Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Georgia: Officer says his 'training kicked in' during Rottweiler attack

GEORGIA -- A police officer on his way to work said “my training kicked in” Saturday when he came up on a man being attacked by two dogs.

Social Circle police Officer Robert Orr is being hailed for his quick thinking. Orr shot two Rottweilers that attacked 52-year-old Tommy Joe Byrd in Monroe.

Orr was driving to work from his home in Gratis when he came up on the attack at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. Orr shot the dogs, causing them to run from Byrd.

Byrd since has been in a medically induced coma at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.

Orr said he was alerted by a car on the side of East Marable Street using its emergency flashers and thought it was a stranded motorist — until he saw Byrd lying on the ground with the dogs.

“Then my training kicked in,” Orr said.

The officer told the dogs to stop, as he said police officers are trained. But when one of the dogs charged at him, Orr shot it twice. Then he shot the other dog.

“One dog died on the scene, the other dog went on down to the wood line,” Orr said. “I gave help to Mr. Byrd, who continued yelling ‘Help, help, help.’

(Walton Tribune - March 22, 2017)

North Carolina: Man, service dog attacked by pit bull

NORTH CAROLINA -- A pit bull attacked a man and his service dog Tuesday morning in north Charlotte, police said.

The man was seriously hurt after the dog bit his face, his hands and his arms. The man's service dog was hurt, but is expected to recover.

The incident was reported just midnight on Redding Glen Avenue near WT Harris Boulevard.

The man was walking his service dog when a loose pit bull crossed the street and attempted to attack his dog. The man intervened and was attacked himself.

"It does scare me. It does alarm me," said neighbor Robert Floyd.

Floyd said there are more than a dozen pit bulls in the neighborhood and many of them escape easily from their yards.

"I have encountered probably six or seven different pit bulls loose," Floyd said.

While Floyd hasn't noticed any aggression toward him or his two dogs, he said he never lets down his guard.

Neighbor of the victim

"They shouldn't be loose. We have leash laws in the city. We have leash laws in the homeowners' association. This should not be happening," Floyd said.

Animal control officers said the pit bull that attacked the man ran out of a garage.

A neighbor who witnessed the attack rushed in to help the man and his service dog.

"Animal control should be out here holding that owner accountable. The owner should be charged," Floyd said.

Officials did not say whether charges will be filed against the dog's owner.

Floyd said it's time for the rest of his neighbors to keep lock their dogs locked up at home.

"They're being careless. They don't intend for them to get out, but they do get out, so they're just being a little too haphazard, a little too careless,” Floyd said.

Neighbors told Channel 9 that they are taking their safety concerns to the police officer who patrols their community.

The pit bull is in rabies quarantine at animal control after the attack.

(WSOCTV - March 21, 2017)

Illinois: Mother says police refused to come after a pit bull attacked her son; now no one knows where it's at

ILLINOIS -- A mother in the western suburbs is angry over the lack of police response to a pit bull attack on her son.

Chris Kazmierczak is bandaged up today. His mother, Jeanne Cooney, says he will need to undergo rabies treatment if the animal isn't found.

Kazmierczak says he was viciously attacked by a white pit bull that seemed to come out of nowhere.

His bandages are covering up a gaping wound on his left arm. In all, he says he has about 30 bite marks.

Monday night, the 22 year old was walking to his car with a friend near Krempels Park in Bensenville.

"I started running a little bit because I was cold," says Kazmierczak.

He was almost at the car when he heard something running up behind him.

"...(I) turned around to see what it was and next thing I know the thing was on my arm," says Kazmierczak.

The white pit bull had a collar.

Chris says the attack lasted less than twenty terrifying seconds before his friend was finally able to kick and pull the dog off.

"If he wasn't there I don't think I would've been able to get him off. It kept coming back and biting and biting. I'm thankful he was there," he says.

Kazmierczak does construction for a living and he won't be able to work with his hands for at least two months.

"I called when this happened that night and the sergeant decided not to come," says Cooney.

Cooney says Bensenville Police have been slow to investigate the incident. She took him to file the police report yesterday. She says they need to find the dog so this doesn't happen again.

"That dog could certainly kill a child. Could have killed Chris if his friend wasn't here."

Bensenville's police chief says they do take this seriously and they have patrols on the lookout for the dog.

The family also plans on going door to door in this area to get the word out and see if they can help track down the owner.

(WGN - March 16, 2017)

North Carolina: Woman in critical condition after being attacked by two Great Danes

NORTH CAROLINA -- A Linden woman is now recovering from injuries she received Sunday night when she was attacked by two Great Danes near her home.

According to Cumberland County Animal Control Director Dr. John A. Lauby, Monica Stephenson was jogging on Sunnyfield Lane near Linden between 5 and 6 p.m. Sunday when the attack occurred. Dr. Lauby described the attack as “very savage.”

According to Dr. Lauby, Ms. Stephenson was familiar with the dogs and had played with them in the past. The owner of the dogs is Scott Nesbitt.

The dogs, named Nora and Olaf, got out of their owner’s fenced-in yard prior to the attack on Ms. Stephenson.

The new-found freedom sparked a natural instinct in the dogs, according to Dr. Lauby.

“Once they left the property they reverted to their pack-like behavior,” Dr. Lauby said. “They chase things down and attack.”

A neighbor heard Ms. Stephenson screaming and helped get the dogs off her.

Both of the dogs were surrendered to animal control officials and were euthanized.

Dr. Lauby said because leash laws were violated, an investigation will continue, but he said the owners are apologetic.

“They did everything right with these dogs. They were well cared for, groomed and vaccinated,” Dr. Lauby said. “This is just a terrible thing that happened and the owners feel bad about it.”

Ms. Stephenson was first taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and was then transported to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. According to UNC Hospitals spokesperson Tom Hughes, Ms. Stephenson remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.

Mr. Hughes could not release specifics on Ms. Stephenson’s injuries. Dr. Lauby also said he could not comment on the extent of Ms. Stephenson’s injuries.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that said one of the bites on the victim’s neck separated a cervical vertebrae from the spine.

According to Dr. Lauby, Great Dane attacks are not common.

“It happens, but it is not one of the breeds you usually see in an attack like this,” Dr. Lauby said.

(The Daily Record - March 21, 2017)

Oregon: Family's 20-lb pet iguana saved from house fire

OREGON -- A fire did damage to a house in Pendleton, but the family — and their 20-pound iguana — were not hurt.

Shawn Penninger, the assistant chief of the Pendleton Fire Department, said the department got the call to 2600 S.W. Goodwin Ave. at 4:43 p.m.

Four vehicles initially responded before the department called for reserves and support from the tribal and Pilot Rock departments.

A family of three lives in the house, and only one adult was home at the time of the fire.

Firefighters removed an iguana from the home and gave it oxygen.

Penninger said preliminary investigation shows the cause of the fire was improperly disposed smoking material. Firefighters cleared from the scene after about two hours.

(East Oregonian - March 10, 2017)

Colorado: DNA test shows Aurora dog not a wolf, despite animal control belief

COLORADO -- Tracy Abbato says DNA results show her dog Capone is not part wolf as Aurora Animal Control suspected.

“The results came back NEGATIVE. Not an ounce of wolf,” Abbato told Denver7.

City of Aurora spokesman Michael Bryant said he couldn’t comment on the DNA test because Capone is mired in an ongoing legal case. Capone will remain at the Aurora Animal Shelter until a court can determine whether he goes home.

The dog’s owners were charged with keeping a wild, exotic or dangerous animal, which was related to suspicion the dog was a wolf hybrid.

While a DNA test might have proven that Capone is 100 percent dog, his owners still face charges of keeping an aggressive or dangerous animal, allowing him to roam at large, failure to obtain an animal license and failing to make sure the dog had a rabies vaccine.

Tito Serrano, who co-owns the dog with Abbato, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, Bryant said.

Bryant said the dog was picked up because it was running at large and acting aggressively. Animal Control ordered the DNA test after the department’s animal experts observed his physical characteristics and believed them to be consistent with those of a wolf hybrid.

If the tests had determined the dog was a wolf hybrid, it would not have been returned to the family because Aurora city ordinance prohibits exotic animals.

A disposition hearing scheduled for Aurora Municipal Court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday could decide if the dog goes home or remains at the shelter pending a trial that would be set at a later date. The hearing will determine whether public safety can be assured if Capone is returned home, Bryant said.

If not, the court could order Capone surrendered to Animal Services. Bryant said it is too early to predict whether that would lead to the dog being euthanized.

(The Denver Post - March 20, 2017)


Virginia: Sheriff's deputy kills pit bull which attacked him during arrest

VIRGINIA -- A sheriff's deputy shot and killed a pit bull that attacked him as he was making an arrest.

The Winchester Star reported Saturday that a deputy with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office had gone to a home in Stephens City Thursday evening to arrest a man wanted in Harrisonburg.

Sheriff's office spokesman Capt. Aleck Beeman said the pit bull ran out of the house and attacked the deputy after the man who was being placed under arrest opened the door.

The deputy was treated for minor injuries.

The county commonwealth's attorney ruled the shooting to be justified.

( - March 12, 2017)