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    West Yarmouth man shoots pit bull to death after dog attacks him

    A West Yarmouth man was forced to shoot and kill a pit bull he was fostering Sunday night after the dog viciously attacked him, sending him to the hospital with serious arm injuries, police said.

    The 25-year-old man was allegedly lying in bed with his girlfriend and the pit bull, Max, who he recently began fostering, in their new home on Woodbine Avenue when the dog attacked around 6 p.m. The man had tried to move the pit bull, but the dog reacted by biting him on the left arm. The man tried to get the dog to release, but it refused, Yarmouth police said in a statement.

    In a desperate attempt to end the attack, the man reached for a 9mm handgun he had in his nightstand and shot the dog, police said.

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    “The single shot stopped the attack and the dog died shortly afterwards,” police said in the statement. “The man is fully licensed to have firearms in Massachusetts.”

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    The man was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital to be treated for his injuries, police said.

    Police took the man’s handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, and ammunition found in the home “for safekeeping.” The dead pit bull was taken away by Yarmouth animal control officers, police said.

    Yarmouth detectives and the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office crime scene unit are investigating, police said.

    Andres Picon can be reached at andres.picon@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andpicon.