A Woodson Terrace police officer shot a pit bull and Doberman Pinscher after the dogs attacked him and a 15-year-old girl Saturday.
The girl was treated at a hospital for bites to her forearm, chest and abdomen. The officer, 36, and a three-year veteran on the force, was also treated at a hospital for severe cuts to his right hand and palm, said Woodson Terrace Police Sgt. James Simonpietri.
The dogs were taken to Webster Groves Animal Hospital and Urgent Care Center; police said they survived and are in the custody of St. Louis County Animal Control.
"I'm extremely happy that the little girl wasn't hurt worse and hoping and praying for the officer as well," Simonpietri said.
The attacks happened about 2:30 p.m. in the 9200 block of Harold Avenue, Simonpietri said.
The two dogs pushed out a front window screen, then chased a service repairman who was able to escape, Simonpietri said. The dogs then attacked the girl, who was in her front yard across the street and down the block from the home where the dogs lived.
"The original call came in that a dog had bit a juvenile," Simonpietri said. "That's why the officer responded to that call. The dogs were in a neighbor's yard and he was in the street when they came after him."
Simonpietri said the pit bull charged the officer and was on him before he could pull his weapon, and as he struggled with the dog, he was able to pull out his gun. Simonpietri said the officer shot the Doberman after it began going after an Academy recruit who was with the officer.
Simonpietri, a canine handler for six years, said the injured officer will have to see a specialist to determine if he suffered nerve damage to his hand.
"It's one of the worst bites I've seen," he said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed a quote to the dog's owner; the police sergeant is the one who made the statement.