Sunday, December 4, 2016

Georgia: Owner of pit bull which mauled 3-year-old says she's "shocked and heartbroken"

GEORGIA -- The owner of a pit bull and puppies who attacked a three-year-old in Hephzibah says she's distraught about the horrifying attack.

The owner, through tears, says she's shocked and heartbroken after one of her own dogs attacks and injures especially after adopting the mother just a few months ago.

It's much quieter at what used to be the home of a pit bull and her four five-month old puppies, the same dogs involved in an attack that left a three-year-old boy in the hospital.

We spoke with the owner of the five-year-old pit bull, who declined an on-camera interview. She shared these photos of Betty, the dog she found on the side of Chalk Mine Road in July as Patterson Bridge Road was being rebuilt.

She says she took pity on the clearly-pregnant dog and decided to give her a home. She gave birth to 14 puppies just four days after taking her in, but only four survived. She says she never would have thought that same dog would ever snap and says she's heartbroken for Andrez and his family.

During a recent interview, Andrez Guzman's mother, Sherri, told News 12 NBC 26 she never felt threatened by the dogs but was always prepared.

"About once a day, they would be a loose running around," Guzman says. "And if I saw them coming onto our property, I would scare them off. I kept a stick on the porch just for that purpose."

Sunday afternoon, her son walked down the hill by himself where he was attacked not far from his parents' property line. The dogs got loose after he got too close to their yard, after which the mother attacked the child.

It doesn't matter if he "got too close to their yard". He wasn't in their yard. He was either on his own property or on public property. The dogs should have been confined. Period.

"Obviously as a parent you are going to think, 'Oh I could have done this, Oh I should have called someone about these animals," Guzman says. "Our first priority when we moved to the place should have been to get a really secure fence around our property."

She and her neighbor see it as nothing more than a freak accident, but one they hope never happens again.

"Bad things will happen, accidents do happen," Guzman says. "But it is so important to know that you've put forth every effort to be safe, to take precautions. Whether you are a pet owner or a parent."


The incident report shows the owner does not want her dogs back and she says she doesn't want a pet that could do that much harm to anyone else.

The dogs are still being quarantined at Augusta Animal Services. They're being processed for rabies and to see if they're fit to be given to another owner, which will be done sometime next week.

We'll let you know what the decision is when the process is done.

(WRDW - Dec 2, 2016)


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