Monday, December 31, 2012

Man hospitalized after dog attack

GEORGIA -- A man attacked by dogs in Worth County is out of the hospital. 

39 year-old Michael Towell has been discharged from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital after he sustained serious wounds to his arms, legs and hands.  

Worth County animal control officials say Towell was touring the property of a home off Woodcrest Road when three bulldog mixes attacked him. 

A neighbor shot and killed one of the dogs, the other was taken into custody.Animal control officials say the third dog that ran off has not been found, but they believe it died in the woods from a gunshot wound. 

The three dogs, along with four others had been tied up in the back of the house bordering the property that Towell was on. 

Officials believe the dogs chewed through their leashes. Charges are pending.
Worth County animal control officials are looking for a dog who attacked a man earlier Saturday.

The dog was just one seven that had been tied up outside for several days. Three of those dog escaped this afternoon and attacked a man who, sustained serious injuries.

Officials with the Sheriff's department say 39-year-old Michael Towell was touring the property of a home off Woodcrest Road when a pack of bulldog mixes came looking for trouble.

"Three dogs attacked him as he came out. They had a scuffle here on the ground," says Best Friends Humane Society Director Sherri Hendley.

That's when a nearby neighbor came to the rescue.

"I shot one of them. He ran off and then another one was standing there and I shot him," says neighbor Fleming Barfield.

One dog was killed and another badly wounded but not before Towell sustained serious injuries to his arms, legs, and hands.

"That guy was in terrible pain and he was eaten up from the feet to his waist," says Barfield.

Neighbors say the dogs were no strangers to the area. For at least a week now, the three dogs, along with four others, had been tied up in the back of the house bordering the property that Towell was on.

"We don't know how long the dogs have been here alone and we don't know how long they've been off the chain running loose," says Hendley.

Officials believe the dogs chewed through their leashes and Towell was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

"He is a pretty good size man, over 6'5 and he was unable to fend them off when he was biting them," says Hendley.

Best Friends Humane Society picked up the remaining dogs and took them back to the shelter where they will remain in custody for at least 10 days.

Deputies believe the owner of the dogs has been in Florida since Monday. And animal control officials say all seven dogs seemed to be malnourished. Charges are pending. Michael Towell is in Phoebe Putney Memorial hospital in fair condition.

 (WALB - Dec 30, 2012)

Dog attack gran returns to her home

UNITED KINGDOM -- A GRANDMOTHER who was left needing surgery twice after she was mauled by two dogs returned to her Oxford home for Christmas.

Sushil Giddy, 51, suffered deep bite wounds to her right arm after the attack in Aldebarton Drive, Barton, on Saturday, December 15.

Ms Giddy spent a week in Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital before going home on Friday, December 21.

Her daughter Natasha said she was “still shaky” and unwell after undergoing two surgeries under general anaethestic – including a skin graft.

She also said her mum was having regular check-ups at the hospital and could face another operation.

Pensioner Ken Deadman was bitten on his left arm in the same incident, spending nine hours in hospital.

After the attack, police arrested a 30-year-old man from Headington, Oxford, on suspicion of being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog that injured someone. He was released on bail until January 22.

The two dogs were seized by police and will be kept until the investigation is over.

(Oxford Mail - Dec 31, 2012)

Dog attack victim's family speaks out

GEORGIA -- Kristina Towell was looking at a prospective house on Saturday with her grandmother and husband, Michael, when three bulldogs from a neighboring house chewed through their leashes and attacked Michael.

"He was just screaming help me, help me, somebody help me, just help. Even after they were gone, he was just screaming help me,” said Towell.


Towell says she tried to chase the dogs away with her car while her grandmother dialed 911 but the biting continued for 10 minutes until a neighbor heard the honks and came outside with a gun.

"I said thank you, dear Lord and then he started shooting the dogs and I thought 'Oh, great! Thank you!' because I was really afraid for Mike,” said Kristina’s grandmother, Carole Huff.

Michael was able to hold one off one of the dogs long enough for the neighbor to take action, killing one and injuring another before it ran off into the woods.

The third was captured by the Best Friends Humane Society who [made excuses and] says there are a number of reasons, like being tied up without food or water, that can provoke an animal.

"Those things all factor into it, it's not just tying it up, it's what goes with the tying it up," said Best Friend’s president, Shelly McPhaul.

Michael received around 40 staples to the bites that covered his legs, arms and head. Kristina says although he was hurt, it could've been worse.

"I'm just very thankful it wasn't a small child or me or my grandmother out there ‘cause it could've really hurt somebody bad. My husband's a pretty tough guy and he held his ground pretty good.”

The remaining dog is quarantined at a Worth County facility until rabies tests come back. For now, Kristina says she's focusing on getting Michael better and how she should take legal action against the owner.

Both Huff and Towell say the accident could have been prevented had the dogs not been chained up and urge anyone with pets who show signs of aggression to take them for proper training. McPhaul says although dogs can be considered part of your family, they're still animals and can get angry.

Despite what happened, Kristina says now that the dogs are gone, she and Michael are still thinking of renting the house once he recovers.

( - Dec 30, 2012)

IMPD shoots, kills dog after attack on animal control officer

INDIANA -- Indianapolis police fired three gunshots into a pit bull Saturday, killing the dog after he attacked an animal control officer and another person.

Two officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the 2400 block of Asbury Street, where the dog’s owner lives, shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday. An IMPD report says they were responding to a request for help from the Animal Care and Control officer.

The dog had bitten ACC officer Michael Bonito several times, the report says, and was behind the house when the IMPD officers arrived.

Before the officers found Bonito, the report says, the white pit bull, with blood visible on him, charged at them. Officer Nicholas Hubbs fired his handgun, striking the dog in the neck.

The dog retreated behind the house, but the altercation wasn’t over.

After Hubbs and officer Jose Navarro helped Bonito, who was limping, Hubbs headed back toward the house, his IMPD-issued 12-gauge shotgun in hand.

The report says he found the dog behind the house, on the other side of a chain-link fence. The dog growled and showed his teeth. When the dog attempted to jump the fence, Hubbs fired twice, striking him in the neck and chest.

Those shots “ultimately destroyed the dog,” the report says.

No name was provided for the dog. ACC took his body into custody.

Bonito, the injured ACC officer, was treated at Wishard Memorial Hospital and released later Saturday, ACC spokesman Adam Garrett said Sunday.

The officer originally came to the house to take a report of an earlier bite by the dog Saturday morning.

“He’d gone out to get photos and a statement from the victim, and somebody had the animal in question contained in their car,” Garrett said.

When the dog was let out of the car, Garrett said, he attacked Bonito.

Garrett didn’t have further information about the earlier attack except to say that it was serious and that the victim, a woman, also needed treatment at Wishard. The dog’s owner, Michelle Gonzalez, was issued citations as a result, Garrett said. Gonzalez could not be reached for comment.

( - Dec 30, 2012)

Vermilion Parish Sheriff defends his deputies for shooting pit bull

LOUISIANA -- Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillon defends his two deputies who shot a charging pit bull last week.

On December 23, just after noon, deputies with the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a complaint regarding a leash law violation.

According to a report filed by the deputies, after speaking with the complainant, they received information that a dog belonging to Brittany Meche at 2825 Orangewood Drive of Abbeville, was loose and in violation of Vermilion Parish Ordinance 2008-O-37. The complainant further stated that the dog was seen running loose in the neighborhood often and growls at people.

 Deputies proceeded to the home of Meche to investigate the complaint. Upon speaking to Meche, it was verified that she did in fact own a white pit-bull dog but did not know if it was on a leash or not.
Deputies attempted to verify compliance with the parish leash law by looking around the home for the dog. Deputies observed a white pit-bull dog on the porch at the rear of the residence and in doing so, the dog jumped off the porch, running quickly toward the deputies barking and growling in an aggressive manner. Deputies shouted for Meche to restrain her dog, but the dog kept running toward the deputies barking loudly. Both Deputies drew their service weapons as a defensive and protective measure, firing a total of 7 shots at the approaching dog, striking it 3 times.

 The dog was brought to a local veterinarian clinic and treated for injuries.

 According to Sheriff Mike Couvillon, deputies have made at least three prior calls regarding complaints of a loose dog belonging to Meche (02/24/2010, 07/27/2010, and 01/11/2011).

“Our deputies understand that animals may get loose and subsequently pet owners may be found in violation of the parish leash law,” Couvillon said. “It is our practice to respond to and investigate these complaints and take appropriate actions, depending upon the circumstances (issuing a summons, filing of charges, having the animal picked up in cases of dog bites or if no owners can be found etc.). It is not our practice to shoot animals found to be in violation of this ordinance. However, our deputies are trained and authorized to use reasonable and necessary force to protect themselves from attack and/or injury, regardless of the type of threat.

“In this particular incident, I stand by my deputies and the actions used as a means to protect themselves from what appeared to be an aggressive pit-bull dog that was barking, growling and advancing upon them rapidly”, said the Sheriff.

Meche is being charged with Leash Law Violation which states that it is unlawful for any person to permit any dog owned by him or in his possession, or kept by him about his premises to roam at large on the public roads or public places, or on enclosed or unenclosed lands or other properties, unless such dog be in the immediate presence of the owner or keeper and under restraint.

( - Dec 30, 2012)

Dogs Rescued From Filthy Pen in Delco Yard

PENNSYLVANIA -- Animal Control officers rescued four badly malnourished dogs -- wet, cold and without water or food for up to a week -- from a locked mud-covered pen in Delaware County Thursday evening.

The mother, father and two pups, believed to be Cane Corsos, were found in the filthy pen outside a home on the Bailey Road in Yeadon, Pa.

NBC10 was the only news station there as Delaware County Animal Control officers served a search warrant to remove the animals from the miserable conditions.

According to Animal Control Officer Lisa Stewart the dogs were outside since last Friday.

"That's when we got the first complaint from the police stating they were out here. We did the follow-up. Posted notices, unfortunately nobody responded."

The dogs could have died if they remained outside another day or two.

Animal control said the owner is somewhere in Georgia and allegedly left a friend in charge of his dogs. Once the owner is found he could face animal cruelty charges.

"These dogs are starving," Stewart said. "They lunged at all the food we gave them. That means only one thing they haven't eaten in days."

Neighbor Alice Honeywell is glad to finally see the dogs go. She says back in July the older Cane Corsos attacked her and her dog.

"Tried to kill me, no question, mangled my leg, I'm still being treated for it [six months later]," said neighbor Alice Honeywell. "And my dog almost died."

Animal Control officers tranquilized the older dogs to keep them calm. After about two hours, all four were finally removed from the muddy mess and put in good hands at the Delaware County SPCA -- it's not clear what their future will be.

"I feel sorry for them," Stewart said "They could have had a better life."

(nbcphiladelphia - Dec 28, 2012)

June 2013 update to story: Details are odd. The most recent article says that authorities executed a warrant and removed two Cane Corsos from this same property, again being abused. Are these the same dogs? Did the owner ever get charged for cruelty for these starving dogs? Did he just go buy more Cane Corsos to breed them again? -- "'Very aggressive' Cane Corsos, cat removed from squalor by officials"

New York: Swaneka PJ Danzler, 21, charged with animal cruelty in puppy-dumping case

NEW YORK -- An Amityville woman has been charged with animal cruelty in the abandonment of two sick puppies in Riverhead Dec. 18.

The Suffolk County SPCA said Sunday SPCA officers have charged Swaneka P.J. Danzler (aka Swaneka Pertiece Danzler), 21, with animal cruelty. The SPCA said Danzler admitted to SPCA officers that she dumped the puppies at the Riverhead Animal Hospital on West Main Street about 1 a.m. on Dec. 18.

The two pit bull puppies, 10-12 weeks old, were found in a window well at the animal hospital. They had severe mange and were near death, SCPA Chief Roy Gross said.

[Other news reports say she dumped them down a six-foot deep window well and left them to die.]

They puppies were treated at the animal hospital and subsequently released to the town animal shelter. The North Fork Animal Welfare League then took custody of them.

One puppy died Christmas Day, but the other was expected to make a full recovery, according to NFAWL executive director Gillian Wood Pultz.

The Suffolk SPCA had posted a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the crime. The humane organization increased the reward to $3,000 after the puppy died.

How many other people are named Swaneka P.J. Danzler?
Swaneka Pertiece Danzler
Arrest Age: 18 Years Old
Gender: F
Current Age: 21 Years Old
Birth Date: 3-13-1991
Weight: 130 lbs
Height: 5'07"
Race: B
Arrest Date: 3-24-2009

Charge 1
BOND: 500
Charge 2
BOND: 2500

SCPA chief of operations Steve Laton said in a news release Danzler's apprehension was credited to "the diligent work of SPCA officers in the apprehension of" Danzler.

Editor's note: A criminal charge is an accusation. By law, a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

(Riverhead Local - Dec 30, 2012)


Fundraiser set for 2-year-old mauled by pit bull

FLORIDA -- The photograph shows a cute 2-year-old girl, with a heart-shaped face, yellow flower in her auburn hair, smiling delightedly at the camera, a slight wrinkle in her perky nose.

Shelby Churey, daughter of Joe, 29, and Michelle Churey, 31, of Boynton Beach, already had modeling agencies seeking her out.

A little girl who loves Mickey and Minnie Mouse, her stuffed animals and rabbits, fingerpainting and riding a four-wheeler outdoors, Shelby is the Churey's only child and their pride and joy.

Last month her pretty face was mauled by a relative's pit bull.

The dog has since been euthanized.

"My father-in-law was holding her and Shelby was holding the dog's toy. We think the dog was trying to get his toy, but he attacked Shelby," Joe Churey said. "Her face and eyes were badly scratched and he took a chunk of skin from her cheek."

Shelby was rushed to JFK Medical Center and then to St. Mary's Medical Center where she stayed for 10 days and underwent a number of surgeries. She received many stitches in her face and surgery to repair the tear ducts in both eyes. Luckily, her eyesight is not permanently damaged, but she will need additional laser surgeries to minimize scarring to her face.

"Shelby needs one more laser surgery and possibly a skin graft. Because the insurance companies consider it cosmetic surgery, they do not want to cover the procedure," said Michelle Churey, a paramedic and nursing student at Palm Beach State College.

When she was notified of the accident Churey said, "I totally freaked out and went into shock.
Because of my training as a paramedic and nurse, I didn't get emotional. You have to be strong for your child. I felt like I was in a dream, that I would wake up and she'd have only a little scratch on her face."

"When I got to the hospital, it began to sink in. I'm a religious person. I was staring at her face and thinking how can God let something like this happen to my little princess?"

On Saturday, family and friends will have a fundraiser to help defray the medical costs of Shelby's surgeries.

Her uncle, Benny Townend, owner of Benny's Boynton Grill, will sponsor the family day event with activities, including a bounce house, barbecue, family portraits, a DJ, raffle and snow trucked in for the children.

"The community has been great and supportive and everyone is rallying around the Chureys, offering help and support," he said.

Shelby's prognosis is good, although her mother said she is left with a residual fear of dogs and of anyone wearing scrubs.

"When I try to put cream on her face she winces, 'it hurts too bad.' Shelby looks at herself in the mirror all the time and jokes, 'this is my monster face, this is my princess face.'"

How you can help

An account has been created for Shelby Churey at any Bank of America branch.

Benefit at Benny's Boynton Grill, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 9803 S. Military Trail, Boynton Beach.
In January, Lake Clarke Beauty Salon, 1777 Florida Mango Road, will have Haircuts for Shelby. Call Kimberly Henderson at 561-967-3161.

(Sun Sentinel - Dec 29, 2012)


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Alabama: Police officer Gregory Allen Scoggins, 47, fired... what's next for him?

ALABAMA -- Gregory Allen Scoggins, 47, a resident of Muscle Shoals, was terminated Thursday from that city's police department where he had worked since 2001. End of story?

It doesn't seem so. Scoggins will have the right to appeal, but our expert on police matters (infractions) says the Deshler High graduate's conduct was so unbecoming of an officer that there would be no chance of winning.

Apparently, after the misdemeanor charges relating to killing the deer on TVA property have been adjudicated, the ABI could assist Muscle Shoals in charging Scoggins with a felony.

We've been inundated with e-mails concerning Scoggins, running 15 to one in favor of, well, up to doing bodily harm to the man. We're not ever in favor of violence, but we have to admit those who are seeking to reclaim money given to Scoggins last summer are very vocal about it.

We usually consider a gift a gift, but we didn't contribute to the shamed officer. Yet most of us have given to someone who claimed to be in need only to find out we'd been scammed. Isn't it better to do that than not to give to someone who's in desperate need?

If anyone does wish to pursue any charges in connection to Scoggins' plea for money after his home burned, you should contact either the Colbert County District Attorney or the Attorney General's office in Montgomery.


We are still receiving a few communications stating Scoggins shot the deer for food. It seems Scoggins' wife left him two months ago, ostensibly citing cruelty, and the deer slayer had to set up housekeeping anew for the second time this year.

So, was he hungry? Since Scoggins now has only himself to feed, we doubt it. Many restaurants offer large discounts to armed police officers, some even providing free meals in exchange for the presence of such a crime deterrent.

What next for former Food World employee Greg Scoggins? Since he has approximately 23 years before he can claim a full retirement, we foresee a future asking about either choice of bags or french fries.

(Shoalana Speaks - Dec 29, 2012)

Mounties called heroes after saving dog from freezing water

CANADA -- Larry LaVallee, of Seaside Drive in Kippens, is calling several RCMP officers heroes after they rescued a dog from the freezing water of a pond near his home.

The mature golden retriever broke through the ice sometime between Boxing Day night and Thursday morning, before LaVallee spotted him from his bathroom window overlooking the pond.

Rose Madore, a receptionist with the West Coast Veterinary Clinic in Stephenville, said it looks like the dog will be OK after his ordeal.

The golden retriever was discharged to his owners, who were not identified but live on Kippens Road, on Thursday afternoon. Madore said they would be monitoring the dog for the next 24 hours.

Const. Kelsey Ford of the Bay St. George RCMP, said the owners reported the dog missing after they returned home late Wednesday night. They went out searching for their pet, but never found him.

LaVallee said it was shortly after 8 a.m. when he noticed something unusual towards the edge of the pond. He took a photo with his cellphone and, since the object wasn’t moving, thought it might be a box or something that blew onto the ice.

A short time later he looked out again and noticed the object moving, then discovered it was a dog on the other side of the pond. He said the dog looked like it was about to die, with its head down on the pond ice.

He then went to the next street over, Youngville Drive, to see if he could get to the dog. When the animal saw LaVallee he lifted up his head, but seemed to be frozen from the hips down.

Shortly after, the police officers that he’d called arrived.

Ford credited Const. Kris LeGresley for finding a path through the brush in order to grab the dog from the ice. The two officers took turns carrying the dog back to their vehicle and transported him to the veterinary clinic.

“These are heroes of the community,” said LeVallee of the police officers. “Despite doing a very long shift they were very respectful and worked really well together saving that dog’s life.”

(The Western Star - Dec 28, 2012)

12/20/12: Future uncertain for 2 dogs rescued from chained confinement

TENNESSEE -- Metro Animal Control wants to know who tied up two dogs and left them to fend for themselves.

Thursday morning, animal control officers were called to a dwelling behind Nashville Vehicles in the 1900 block of Elm Hill Pike, after an anonymous call about a suspected dog fight.

Instead of a dog fight, officers found two dogs nearly bound together and desperate to get free from a tangled mess of chain and wire.

"The chain had got wrapped around the runner, and the poor dog couldn't move," said Metro Animal Control Field Supervisor Billy Biggs. "He couldn't get back to his dog house. He couldn't go anywhere."

Biggs told Nashville's News 2 the pit bull mixes are two to four years old and appear to be in good health. Despite one dog escaping the bind, the overall conditions were unacceptable.

"He was confined to that one little spot, and you know, you just can't do that," he said.

The owner, who has not yet been identified, is believed to live in the dwelling where the dogs were found. Attempts to find the owner were unsuccessful on Thursday. Animal cruelty charges are pending.

"Right now, the owner faces an environmental court citation. There's no jail time involved, but there is a fine and court costs if he's found guilty," said Biggs.

Guilty or not, the judge could allow the owner to get his dogs back. However, if the owner does not reclaim them, the dogs may not survive.

Due to concerns over safety and illegal activity, pit bull breeds cannot be adopted from animal control.

"We do make exceptions sometimes for animals," Biggs said. "These two appear to be really friendly. Hopefully, they would let us get 'em to a rescue."

Rescue groups must meet certain requirements to take over the care of animal control seized pit bulls.
Prior to Thursday's seizure of the dogs on Elm Hill Pike, there were no previous complaints about that location to Metro Animal Control.

Biggs also noted the department's efforts to educate animal owners who violate local laws.

"We don't just give them a citation," he said. "We like to educate them and show them the proper way and give them a copy of the laws."

A court date for the case cannot be set until the owner is found.

(WKRN - Dec 20, 2012)

12/22/12: Woman savaged by own dogs blames herself

NEW ZEALAND -- Recovering at home with 20 stitches in her leg after trying to separate her two dogs during a fight, a Lawrence woman says she would do it again to protect her beloved pets.

On Wednesday afternoon, Amanda Sheridan (43) was flown to Dunedin Hospital with lacerations and puncture wounds to her arms and legs after trying to separate her two dogs who had begun fighting.

She returned home from hospital on Thursday with 20 stitches for two deep lacerations on her right leg, and puncture wounds to her right arm.

Miss Sheridan told the Otago Daily Times her chocolate Labrador-Rottweiler cross, Bozo, and Kahn, a bull mastiff cross, began fighting over food.

''I jumped in to intervene and got bitten by mistake.''

Miss Sheridan said she, with her daughter and two of her daughter's friends, threw a bucket of water over the dogs to stop them from fighting.

The water briefly settled the pair, but Kahn then began fighting with Bozo again.

''They were fighting over food and I didn't want Bozo to get hurt so I tried to separate them. 'I should never have left them both out at the same time with the food.''

Miss Sheridan said she intervened by laying over Bozo to protect him, but got two deep lacerations in her right leg, ripping her flesh open, as well as bites to her right arm.

''My dogs didn't have a scratch on them - I got all of it.''

She said 15-year-old Bozo was going blind, so would not have known whom he was biting.

A dog ranger from the Clutha District Council visited Miss Sheridan yesterday and said there were no issues with her or the dogs.

Bozo, a large dog, was curled up beside Miss Sheridan on the couch while she was recovering at home yesterday.

''I was so emotional. I was so worried about my dogs. I would do it again if it came down to it.''

Miss Sheridan has had Bozo since he was 6 months old.

Her daughter, Tori (16), said while Miss Sheridan was away, Bozo moped for her.

''When she came home he was licking Mum to see if she was OK. He was really worried.''

Miss Sheridan also looks after her son's bulldog-Staffordshire terrier cross, Molly (5).

She thanked the ''awesome'' paramedics, the rescue helicopter crew, and hospital staff who had helped her.

''The staff and crew were just awesome. I've also had so many Facebook messages from Lawrence people and friends further away who just want to help. Thank you so much.''

(Otago Daily Times - Dec 22, 2012)

Police: Dogs kill cow by 'eating it alive'

OREGON -- Phoenix police are asking for the public's help in locating a dog that earlier this month teamed up with another dog to kill a steer.

Patrol Officer Adam Lewis said that at 8:35 a.m. on Dec. 14, someone walking a dog reported two other dogs chasing a cow in a field in the 2300 block of Houston Road, just west of Phoenix.

Lewis said when he arrived on the scene about five minutes later, he met a woman near the property who told him two pit bulls were chasing a cow and possibly had taken it down.

"As I was heading across the field, I could hear the cow out there bellowing in pain," said Lewis. "I made my way out to where the cow was, and I could see the two dogs were eating it alive, and it was trying to get up and it couldn't."

Lewis said he shot and killed one of the dogs with his rifle as it was feeding on the steer, killing it immediately. The other dog then ran northeast toward the railroad tracks and back into Phoenix city limits.

Lewis said the dogs were clearly in an agitated state and he fired on them rather than put himself at risk.

"I wasn't going to give them a chance to turn on me," he said.

Lewis said he fired on the second pit bull as it ran away, but was certain that he missed it.

A police dispatcher contacted the rancher who owned the steer, but by the time he arrived, the animal had died.

Lewis said he followed the second dog's paw prints toward town.

"I believe the pit bull is from the north end of the city," he said. "I followed the dog's footprints from when it left the field. I could see the muddy footprints from where it went on the railroad tracks."

Police believe the dog's owner may live near North Rose Street, Dano Drive, Dano Way, Barnum Drive or Arana Drive. The dead dog was a female, brown in color with brindle markings, and weighed about 50 pounds.

The dog's body was taken to Jackson County Animal Control, where authorities hoped the owners would come to claim it. Police are hoping to speak with a man and woman in their 20s who did come to animal control and identified the dead dog, but who said that they were only friends with the owners.

The owner of the steer is frustrated, said Lewis.

"He's trying to run a business and he's got dogs killing his livestock," said Lewis. "That's $1,200 he's out."

Jackson County Animal Control could issue a citation to the owner of the dog for a violation of the dangerous dog ordinance, which carries a fine ranging from $100 to $600, said Brittany Whitmire, an enforcement supervisor with Animal Control. The dog owner also could be required to compensate the rancher for his loss.

Lewis said he is concerned that the second pit bull is still on the loose. It's described as light brown or tan and about 80 pounds. Both dogs had collars on and looked well fed and cared for, said Lewis.

"There is another dog out there that now has a taste for blood, and what will it kill next?" he asked.

"My objective is to get that other dog off the streets before it kills something else."

Anyone with information that may assist in locating the owner of the dogs is asked to call 541-535-1113. Phoenix police have photos from the scene that are available to anyone who may be able to identify the dog.

(Mail Tribune - Dec 29, 2012)

NM boy dies following dog mauling

NEW MEXICO -- Authorities are investigating the death of an 8-year-old Cibola County boy who was attacked by a pack of dogs.
 Undersheriff Tony Mace tells the Gallup Independent that Tomas Jay Henio was attacked by nine dogs near his family's home in Pine Hill on Wednesday.
 The boy's body was transported to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque.
 Mace did not have details about the circumstances that led up the attack. He says most of the dogs were strays that were being fed by the boy's uncle.
 Police in nearby Ramah contacted the sheriff's office Thursday to have an animal control officer pick up the dogs. The animals have since been euthanized.
 FBI spokesman Frank Fisher confirmed to The Associated Press that agents were investigating because the incident happened on the Navajo reservation. He says autopsy results are pending.

(KOB - Dec 28, 2012)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12/24/12: The dogs given a new life for Christmas

UNITED KINGDOM -- Three dogs who were neglected so badly that they could not see or walk have all been re-homed with loving families in time for Christmas.

The three shih-tzus had to be rescued from squalid conditions which left their coats so overgrown and matted with food and feces that they could not see properly and had to drag their back legs when they tried to move around.

Lacy, Molly and Angus, who are now healthy, have each gone to new homes after it was estimated that they had been neglected for at least six months.

Diane Dixon works at Frankham Fell Farm boarding kennels in Fourstones, Northumberland, where the three shih-tzus were housed after they were rescued by the RSPCA.

Despite having no intention of getting a dog, after getting to know Lacy, who is believed to be four-years-old, Diane decided she just had to give her a new home.

Diane, 56, from Newborough, Northumberland, said: 'I lost my German Shepherd last year and didn't think I was ready to replace him but when I met Lacy, I realised there was a big hole in my life.

'All three of them have been shaved after their fur was so drastically matted and they were very nervous. But it didn't take long [for them] to trust people again and we gave them lots of love and care. They hadn't seen anything for years and they had to get used to going for a walk.

'Lacy is brilliant. I take her to work with me every day now and she just runs around the place, she's such a happy dog now and she's getting much more used to people. Her hair has grown back to a normal length now and she is so beautiful. Her temperament is just lovely, you would understand her being aggressive now and again, but I've never seen a side to her at all.'

Lacy, Molly and Angus were saved after neighbours complained about an 'incredible odour' outside the property.

RSPCA officers found the animals living in 'quite disgusting' conditions, which left one inspector 'gagging' because of the stench.

A specialist dog groomer removed huge amounts of matted fur from the shih-tzus, who struggled to walk due to the weight of their overgrown coats. The groomer said the dogs' coats were in the worst condition of any he had ever seen.

Molly, believed to be around five years old, was adopted by Kay and David Cooke from Hexham, Northumberland. The couple were looking for another dog as company for their border terrier, Oscar.

Kay, 49, said: 'We saw an advert for Molly and I fell in love with her straight away. She was adorable.  We wanted a friend for Oscar and so decided to meet Molly to see if the pair of them would get on.  We knew that we would like a rescue dog as we wanted to give a dog who really needed to be loved, a good home.

She added: 'When we first saw Molly, we took her for a walk. She was very tense so we stopped and I picked her up.

Before: Angus
'As soon as she was in my arms, she just melted, and that's when I knew that I was going to love her very much. I would like to think that was the moment she felt safe.

After: Angus
'When Molly first came to live with us, she had no sensory experiences. I can't imagine how it must have been for all three of them living in those conditions.

'We have had a lot of work to do with her, as it's harder to teach an older dog the basic skills you would easily drill into a puppy. But she has been worth every minute of it, and I'd like to think she is happier than she has ever been.'

Tina Bolton, 47, decided to re-home Angus, as her daughter May, 11, had always wanted a pet.

Tina, from Gosforth, Newcastle, said she was looking for a dog for May and, seeing Angus enquired about his background.

'We heard he had been living in really bad conditions, but we weren't told too many details - I think so it wouldn't have clouded our judgement of him,' she said.

'But, we found out later on how Angus and the other two dogs had been treated and it was such a shock.

'I don't know how anybody could neglect an animal like that.

'We didn't really know what we were taking on when we re-homed Angus, because we had no idea how his past might have affected his behaviour, and that's something I was of course wary of with a child in the house.

'But he has been nothing but fun. We've had no problems at all and he's just brought sheer joy into our lives'

Ms Bolton said the family has seen a big difference in Angus already.

'I don't consider myself to be a natural dog lover but Angus is adorable,' she said. 'We quite quickly came to see that he was really happy living with us and I don't think that it will ever come back to haunt us. He gets excited when I come home but I'm nothing compared to my daughter to him. He lives by her side, they're like soul mates.'

Ms Bolton said she felt 'humbled' to think that she and her family had given him a better life.

The shih-tzus' previous owner, Pauline Kinghorn, 62, appeared at Bedlington Magistrates Court in November where she admitted four charges of failing to ensure the welfare of the animals in her care.

When sentenced, she was banned from keeping animals for life and also given an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

During proceedings, the court was told by Clive McKeag, prosecuting for the RSPCA, that it was 'a case of the most extreme neglect you are ever likely to come across', and warned magistrates that the DVD showing the animals would fill them with 'revulsion, disgust and probably anger'.

Kinghorn was also given a two-month curfew order, which involves her having to stay at home between 7pm and 7am and be electronically tagged.

She was previously banned from owning cats for five years in 2003. She admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the three shih-tzus and the German Shepherd between October last year and April this year.

Kinghorn also admitted four charges of failing to ensure the welfare of the four dogs and 12 cats in her care.

Paul Watson, defending, said in court that Kinghorn had health problems, including visual impairment caused by dense cataracts and had no-one to help her look after the animals. He said: 'This is not a case of deliberate cruelty, but one of neglect. She didn't know where to turn for assistance.'

Kinghorn was also ordered to pay £250 towards the RSPCA costs and the magistrates ordered the transfer of all of her animals to the charity.

( - Dec 24, 2012)


Alabama: Muscle Shoals Police Officer Greg Scoggins Fired After Being Arrested, Accused Of Shooting Deer From Patrol Car

ALABAMA -- Muscle Shoals police officer, Greg Scoggins has been fired. He was arrested for allegedly shooting a deer from his patrol car.

Colbert County District Attorney says Scoggins is charged with hunting without permission, hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, and reckless endangerment.


According to the district attorney, the direction of the bullet projectile could have put other people in harm.

Scoggins is accused of using a rifle to shoot a buck on TVA property.

Scoggins will face a Colbert County judge on February, 5th.

(WHNT - Dec 28, 2012)

Middletown man sets cat on fire Christmas Eve

NEW JERSEY -- An 18-year-old faces animal cruelty charges after he set a cat on fire Christmas Eve, according to an official.

Tyriik Haynes, of Middletown, took one of two cats he bought on the Internet outside in a crate around 8:30 p.m. and used aerosol and matches to torch it, said Chief Victor Amato, of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The accelerant melted the plastic carrier and the cat ran out into the woods, while on fire.

Police were called, who contacted the SPCA, and officers searched the woods Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but could not find the animal, Amato said. The SPCA confiscated the unharmed cat.

“He was going to do the same thing to that one,” Amato said.

Haynes was charged with inflicting unnecessary cruelty on a living creature.

( - Dec 28, 2012)

Woman files lawsuit one year after animal raid at her home

KENTUCKY -- One year ago, 200 animals were seized from deplorable conditions, leaving their owners, a Henry County couple, charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.

Now, one of the suspects is suing animal control.


The lawsuits point the finger back at one animal control officer, basically saying he mishandled the puppy-mill seizure and what happened after the animals were taken.

Terri Smith and her husband, Kenneth Smith, were arrested after the raid. A week after the raid, Kenneth Smith committed suicide.

Since then, Terri Smith pleaded guilty to the animal cruelty charges, and most of her pets were put up for adoption.

A few weeks ago, she filed two lawsuits against animal control Officer dan Flinkfelt and the county.

One is for the wrongful death of her husband, who she claimed was harassed because of the raid.

The other lawsuit claims that animal control sold her animals for less than their worth.

WLKY spoke with Henry County's judge executive, John Brent, who is also named in this lawsuit.

"Do you feel like animal control did anything wrong?" WLKY's Jessica Oh asked Brent.

"Of course not. They did the best they could with a bad situation. We experience various lawsuits, a lot of which we don't think have much merit, and that's the case in this," said Brent.

Also in the lawsuit, Terri Smith claimed she, on multiple occasions, asked the animal control officer for help, but that he never responded until the raid happened.

The county now has 20 days to respond.

(WLKY - Dec 29, 2012)

Fate unknown for Pit Bulls involved in dog attack

NEW MEXICO -- Two pit bulls in Santa Fe will remain in city custody while their owner awaits trial.

Gerard Matthews is still trying to save the dogs lives, after they mauled a chihuahua to death in November.

A memorial still rests in front of the pit bull owner's front yard, nearly two months after Lillie was mauled to death.
"I'll mourn her loss for the rest of my life," Anne Stills, Lillie's owner, said. "There isn't a night that doesn't go by that I don't cry and miss her."
Stills said, she even sleeps with Lillie's ashes beside her at night, to feel her spirit, since she will never be able to hold her again.

Back in November, two pit bulls jumped a fence and attacked Stills and killed Lillie while taking a walk down W. Alameda.
Their owner, Matthews, told a judge he did not want the pit bulls back but instead, wants them sent to a rehabilitation center.

No plea deal was reached in court Thursday, and instead, a trial was scheduled to decide the dogs fate.

"If I could be 100% assured that these dogs would never ever be released into the public again, where they could never ever do any harm, I might, might, be okay with them staying in a rescue, but I think ultimately they're going to wind up getting put down whether they go to a rescue or not because they're dangerous," Stills said.

While the dogs fate will be settled before a judge, Stills maintains her mission, on behalf of her beloved Lillie, to change the penalties for owners whose dogs, kill.

"I'll go city, county, state, national," Stills said. "There needs to be laws in this country that everybody understands who takes on the responsibility of an animal."

Trial is scheduled for the end of February.

The Pit Bulls' owner's attorney could not be reached for comment.

( - Dec 28, 2012)


Pit bull attacks son's parents, sending father to hospital

KANSAS -- A disagreement between two adults ended with both injured and one in the hospital after their son’s dog attacked them Friday morning.

The dog, which the owner told police was a pit bull variety, witnessed the argument and became upset. It attacked the couple, Alan and Brenda Tibbits, while their son was sleeping, Topeka police Cpl. Louis Cortez said outside the home at 1823 N.W. Polk.

Cortez said the commotion woke the son, also named Alan Tibbits, who tried unsuccessfully to intervene. The attack only stopped when the son fired two shots from a handgun into the ceiling. He then locked the dog in a bedroom and called 911.

The Topeka Police Department, the fire department, animal control officers and emergency medical responders responded to the scene.

The father, 52, had wounds on his arms and legs and was transported to a hospital. The mother, 49, had wounds on her arms and buttocks.

Neither had sustained life-threatening injuries, Cortez said.

He said the parents and son live together at the residence.

Police seized the handgun to check whether it is owned legally and because there is an ordinance against firing shots within the city, Cortez said.

The dog, a male about 6 or 7 years old, is now in quarantine at a local veterinarian’s office to determine whether it had any illnesses. The family has relinquished ownership of the animal, meaning that it will be destroyed after 10 days of quarantine, said officer Linda Halford, of the police department’s Animal Control Unit.

The family didn’t have a city-issued license for the animal and was fined $30.

Halford said dogs that are reported to her division in relation to attacks or other violations usually aren’t licensed.

(Topeka Capital Journal - Dec 29, 2012)

Florida: Boynton Beach toddler recovering after being attacked in the face by her uncle's pit bull

FLORIDA -- A Boynton Beach mother is hoping for a full recovery for her two year old daughter after an apparent attack by a pit bull. The toddler is now out of the hospital. Her family says it has been difficult to heal when what happened was so unexpected and so violent.    

When little Shelby Churey looks in the mirror, what does she see? "Her looking in the mirror and making a 'monster face'. She calls herself a 'monster face'," said her mother, Michelle Churey.

Stitches and scarring mark one side of the 2-year-old's face, all the result of a series of bites by a dog named 'Ice', her mother says.

"The dog jumped up and just bit her in the face."

Shelby's mother says the toddler was sitting on her grandfather's lap last month, holding a squeeze toy, when the dog lunged past the toy and right toward Shelby's face.

Photos taken at the emergency room showed the severity of Shelby's wounds.

"This is not my daughter," said her mother. "This is not a little bite on my daughter's face. My daughter's face is torn up."

'Ice' belonged to Shelby's uncle. A week after the incident, the family decided to euthanize the dog.

"The dog just started acting a little different," said Churey. "Just started growling at people."

But the Churey's still have a pit bull of their own, named 'Sky'. A different dog, with a very different temperament than 'Ice', Churey says. She has heard stories about this kind of breed before.

"It's horrible and it's all pit bulls."

As a trained paramedic, she has even seen first-hand a number of severe dog bite cases just like her daughter's.

"Recently, I've seen a lot of people having dog bites in their face and in their neck," she said.

Still, she insists that she believes individual dogs - not entire breeds - can become a problem.

The pain and the scars remain after a moment that this mother and daughter can't forget - even if they want to.

"She's very tough. She's a tough little girl."

Shelby's family is raising funds for future facial surgeries, which the family's insurance does not cover.

On Saturday, December 29, a benefit will be held for Shelby at Benny's Boynton Grill (Benny's Ice House) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..  The eatery is located at 9803 South Military Trail in Boynton Beach.  An account for Shelby Churey has also been set up at any Bank of America location.

(WPTV -  Dec 28, 2012)

Owners demand action after beloved pet mauled in Yarmouth

MASSACHUSETTS -- Wednesday began with a typical morning walk for David Pratt and his two Shih Tzus, Jack and Jill.

They turned left out of the driveway and walked along Angelos Road in South Yarmouth, then took a right on Blue Rock Road and continued strolling. It was all perfectly ordinary until a young woman walking two large dogs, including a Labrador retriever-pit bull mix, appeared on the other side of the street.

In a matter of minutes, one of the large dogs had latched on to Jill's head and inflicted fatal injuries on the small dog. The seemingly unprovoked attack caused a great deal of grief for Pratt, 64, and his wife, Sandra, 65, who have owned Jack for 10 years and Jill for 12 years.

"(It was) utter dismay," David Pratt said of his emotions. "My wife hasn't stopped crying. This was our baby."

The town's animal control officers are looking into the attack and should wrap up their investigation by next week, said Karl von Hone, director of the Yarmouth Division of Natural Resources, which oversees animal control.

Von Hone would not identify the owner of the larger dog.

The Pratts plan to take a step further and are petitioning the town to take some action against the dog, which they consider to be a menace and a threat to public safety.

"I want a dangerous dog to be put down," David Pratt said.

The exact circumstances of the attack are unclear.

Based on preliminary reports from animal control, all four dogs had apparently approached each other and were sniffing around when one of the larger dogs bit Jill in the face, von Hone said.

David Pratt contends that he and the woman walking the two larger dogs were walking on opposite sides of the street when the Labrador-pit bull mix saw the Shih Tzus and bounded toward them despite being on a leash.

The large dog, which Pratt and von Hone estimated at between 70 and 100 pounds, overpowered the woman and lunged at Jill just as David Pratt was lifting her up to try to place her on the other side of a fence to protect her, he said.

The larger dog held onto Jill's head for 30 seconds to a minute, even as David Pratt did everything he could to save his dog.

He said the woman held the bigger dog's leash and attempted to pull the animal away during the attack, but was unable to do so because of her small stature.

"I was trying to rip the dog's mouth open," he said. "He didn't even notice me. I even yelled at the owner to control her dog."

The attack left Jill a bloody mess, David Pratt said.

Her jaw had been broken on both sides and her tongue had been shredded, among other serious injuries. David Pratt scooped his injured dog off the road, rushed back to his house and sped to a nearby veterinarian. He also reported the attack to the town's animal control officer.

After several hours of treatment, it appeared Jill might pull through. She died, however, while being taken to an overnight facility in Bourne that afternoon, he said.

The Labrador-pit bull mix has been placed under a 10-day quarantine while town officials investigate.

This means the dog must remain in its home except to go to the bathroom and it can't interact with anyone but its owner, von Hone said.

For the town to become involved in a fatal dog-on-dog attack, one of the two owners must ask for a formal hearing, von Hone said.

From there, both sides will present evidence and von Hone will make a recommendation to the board of selectmen, who have the ultimate say over a dog's fate.

They may choose to place the dog in quarantine, order it be muzzled while out of the house, or decide to euthanize it, von Hone said.

For the Pratts, there's little solace in the town's disciplinary process. Instead, the couple has spent the day mourning Jill and comforting Jack, who has been searching for his lost playmate.

"That dog was like our child," David Pratt said.

(Cape Cod Online - Dec 28, 2012)

Woman airlifted after dog attack

FLORIDA -- A woman had to be airlifted to the hospital after suffering severe injuries following a dog attack.

Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue responded to a home on the 17000 block of Southwest 108th Avenue, just before 12 p.m. Friday.

They called the 61-year-old woman's injuries severe and sent her via air rescue on a trauma alert to Kendall Regional Hospital.

According to a Miami-Dade Police spokesperson the woman was trying to break up a fight between her two dogs, an American bulldog and a Labrador. Both dogs bit the woman, causing her to fall down and break her wrist.

The dogs are now in the custody of a family member

(WSVN - Dec 28, 2012)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Clinton couple charged after their abandoned poodle had to be euthanized, police say

MAINE -- A Clinton couple were charged with cruelty to animals after their neglected poodle was found in such bad shape that it had to be put down, police said Thursday.

Skowhegan Police Chief Michael Emmons said a passer-by noticed a small dog that had been abandoned in a gazebo near Pineland Drive in Skowhegan on Nov. 29. The dog was brought to the police station, and Officer Joshua King took the animal from there to the Somerset Humane Society in Skowhegan.

“Its eyes were matted shut with feces. It couldn’t walk. It couldn’t eat,” said Emmons on Thursday.

He said Somerset Humane Society Veterinarian Michael Wing concluded that the dog “suffered from chronic neglect, flea infestation and paralysis. The poor thing was in such bad shape that they had to euthanize it.”

Officer King “was very upset about the condition of the dog,” said Hattie Spaulding, manager of the Somerset Humane Society. “This is why he did great investigation work and pushed and pushed to find the owner of this dog.”

Paul Laudieri, 44, and his wife, Christina Laudieri, 44, of Clinton were summoned on Dec. 11, and each was charged with one count of cruelty to animals, a Class D misdemeanor punishable by fines and up to 364 days in jail, said Emmons. The couple had previously lived in Skowhegan before moving to Clinton.

The reason they allegedly left the dog?

“They were moving, and the new place would not allow them to have dogs,” Emmons said. “They felt that if they left the dog there, someone would find it and give it a chance.”

Instead, the lap-sized poodle didn’t have a chance, said Spaulding.

“[The fur] wasn’t just matted. It couldn’t even bend its arm because it was all fused together,” she said. “Its nails were sticking out away from its paws. It had been like that for a long time.

“She had a lot of tumors on her stomach,” she added. “We were able to determine that it was a female. It wasn’t even obvious what it was at first.”

Many at the shelter were emotional after seeing the dog’s condition, said Spaulding.

“A lot of workers were in tears and angry. They were very upset about it,” she said. “There was nothing the vet could do. This dog was already suffering enough. It was a shame.”

It was the most neglected animal she had seen that was still alive, said Spaulding.

The Laudieris are now on the shelter’s Do Not Adopt list, she said.

“[They can’t adopt] from here or anywhere else,” said Spaulding. “We just can’t believe that this still happens.”

The couple do have cats, she said.

“I want their cats out of there. They shouldn’t have any more animals,” said Spaulding.

The Laudieris could not be reached for comment late Thursday afternoon.

Spaulding said it doesn’t take much effort to take care of animals.

“Get their shots, brush their hair, give them a bath. Animal care is very simple,” she said. “There are lots of things you can do at home that doesn’t cost anything. I don’t like hearing that ‘we can’t afford it.’ Some shampoo, a comb, some water and food.”

Spaulding is asking those who come across a neglected animal to contact the local animal control officer, police department or shelter.

A court date has not yet been set for the Laudieris, said Emmons.

(Bangor Daily News - Dec. 27, 2012)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Woman left needing around 100 stitches after horrific dog attack

UNITED KINGDOM -- A woman who was attacked by a vicious dog in the street was so badly injured she needed skin grafts and 100 stitches.

Corinne Brennan, 59, was savaged by a husky-type dog which sunk its teeth into her arm as she took her pet terrier for a walk in Coventry.

The 59-year-old legal secretary needed surgery and spent three days in hospital after the horrific attack.

Corinne told how she was walking her five-year-old Wheaten terrier Marty in Daventry Road, Cheylesmore, when she suddenly felt her arm being pulled.

When she looked down a chunk of flesh was missing from her forearm and the injury was so severe she could see her bone.

She was taken to University Hospital where she was whisked into surgery.

Police launched an investigation into the incident, which took place near the junction with The Mount.

So far they have been unable to trace the dog behind the attack - a white and ginger husky type - or its owners.

Corinne is desperate for the dog to be found so no-one else is subjected to a similar attack.

She said: “I’m an avid animal lover - I always give to animal charities and I think some have a really rough time of it.

“I’ve always had rescue dogs and I’m the last person in the world to say that an animal should be put down.

“But if Marty had been on my right hand side when this had happened she wouldn’t be here right now.

“And If I had a toddler with me who knows what might have happened. It doesn’t bear thinking about, it could have ripped an arm off. I want this dog caught. If I heard that a similar dog had hurt a child and I hadn’t done all I could I would feel terrible.”

Corinne, who lives in Daventry Road, had popped home on her lunch break to walk Marty when she was attacked.

Now she could be off work until well into next year.

She had more hospital appointments over Christmas had called on a friend to cook dinner because she was too badly injured.

Problems with her skin graft mean that even now Corinne could face further surgery in the new year.

The injury is expected to leave significant scarring.

Since the attack on December 3 at 1.35pm she has been unable to leave the house, apart from visiting the hospital.

Corinne, 59, said: “I’ve no idea why it went for me. There was nothing to suggest what was coming.

“Marty had a little growl - maybe she had a suspicion that something bad was about to happen. “I felt my arm being pulled and when the dog let go I just looked at it.

“There was this huge hole between my wrist and elbow. It just looked absolutely horrendous.”

A nearby witness said the men walking the dog were both Asian and well dressed. They were seen running off in the direction of Courtleet Road.

West Midlands Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed that attack or who knows who the owners of the dog may be to come forward and speak to them.

(Coventry Telegraph - Dec 27 2012)

Bradenton boy recovering from dog bites

FLORIDA -- A 13-year-old Bradenton boy is out of the hospital after being attacked by two dogs in his neighborhood.

The incident happened Monday along Morning Glory Way in East Bradenton. Justin Curtis, a 7th grader, was stopped at an intersection on his bike, when he says the dogs rushed up to him and started to bite him.

"I was hoping they were friendly, because I could not out-ride them. They just started to attack my legs," said Justin.

Justin says the dogs jumped on his back and he fell to the ground. He sustained several bites to his legs, and was treated at All Children's Hospital in St. Pete. Justin is now on crutches, with several bandages around parts of his legs. He also required several stitches.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, moments after Justin was attacked, one of the dogs tried to bite another resident who was attempting to hold on to the them before law enforcement arrived. That man, Roy Levin, told ABC 7 off camera that the dog bit the back of his leg, but the bite did not break any skin.

The dogs are two Australian Shepherds that apparently had escaped through a window at their owner's home. We attempted to speak with the owner, but the woman was not home when we knocked at her door.


Justin's dad, Jesse Curtis says he is happy his son was not injured any further.

"If this were a smaller child, this would have been very bad. Justin was strong enough to save himself," said Curtis.

The dogs are currently being held at Manatee County Animal Services. It's unclear what will happen to them.

( - Dec 26, 2012)


Woman spends Christmas in hospital after being mauled by 2 dogs

NORTH CAROLINA -- A Lenoir woman will spend Christmas in the hospital after being mauled by two dogs Monday afternoon.

Witnesses said 51-year-old Deborah Vanderbough could easily have been killed by the two animals -- even though she knew the dogs by name and took them on walks nearly every day of the week.

Chelsea Witherspoon heard Deborah Vanderbough scream for help, and looked out her windows to a horrifying sight.

"They had her pinned down, and one was ripping her leg one way. And one was ripping her arm the other way," Witherspoon recalled. "She just kept saying, 'I'm so tired, I can't keep fighting them off.'"

"They mauled her to the point where they completely ripped her pants off, and her arm had flesh all the way down to the bone. They had just ripped her apart," she said.

What's still confusing to witnesses -- and even to police -- is why the dogs attacked.

Neighbors said Vanderbough is dating a man who lived in the neighborhood, and she would take the dogs out for walks in a spacious backyard field several days a week.

Police believe one dog was a boxer-mix; the other a bulldog-mix.

"She just had blood all over her arm. And I saw the dogs face and it had blood all over it," said neighbor Maggie Nelson, who also ran to help.

Several neighbors started running to Vanderbough's aid after they heard her screams, but they had to run more than 200 yards to get to her.

They began shielding her from the dogs and running back to the houses with her, but the dogs kept biting.

"There is no doubt in my mind the dogs would have killed her if we had not heard her screaming. They had her down on the ground and were literally ripping her to pieces," Witherspoon said.

Police said Vanderbough has severe cuts to her arm. She's being treated at CMC in Charlotte.

Residents told Eyewitness News the same dogs bit a different woman a few months ago during a walk. Neighbors said animal control officers took a report but the dogs were allowed to stay.

Maggie Nelson said she'd be terrified if those dogs are released.

"I'd be scared to death," she said. "I would be scared to even walk outside."

Neighbors only knew the dogs' owner as "David." Eyewitness News knocked on his door sevearl times but no one was home.

The dogs were taken to the Caldwell County Animal Shelter by animal control officers. Their fate will be determined sometime next week by the Animal Control Board.

(WSOC - Dec. 25, 2012)