CONNECTICUT -- A family whose dog was viciously attacked on a public hiking trail in East Haddam said their pet was not involved in a dogfight, but a dog attack.
Now, they are calling for action.
A pit bull attacked a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Marley and Marley's family said she's in rough shape.
They said it could cost thousands of dollars to save her.
The attack happened on Sunday morning.
Gregg Davis took Marley for a walk on the Hatch Lot Trail to enjoy the spring weather.
However, he said it went horrifically wrong.
"I came to the end of the trail and a dog that was unleashed abruptly came over the ridge over there and just violently attacked my dog," he said. "[It] grabbed my dog by the neck and pinned her down to the ground and tore open her throat."
Gregg Davis said he couldn't do anything but watch.
A passerby even tried to separate the pit bull from the other dog, but failed.
The owner of the pit bull heard the noise and was able to pull the dog off of Marley.
However, Marley was so traumatized that she ran off into the woods before Gregg Davis was able to find her and bring her to the vet.
Gregg Davis said Marley suffered severe lacerations to the neck and chest.
"On top of having my dog attacked like that I have the sticker shock afterward of seeing upwards of $5,000 worth of medical bills," he said. "That's out of pocket."
He said he didn't know if Marley would be the same again.
"We've grown very fond and very close to Marley," said Milton Davis of Marlborough, Gregg Davis's father.
Gregg Davis's parents said it could have been much worse.
"If it hadn't been the dog it could have been a child," said Jean Davis, Gregg Davis's mother.
East Hampton's animal control officer, Mike Olzacki, said the owner of the pit bull was cited for not having their dog confined and being unlicensed.
The Davis family said that's not enough.
"No matter what kind of dog it is, it is your responsibility to take control of that dog and have control at all times," Gregg Davis said.
Animal control put the pit bull in a 14 day quarantine and it will undergo an evaluation.
However, East Haddam, like many other towns, does not have a violent dog ordinance, which can put restrictions on certain breeds or give animal control more power over a decision of what will happen to the dog.
The Davis family said they are still looking at all of their options with Marley and legally.
They reiterated that their biggest concern is making sure everyone else is safe on that trail.
(WFSB - May 1, 2017)