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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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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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