A Lodi woman who was walking her two small dogs near Salas Park on Monday afternoon says one was mauled for several minutes by two large pit bulls until nearby citizens could scare them away.
As her Lhasa apso mix recovers from severe wounds in an animal hospital, Lodi Animal Services say they’ve identified the owner of the pit bulls and are continuing to investigate the incident.
They say the pit bulls appear to be repeat offenders, and will likely be subject to a vicious dog hearing that could result in their destruction.
Cathy, who declined to provide her last name for fear of retaliation, said she was walking along Stockton Street near her home with her Lhasa apso mix, Bruce, and shih tzu, Abby, as she does nearly every day.
From nearly two blocks away, she saw two pit bulls on the loose and charging her way.
“I picked up Abby and tried to keep Bruce close to me, hoping they would run by,” Cathy said.
The pit bulls pounced on Bruce and bit into him like a chew toy, Cathy said.
Cathy’s screams alerted people nearby, who rushed to Bruce’s rescue. One man used a branch to beat the dogs, and after several moments, they let go and ran.
Cathy took Bruce to a local animal hospital, where he’ll remain for several days. She said Bruce is expected to recover, but could have a permanent limp.
A citizen followed as the pit bulls returned home, Cathy said.
On Tuesday, Lodi Animal Services Supervisor Jennifer Bender confirmed that the dogs’ owner has been located. She said the pit bulls were involved in an attack in 2011.
She said that they’ll likely undergo a vicious dog hearing, which could place restrictions on them if they’re deemed vicious, including muzzles, remaining locked in a kennel or euthanasia.Bender said the owners have not been cited, as the investigation is ongoing.
Dog regulations have been a hot topic in Lodi since a small dog was mauled to death by a pit bull mix at Lodi Lake last year.
In December 2013, the Lodi Parks and Recreation Commission recommended several new dog rules, including discouraging owners from bringing aggressive dogs to parks. The Lodi City Council is expected to vote on the rules in the coming months.
However, none of these rules would have prevented Monday’s attack.
As for Cathy, she’s still shaken.
“I will not feel safe again walking (my dogs),” she said.
What does she hope happens to the pit bulls?
“I’m hoping they get destroyed,” she said.
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.