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Pit Bull Attacks Terrorize Two Small Pets in South Hopkins

A pair of dogs attacked a Shih Tzu and nearly killed a cat.

The afternoon of Nov. 18 was going perfectly for Gerada Louks. The weather was beautiful. Children were playing outside her Peace Valley townhome. Her 10-year-old cat, Peppie, was lounging on the porch—secured to the front door with a harness and leash so he wouldn’t roam the neighborhood.

Louks was in the house getting Christmas decorations when she heard a scream.

“Dog! Oh my god, dog!” her 17-year-old son, Noah, yelled.

She ran out of her home to see that a pit bull had clamped down on her cat’s rear end. Noah held the leash and yelled at the dog to let the cat go, but the pit bull refused to yield.

 “This wasn’t just a dog. This was a dog (out) to kill,” Louks said.

Louks didn’t know it at the time, but her cat was one of two pets a pair of pit bulls attacked that day. At 1:42 p.m., officers went to a home on the 700 block of Eighth Avenue South—kitty-corner from Louks’ home on Ninth Avenue South.

One of the dogs had first attacked a Shih Tzu—grabbing it and shaking it around, said Police Sgt. Michael Glassberg. The Shih Tzu’s owner was able to chase the pit bull away with a bamboo pole, Louks said. The Shih Tzu escaped the attack with minor wounds that were treated with a $120 trip to the vet.

Officers responded to the scene of the attack and started looking for the at-loose pit bulls, Glassberg said. They couldn’t find them until they heard Louks’ screaming.

Back at her home, Noah continued to fight off the pit bull. The 17-year-old kicked the dog in the ribs twice, but the pit bull wouldn’t release Peppie. It was only when Noah kicked the dog in the throat that it let go. Noah swung the cat into the house as officers came running.

They arrived to find “a severely injured cat,” Glassberg said. The dog’s bite had removed a piece of bone from Peppie’s leg, Louks said. They initially feared that his leg would have to be amputated, but the surgeon was able to save it by pinning the top of the cat’s thigh to a piece that was still hanging onto the hip.

The operation cost $5,000, but Louks said there was never any thought in her mind of euthanizing Peppie.

“He’s just part of the family. Hopefully, we’ll have him another 10 years,” Louks said.

(The owner of the pit bulls paid the vet cost for the Shih Tzu’s treatment but not for the cat’s, she said.)

Officers were eventually able to corral the pit bulls with the help of the owner, whose name isn’t being released yet, Glassberg said. The dogs have been quarantined, and the case has been sent to the city attorney for review.

Peppie has a long recovery ahead of him. He’s on antibiotics. Because he’s not allowed to jump for six weeks, he has to be kenneled whenever the family leaves the home.  

Meanwhile, Louks is worried about what could happen if the dogs are allowed back into the community.

“The lady across the street has a child. They would’ve chomped it in half.” Louks said. “It could happen to anyone in my neighborhood.”

***

Police remind pet owners to keep their animals leashed and under control. Those who see misbehaving animals running loose are encouraged to call police. “If there are dogs at large and they’re aggressive, we need to know about it,” Glassberg said.

 

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Jay & Karen November 26, 2012 at 01:49 PM
How about the pit bulls? Who owns them and where do they live. People in the neighborhood need to know this to be safe.
James Warden (Editor) November 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
The dogs live in the same area as the animals that were attacked — on the 700 block of Ninth Avenue South. Police are not identifying the owners, and it's Patch's policy not to identify suspects until they are charged, arrested or identified as suspects by police. I'll follow up on this story once a decision has been made about the fate of the pit bulls and whether charges will be filed.
Gerada Louks November 26, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I want to thank Mr, Warden for his support through out this ordeal. I can only pray that the city does the right thing. This was a horrific incident and I would never want this to happen to anyone else. And a special thank you to Chessa, Aurora, Olivia and Jaden. My neighbor children who brought me and my son warm cookies to make us feel better. It brought tears to my eyes.
mary helmbrecht November 26, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I would think the owner of the pit bulls would get a stiff fine as well as ordered to pay the vet bill for the cat. Hopkins has a leash law that applies to all dogs..."as a pet owner you are required to keep your dog(s) under restraint at all times".
debbie bell November 26, 2012 at 07:47 PM
These attacks were absolutely "good" pit bull behavior. Forget the lies and propaganda of the pit mongers and those who refuse to care about others. "Kill or die trying" was the motto given pit bulls by those who created the pit bull, the pit fanciers (nice word for fighters). No one sane and compassionate wants the continued breeding of these tragically mutated dogs. No other type of dog fights as "well" as pits, with their instinct to attack without reason, attack without warning first and without trying to avoid a confrontation, their instinct to not stop even if the other submits/yelps/says uncle. These fighting dog traits were essential for the "good" fighting dog, and pits remain the best. Want proof? Essentially all US dog fighters (the fight to the death style) all use pits. If other dogs could fight as well, dog fighters would use them. They could attract less attention if they could travel with poodles, keeshonden, Brittany spaniels, but no other dog will happily latch on to a yelping, submitting dog and not let go as well as pits.
debbie bell November 26, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Dogs cannot help themselves, as dogs do not have morals and control no aspect o their lives. Pit mongers, owners and pit breeders actually are attracted to pits because of the vicarious violence and aggression they provide their owners. Want proof? Pit mongers accept the over-breeding of pits that results in the deaths of approximately a million pits/pit mixes each year without a peep. But threaten to euthanize a pit with history of killing a dog or maiming a human, and they rush in, "hackles raised" looking for a fight. Since pits cannot address the crisis and pit mongers actually like the crisis, it is up to Society to take action to reduce these attacks, attacks that often go unreported, at least in our community. Enact and enforce spay/neuter microchipping of all pits, pit mixes, all dog aggressive dogs. Since pit mongers insist that pits "are just dogs, just like all other dogs" and that behavior is from management and training, they do not have a defense. They can keep their spayed/neutered pit until it dies, then adopt ANY homeless dog and manage/train that dog to be their lovely pet. If a boxer mix is misidentified, no problem, just spay her. Breeders of others: know who is buying your pups and for what purpose. When in doubt, spay/neuter before sale, to prevent selective breeding for increasing reactivity and aggression. If you fail and over the DECADES your breed becomes the "next pit bull" your breed is added to the spay/neuter law.
debbie bell November 26, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Pit mongers sometimes cite the American Temperament Testing Society results, which show that pits pass with scores of 84-90%. True, and they know that 95% of the readers won't even look at the test! Here it is http://atts.org/tt-test-description/ The test is not a safety predictor. It is a test to weed out dogs not brave enough for police work. No part of the test involves children, for example, a child wheeling past in a stroller, 30 feet away. No part of the test involves other dogs, say an elderly dog sleeping soundly on lawn furniture. In real life, the child was attacked by a "good" pit bull, who pulled the child from the stroller by the head and shook her with such force she was scalped. The elderly dog was attacked and killed instantly, while inside his own fenced yard. Oh, the test does include a noisy bucket or rocks, weird plastic and wire the dog must walk over and a part that most dogs I know and trust would fail, part 4. A starter pistol is fired at close range, 3x, behind the dog. Dogs who panic fail the test. This tells a THINKING person that if a pit bull is attacking, you must shoot to kill, as warning shots won't stop 84-90% of pit bulls. And that is actually what is happening: more pits ARE killed by owners, first responders, neighbors trying to stop an attack, than pass that silly test. The fact that pit mongers even mention the ATTS test is proof of their need to use lies and propaganda, as breeding more pits is indefensible.
debbie bell November 26, 2012 at 08:17 PM
The pit's owners may also be victims of the pit propaganda, which tells them that pits are normal dogs and won't attack unless abused or trained to attack. But some pits have left the couch when they were snuggling with their BFF Shih tzu or cat, and rushed outside to kill a passing small dog, or broken into the neighbor's house to kill the cat. This is actually "good" pit bull behavior, created by cruel dogmen as they created THE best dog for fighting. Want proof? Essentially all US dog fighters use only pits. Read the books written by the pit bull fanciers(fighters) , books written before the pit mongers began mongering pits, the 1980's. Watch videos of pit bulls in action. Lifeleak.com "2 pitbulls attack smaller dog" See how happy the pits are. YouTube.com "father saves son, 5, from dog attack" shows a happy, sweet waggy (bloody) pit moments after nearly killing a child. "pitbull vs cavalo" see how determined this "dead game" pit is. Pits do not have to be abused or mean/angry to attack. A beagle doesn't need to be abused or angry to be good at chasing rabbits, sniffing barking, as that is "good" beagle behavior. The dogs cannot address the crisis and pit monger do not care! So it must be Society that takes steps to reduce this needless suffering. Ban pit breeding. Let them mercifully become extinct. Unless you want to support dog fighters, you would agree to the compassionate sane way to reduce these senseless attacks.
debbie bell November 26, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Pit mongers say "punish the deed". Ok, pit mongers, do you really trust your pit to not be a pit? if your dog attacks promise you will punish yourself. Put your hand under a lawn mower or your face into a weed-wacker. That's probably what it feels like to be attacked by a "good" pit bull. Write about how it feels. Spend only your own money at the hospital, for the plastic surgery. No using insurance money as you were the one responsible for the injuries!
Todd Larson November 26, 2012 at 09:23 PM
$5000 does not go to small claims court. Take the owner to court and let him fend for himself there.
James Warden (Editor) November 26, 2012 at 09:45 PM
From the Minnesota Judicial Branch: "Conciliation Court is also known as 'small claims' court. General claims of $10,000 or less can be filed in Conciliation Court. "
Carolyn November 27, 2012 at 03:23 AM
That is tragic. I hope the city is able to do something. I live in the area and that could have been my child!
Gabby Rollins November 29, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Debbie, thanks for helping to educate others who may not have looked into the myths surrounding pit bulls. Pro-pit advocates are a loud and unruly group who browbeat the public with many pit feel-good stories and endless twisted logic. Worst of all, they ignore or refuse to acknowledge that pit bulls are responsible for the highest rate of human fatalities. Your posts are great! Keep up the good work!
Leslie DuBay December 03, 2012 at 02:06 PM
http://www.dog-obedience-training-online.com/dog-bite-statistics-by-breed.html The most dog bites are by lab mixes and rottweiler/Sharpei mixes (which my dog is) Just sayin'.
Candace Oathout December 03, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Any dog no matter the breed can be aggressive and attack other animals and small people. The most vicious dog statistically is the Chihuahua. They don't grab headlines because they are too small to inflict much damage. That said, the major issue with dog attacks is lack of training and failure to understand a dog's instinctual behaviors. Too often an owner treats their dog as though it is a little person rather than the predator species it is. Any dog has the instinct to attack vulnerable animals. The sporting breeds and working breeds were developed over time because they can be relied upon to hunt and often attack or kill. Hound breed were developed to hunt in packs in ways that aid their owners to find game easier. Most pet owners today do not understand or use best practices in training their dogs because they choose to treat their dog as one of the family. Then tragedy strikes when their family member reverts to being a dog acting institutionally.
Leslie DuBay December 03, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Well said!
RoastPuppy December 03, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Candace: I agree with some of what you say (e.g., dogs being created for specific purposes and that all dogs are predators), but when it comes to Chihuahuas being the most vicious dog, I would like to know how many people, pets and livestock have been badly injured or killed by Chihuahuas so far this year? Or spaniels? Or Labs? The reasons Chihuahua attacks (if you can call what these yap dogs do an "attack") don't "grab headlines" is because when a Chihuahua gets out of line, you can punt the little buggar across the street -- as one man did recently. Of the 35 people in the US murdered by dogs so far this year, pit bulls were responsible for 23 or 24 or the deaths. A bee may be "more vicious" than a lion, but you can swat a bee. Comparing the bite of a Chihuahua to the attack of a pit bull is equivalent to comparing a stick of dynamite to a firecrcker. The problem isn't whether pit bulls are more or less "vicious" than some other breed/type of dog, the problem is the damage these land-sharks do when they attack. The damage on humans, particularly children, is so horrendous that emergency room physicians (people who see firsthand what these monsters do) in some areas -- including San Antonia and Atlanta -- are calling for a ban on pit bulls for this reason.
Candace Oathout December 03, 2012 at 08:08 PM
RoastPuppy, The solution isn't to ban a breed of dog. When I was a kid the rhetoric was all about vicious German Shepherds, then it was Doberman Pinschers, next it was Rotweillers. We have an element in our society who create a demand for big mean looking dogs. Most of these folks don't know how to train or handle these dogs which leads to out of control animals who are dangerous. When I lived in Japan, Akita's were the dog of choice. The area I lived in required that this breed always be housed in a fully enclosed kennel with solid floor and a roof when not under the owner's direct control. Banning a breed of dog just opens the way for another breed to be demonized. On the subject of Chihuahuas I agree that they are too small to inflict much damage but they are quicker to react by biting than other dogs Cocker Spaniels are another breed that tends to fly under the radar. They are possessive and quick to defend what they perceive as their property. They are larger than Chihuahuas but still small enough to be deemed a safer breed. The most dangerous dog is a timid frightened one who feels cornered. This behavior cannot be overcome through training. Puppies that are not properly socialized and disciplined to respect people can become dangerous not matter what the breed. Animals are not little humans in fur coats.
Kim Lambert December 26, 2012 at 09:45 PM
My 6 month old Westie puppy was Killed 3 years ago by 2 neighboring pits. The police had been called to this home no less then 13 times. Unfortunately, it takes a catasrophe for action. Hats off to the St. Louis Park police for taking quick action. These animals should not be allowed in our communities. I agree to a certain degree that it is not the animal but the owner. Why do people want to own these dogs when they really have no way of knowing what can happen. Are you really comfortable taking a chance with someone elses child or pet?
Ein Vogel-frei January 25, 2013 at 02:32 PM
two months later and owners haven't been charged yet ? ? ?

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