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Police kill pit bull; 3 incidents reported in a week (Video)

March 16, 2012 at 8:04 p.m.
Updated March 16, 2012 at 10:17 p.m.


TO REPORT A STRAY

During business hours Animal Control Services can be reached at 361-578-3564. After business hours, call the Victoria Police Department at 361-573-3221.

Two pit bull dog attacks on Friday culminated a week in which the aggressive breed threatened residents in three Victoria neighborhoods.

In all, three of the six animals in the attacks had to be shot by law enforcement officers to control the scenes.

But a Victoria City/County Health Department Animal Control spokesman said while three attacks occurred this week, the breeds of stray dogs encountered by animal control officials varies every week.

"It could be any breed from a small breed up to a larger breed," said Joe Lopez, chief animal control officer. "Some are animal-aggressive and some are people-aggressive."

Pit bull attacks are generally more noted because of the damage caused by their strength and size whenever they bite, Lopez said, but any breed can be aggressive.

"Next week it could be dachshunds, boxers or shepherds," Lopez said. "It just varies - which citizens are not taking care of their animals and are letting them run free."

Residents generally report dogs to the animal control as aggressive, but this is often because the animal feels cornered or threatened, Lopez said.

But most of the time, when animal control arrives, dogs are generally calm and cooperative, Lopez said.

Friday's first attack occurred when Dianna Wray, 29, of Victoria, was walking her black Tibetan Terrier "Dolly Lama Sue" in the field between Bretton Village Apartments and Victoria Station Drive Apartments about 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Dolly stopped to sniff at a fence and a brown snout appeared on the other side of the fence. Wray pulled her dog back to continue their walk, but when she turned around about 30 seconds later, the pit bulls - one female and one male with a collar - were standing about five feet behind her.

Dolly, restrained by a leash, started barking at the other animals.

"They could have just been curious at first, but curiosity turned to aggressiveness very quickly," said Wray, a Victoria Advocate reporter.

The dogs charged at Wray and her dog. Wray scooped up her pet and began to run, the pit bulls scratching at her back.

"There was no one around. I started screaming - I didn't know what else to do, and I couldn't get away from the dogs," Wray said.

Eventually, four men stopped to help her.

"It took the four of them to restrain the two pit bulls," Wray said. "I was shaking. I couldn't stop shaking."

Animal control and the police arrived quickly, Wray said. Animal control captured the two pit bulls in the 1500 block of East Mockingbird Lane.

Wray took her dog to the vet for treatment of two bites she received on the inside of her right hind leg and on the outside of her left hind leg.

A second pit bull attack occurred Friday in the 2600 block of Cardinal Street about 5:40 p.m.

A man, who declined to be identified, said he was walking down Cardinal Street toward his trailer home on Lone Tree Road when two pit bulls attacked him.

"The brown one came out first and the white and gray one followed him," the man said. "The gray one seemed to be playful, but the brown one was more serious."

The man hit the brown pit bull on the head after it attempted to bite him, then he jumped on a car across the street to get away from the dog.

"The dog started jumping on the car, too, so I ran two doors down to crawl onto a larger car," the man said.

The man, who had been scratched on his left leg by the pit bull, climbed on top of a white Toyota 4Runner while neighbors called the police.

When police arrived, the brown pit bull was acting aggressive toward people in their cars, not allowing them to get out, said police Sgt. Lee Lemmons.

The dog charged at the police officers as well, so they retreated, hoping to pacify the animal until a control official arrived, Lemmons said.

"The dog charged at the officers again in an aggressive fashion," Lemmons said. "So the officers were compelled to use deadly force to protect themselves and others."

The brown pit bull was killed, but the white and gray dog was captured by animal control.

The owners of both dogs live at 2606 Cardinal St. and were informed about the attacks, Lemmons said.

The owners drove up to the home, but left after talking to police.

Animal control will determine later whether charges will be filed, the officer said.

"By orders we have to hold them for 72 hours," Lopez said. "The owners have the right to claim them back. But there are fees they have to pay."

After 72 hours, unclaimed dogs are put up for adoption, if possible.

"If they are pits or pit mixes, or any other aggressive breed, we can't adopt them out and they have to be euthanized," Lopez said.

The first attack of the week occurred Monday afternoon when a woman walking her collie in the 2300 block of Bon Aire Avenue was attacked by two pit bulls. The pit bull dogs were shot by law enforcement. Two people were wounded in that incident.

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