Britain: Dog mauls 5 police officers, owner charged (VIDEO)

A man in the UK has been charged with possessing a dangerous dog after his animal mauled five police officers. The dog was shot dead.

Three officers are still in hospital after the "pitbull-type" animal attacked them on Thursday morning as they attempted to raid a house in Newham, east London, the Independent reported. One of them may require skin grafts.

Dog owner Pierre Robinson, 25, was charged today with two offenses under Britain's Dangerous Dogs Act, according to the BBC: possession of a banned dog, and failing to control it in public.

Police were originally sent to arrest him on charges of kidnap and grievous bodily harm, the Independent said. However, the raid rapidly turned violent as the dog lunged at officers' arms and legs.

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Several witnesses captured video footage of the attack. It shows the dog biting policemen as they shout for help and climb onto walls in an attempt to escape it.

The police beat the dog with batons before a marksman was called in to shoot it. All five officers required hospital treatment for injuries to their hands, arms and legs.

The dog – named, according to the Telegraph, "Poison" – may also have been responsible for an attack on a cyclist last year. Police commanders admitted that the incident was investigated in April 2011, the Guardian reported, but no arrests were made, and no warning given to the officers carrying out yesterday's raid that there could be a dangerous dog on the premises.

The UK has seen a rise in the number of dog attacks in recent years, the Guardian reported earlier this year: according to data from the National Health Service, more than 6,000 people in England had to go to hospital for injuries caused by dogs in the year to March 2011, the fifth year in a row that such incidents have increased.

Here's a video of yesterday's attack – it contains very disturbing scenes.