By Mary O’KEEFE
A Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a pit bull Monday morning after it attacked a small dog in a La Crescenta neighborhood.
The incident occurred about 9:30 a.m. when a resident was walking his two small dogs near Mountain Pine Drive and Ramsdell Avenue.
“As I approached Ramsdell and Markridge [Road heading north] a young man who was jogging downhill said to watch out because there was a pit bull [dog] running loose,” said the resident, who asked to remain anonymous.
He pulled his dog’s leashes close and turned around, heading back to his home.
“The pit bull came at us from around the corner,” he said.
The pit bull grabbed his dog Lucky, a Terrier mix, and started ripping into her. Lucky’s owner kicked and punched the aggressive dog several times but it didn’t have any affect as the pit bull continued to bite Lucky, swinging her back and forth in his mouth.
“The dog had Lucky’s foreleg in its teeth,” the owner said. “She was screaming in pain. At that point, without thinking, I dove onto the [pit bull] and the dog crashed to the ground. Then the jogger jumped on the dog.”
Lucky’s owner wasn’t certain how Lucky got loose but thought the jogger had helped pry her out of the pit bull’s mouth. The owner pulled the pit bull’s leg back in an attempt to control him and the two men worked to pin down the dog’s head.
Once free of the pit bull, Lucky and the other small dog ran away as the two men continued to struggle to keep the pit bull pinned to the ground so it would not give chase.
Several people in the neighborhood and those driving by stopped to help. One of those helpers went to Lucky’s home to make certain the dogs had arrived safely.
The owner’s daughter had let the dogs in. She started cleaning Lucky’s injured leg and wrapped her in a blanket.
In the meantime, 911 had been called and the sheriff’s arrived. Lucky’s owner and the jogger were still struggling with the pit bull. They were concerned if they let the dog go it would attack those standing by or run away and attack someone or another dog in another neighborhood.
During the attack and struggle, the mother of the pit bull’s owner arrived on the scene. She put a choke chain around the dog’s neck.
“But she couldn’t control him. It was very obvious she could not control this dog,” Lucky’s owner said.
The deputy got out of the car and quickly assessed the situation. Lucky’s owner told the deputy to shoot the pit bull, fearing to let go but knowing the dog was too powerful to hold any longer.
According to one witness, the deputy was very cautious before taking action however he did determine it necessary to shoot the animal.
As the jogger and Lucky’s owner continued to hold the dog, the deputy shot the pit bull and it died.
“The dog was aggressive and violent at the time,” said Lt. Angela Shephard. “The hands of one of the men holding the dog were already bloody [with an injury from the dog].”
She added the two men were losing control of the dog just before action was taken by the deputy.
None of the witnesses that CVW spoke to reported the mother of the owner of the pit bull protested the actions taken by the sheriff’s deputy.
“The dog has been vicious in the past,” Shephard said.
On July 26, a Pomeranian had been killed by a pit bull in this same type of attack near the same location. Lucky’s owner said he was not certain this was the same dog that killed the Pomeranian however, after speaking with others who knew of the previous attack, it sounded similar.
For Lucky the pain and the veterinarian visits continue but she is expected to make a full recovery.
“Her front leg was pretty well bitten and there was a four-inch square [of skin] that was ripped,” he said. “She is in quite a bit of pain.”
She is living up to her name, however. This is the second time Lucky has been attacked and survived by an unleashed dog. The last time the owner was close by and had just let his dog off its leash.
Lucky survived that attack and will power through this one as well.