday with ownership of an aggressive animal, a misdemeanor.

The attack occurred as the two were walking their dogs in the 4800 block of El Camino Drive near North Academy Boulevard and Flintridge Drive. Martinez's dog — which she identified as a bullmastiff — charged at the greyhound hard enough that it dragged the woman 15 feet before yanking the leash out of her hand.

A tearful Tammy Martinez told The Gazette her dog Flato wasn’t dangerous and shouldn’t have been killed.

Martinez moved to Colorado Springs from Corpus Christi, Texas, with Flato and two other dogs in October, a few months after her husband, Ruben, died from cancer. Flato was a stray the couple took in seven years ago.

Call the writer at 636-0366.

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