DALTON -- A man was seriously injured on Thursday when he was attacked outside his home by two dogs that had burst out of a neighboring apartment, police said.

One of the dogs, a male that was acting aggressively when police arrived, was shot to death after officers determined that it was too risky to try to capture it with so many people around.

"He was just attacking everybody," said Dalton Animal Control Officer Mike McClay, who put down the male dog. "There was no way around it."

Dalton Police Officer John Thibodeau echoed McClay's assessment.

"He was very aggressive toward us," Thibodeau said. "He wasn't going to be noosed (captured)."

The second dog, a female, was slightly more docile and was captured with a catch-pole and noose. She was transported to the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter, where she will be quarantined under law for at least 10 days, McClay said.

The victim, whom police have not identified, was returning home on Gertrude Street with a friend's son around 4 p.m. when he was attacked, police said.

When police arrived, the dogs were still running loose outside the house. The victim, a white male in his 30s, was found inside his apartment with bite wounds to the face and the left thigh. He was transported to Berkshire Medical Center. Police did not know his medical condition.

Dalton Police Officer Matt Mozzi said the victim had "significant" injuries that were not life-threatening.

The names, breeds and ages of the dogs were not known, but they appeared to be pit bull-type dogs. The dogs' owner was not home at the time.

For safety, police asked a nearby day care center to keep everyone indoors.

Nobody else was injured.

The identity of the dogs' owner had not been confirmed by police Thursday night. McClay said the dogs were not wearing tags. He added that the investigation will determine if any of Dalton's animal codes were violated and police would respond accordingly.

A resident of the apartment where the victim lives said the dogs had not attacked anyone before that she knows of, but the owners had moved in recently so she didn't know much about them. She declined to give her name, but said the dogs had been known to charge at the door when someone was walking by.

"I definitely worried about them," she said. "They made me nervous."

This attack comes exactly four months after three dogs attacked a 9-year-old boy in the common hallway of his Pittsfield apartment building on June 11, causing severe injury. One of the dogs was put down, the other two were sent to reside out of state and undergo behavioral training.

To reach Scott Stafford:
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