A dog that reportedly charged a Bozeman police officer was shot on a trail near Peets Hill on Thursday morning.

Bozeman police Capt. Dave McManis said two officers responded to a report of a transient camping near the trail between the Peets Hill parking lot and the Bozeman Public Library at about 9:30 a.m.

The officers approached the transient, who had two dogs with him. One of the dogs charged Officer Obadiah Rouse, who shot at the animal twice from a distance of less than 2 feet.

“The officer was attacked,” McManis said. “It was an imminent bite coming from this dog. The officer had a split-second decision to make.”

According to police, the dog belonged to Kaelen Michael Holmes, a 27-year-old transient from Washington who was arrested for felony assault with a weapon last weekend.

The dog, which McManis described as a mid-sized, mixed-breed animal, survived the shot and was taken to a local vet for care. However, Holmes opted to have the dog euthanized, McManis said.

Holmes was cited for vicious dog, failure to restrain the dog and no proof of rabies vaccinations.

Police conduct an internal review any time a weapon is fired and will do so in this case, McManis said.

Holmes was arrested early Saturday morning in front of a Main Street bar following an altercation involving a hatchet. Witnesses told investigators Holmes threatened a man with the hatchet during a fight in which Holmes was also significantly injured. He was released from the county jail after posting $15,000 bail.

Whitney Bermes can be reached at wbermes@dailychronicle.com or 582-2648. Follow her on Twitter at @wabermes.



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