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Victoria animal control responds to 3 pit bull attacks in 3 days (Video)

By Sonny Long
April 30, 2012 at 10:02 a.m.
Updated May 1, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

Victoria police question pit bull owner Joe Baldez following a dog attack outside his home on the 1700 block of East Rosewood Avenue.


The dog attacks during the last three days are at least the seventh in Victoria since mid-March. The attacks include the death of a toddler and three of the dogs being killed in separate incidents.

On March 26, 4-year-old Skylar Johnson was mauled and killed when he wandered into a neighbor's yard and was attacked.

Two pit bulls were shot to death by Victoria police officers on March 12 and another shot to death following an attack on March 16.


So far in 2012, Victoria County Animal Control has quarantined 36 dogs following reports of bites. About 28 percent of those, 10, were pit bulls, twice as many as any other breed. Another 21 dog bites have been reported this year, that were allowed quarantine with a veterinarian or at home.

Breeds quarantined for biting in 2012:

Akita 1

Bassett Hound mix 1

Boston terrier 1

Boxer 1

Chihuahua 3

Chow mix 5

Corgi mix 1

Dachshund mix 1

Labrador retriever mix 5

Pit Bull 10

Poodle 1

Shepherd mix 2

Spaniel mix 1

Terrier mix 3

Total 36

SOURCE: Victoria County Animal Control

A pit bull attack Monday on Rosebud Street was the third attack in three days in Victoria.

Monday's victim Shawna Bohnstengel was walking in the neighborhood when the loose pit bull attacked her, said Victoria Police Chief JJ Craig.

She suffered a bite on an upper thigh and was taken by ambulance to Citizens Medical Center, where she was treated and released, said Shannon Spree, hospital spokeswoman.

At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, a 14-year-old boy in the 1900 block of Melrose Street was bitten in the groin by a friend's pit bull. He was taken by private vehicle to a local hospital.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Juan Tijerina, 57, was bitten on the arm above the wrist while in the 3400 of Mulberry Street.

He walked too close to a neighbor's pit bull on a chain, Craig said.

Tijerina refused medical treatment at the scene.

"I don't have an explanation," said Craig. "In most of them, the pit bull escapes from the owner somehow. They manage to free themselves."

"It is the owner's responsibility to keep their dog detained," Craig said. "From our perspective, if you are going to have a pit bull, it is your responsibility to maintain and secure it in a safe manner."

Monday's incident took place at 8:30 a.m. as Bohnstengel walked near the corner of Rosebud and Greenwood streets.

Victoria Patrol Officer Candy Pratt was patrolling the area and Bohnstengel flagged her down for help.

"The dog then charged our officer, who fired one round, but did not strike the dog," Craig said. "The dog ran inside a house."

The dog owner refused to release the dog until animal control officers arrived. At times, profanity-filled shouts could be heard coming from the home.

When a Victoria County Animal Control officer arrived, dog owner Joe Baldez carried the dog, Bud Light, out of the home and to the animal control vehicle.

"I didn't want to give them my dog. They are going to kill him either way," said Baldez, who was cited by police for allowing the dog to roam free. "He's a good dog."

So far this year, the animal control department has issued 30 citations for animals running at large, said Heather Kern, assistant supervisor in the department.

In 2011, animal control issued 25 citations and seven written warnings to animal owners. The agency issued 31 citations and 10 warnings in 2010. Most of the citations were for running at-large

All dogs involved in biting incidents are quarantined 10 days, said Dr. Bain Cate, executive director of the Victoria City-County Health Departments, which oversees the animal control department.



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