The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

October 5, 2011

Pit bull attacks puppy in dog park

HUNTSVILLE — At the same time 10 dogs were being blessed Tuesday night for a blessing of the animals ceremony honoring St. Francis of Assisi, a mixed-breed puppy was recovering at a local veterinarian office from a brutal pit bull attack Monday night.

The attack occurred at the city dog park on Seventh Street. Two men believed to be in their mid-20s fled the park after the attack with the pit bull in a white truck with a brown stripe. Animal control has been notified, but because a human being was not injured, a police report was not filed.

A Sam Houston State University student, who wishes to remain anonymous, had adopted the pit bull-mix puppy over the weekend. She took the puppy, which she named Tony, to the dog park to play with a friend and her friend's 7-year-old Labrador.

Her friend, who also wished to remain anonymous, said she had been in the dog park for a few minutes watching the dogs play. In addition to her Labrador, there was a poodle-mix and the pit bull in question.

“The puppy is the sweetest thing in the world,” the friend said. “I got there 10 minutes before her. She came and let the puppy off the leash. Not even 30 seconds later, the pit bull went for it. It was so scary.”

The two men with the dog began attempting to pull the pit bull off the puppy by beating the larger dog. At one point, one of the men picked up the puppy to get it away from the pit bull, which continued trying to attack, the friend said.

“There was blood everywhere,” the friend said, her eyes tearing up. “It kept coming out of his mouth and out of his neck. One of the boys took his shirt off and gave it to us to keep pressure on the wounds. (My friend) was hysterical.”

Melanie Kalisek, owner of the poodle-mix, witnessed the attack and said it was like nothing she had ever seen.

“I was standing and I was just in shock,” she said. “What do you do when you see a puppy that is just being thrown around like a rag doll? It all happened in a period of 20 to 30 seconds. It was sad to see such a little puppy and I’ll never forget the sound. It was different from (a whimpering sound) and this dog was screaming for its life.”

The pit bull is believed to be blue-gray in color with white markings on its chest. The puppy sustained injuries including neck and head punctures, a bruised jaw and paw bites.

Babs Preston goes to the park four times a week with her pit terrier mix. She said she wishes the owners of the pit would be held accountable for their dog's actions.

“This is an amazing dog park, but everybody should be responsible for their dogs,” she said. “It’s the guy’s responsibility to step up to the plate for the pet bill. I just don’t want them to close this park down because of one incident, because dogs are dogs. This is for big dogs and big dogs sometimes get in fights.”

Because the attack occurred after normal vet hours, the puppy's owner took him to a veterinarian hospital in Conroe. That visit cost $1,500. A subsequent visit to the 11th Street Veterinarian Clinic in Huntsville added more vet bills.

The friend said she hopes the men who own the dog will come forward and pay for the puppy's medical bills.

“That could have been a child, or one of us,” she said. “They need to come forward to pay for this.”

Melanie Kalisek, owner of the poodle-mix, witnessed the attack and said it was like nothing she had ever seen.

“I was standing and I was just in shock,” she said. “What do you do when you see a puppy that is just being thrown around like a rag doll? It all happened in a period of 20 to 30 seconds. It was sad to see such a little puppy and I’ll never forget the sound. It was different from (a whimpering sound) and this dog was screaming for its life.”

Marjolein Lemmon, executive director of the Rita B. Huff Humane Society animal shelter, said she hated to hear about the attack and she wishes more people would socialize their animals before letting them loose.

“It's very unfortunate, especially at a dog park where you should be able to let your dog loose to play,” she said. “Hopefully people will test dogs around other dogs before letting them loose in a dog park.”

The 11th Street Vet Clinic, 1705 11th St., is accepting donations from the public to offset Tony's medical bills. If any funds are raised above the medical bills, they will be donated to Rita B. Huff. For more information, call the clinic at (936) 293-8900.   

Meagan Ellsworth contributed to this story.

 

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