PORTLAND -- A Portland police officer shot and killed a pit bull that was attacking another dog Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Police were called just after 3 p.m. to the report of dogs fighting at Southeast 136th Avenue and Southeast Holgate Boulevard, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau.

Responding officers found a large pit bull at the scene with a tiny dog in its mouth, Simpson said. He added that witnesses were hitting the pit bull and trying to get it to drop the other dog.

Officers used pepper spray on the pit bull but it had no effect, he said. It continued to shake the smaller dog in its mouth.

Fearing the the pit bull was about to kill the tiny dog, and that the pit bull was a danger to the bystanders trying to help, an officer shot the pit pull one time, killing it instantly, he added.

The smaller dog was freed after the pit bull died. It was taken to a veterinarian for treament. Multnomah County Animal Control responded to take custody of the pit bull.

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