SHELBY, Ohio — Shelby police are receiving backlash on social media after video showed an officer running over a raccoon multiple times.
The video has since been deleted from social media.
According to police, the officer received a call at 5 p.m. about a sick or rabid raccoon on Second Street.
A caller told the officer children were playing with the raccoon and they were afraid a child would be bitten.
According to police, when the officer arrived, he observed that the animal was sick and needed to be "destroyed."
Police said due to the time of day and the area that the raccoon was in, the officer felt he couldn't "destroy" the raccoon with a gun.
Officials said Shelby and Richland County don't have an animal control unit or have been trained to deal with a potentially rabid animal, so the officer made a judgment call to "destroy" the raccoon with his vehicle.
"The actions in the video are certainly unpleasant to watch. However, leaving a sick or injured animal in a situation that could be dangerous to the public especially to children that had already been seen near the animal, the officer chose to side with public safety and to destroy the animal as quickly as possible, without endangering the public. The animal was picked up by Shelby Fire and disposed of. I ordered the carcass retrieved and secured and will be working with the Shelby Health Department to see if any testing can be done to determine if the animal was sick," Shelby police chief Lance Combs said in a statement.
Shelby police have responded to eight animal bites in the last year.