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Pit bull attack costs family $1,000

Owner irate city classified incident as dog bite

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Pit bull attack costs family $1,000

Kenny Carroll comforts Abby – the family cocker spaniel that was brutally attacked over the weekend by two pit bulls that broke through two fence boards. The dogs were chased away and are rep...

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED July 15, 2009 2:39 a.m.
Tammy Carroll didn’t think anything of it when she opened her back door to let her 20-pound cocker spaniel Abby outside to go to the bathroom.

She had no way of knowing that it very well could have been the last time she saw her dog alive.

Less than five minutes after letting her dog outside, Carroll heard something that caught her attention and brought her back to the door – only to discover that their family pet was being brutally attacked by two pit bulls that had broken through their back fence from along the Tidewater Bikeway.

While her husband was able to chase the two dogs – both of which he described as a black and brown “brindle” pit bulls weighing roughly 80 pounds apiece – out of the backyard, they would have to rush Abby to the emergency veterinary clinic for a three-hour surgery that cost the family more than $1,000.

While the dog is now at home recovering from multiple wounds, the vet that treated her said the family was “lucky” that she survived the attack.

The two dogs – both of which were apparently wearing tags but were without owners during the attack – have not yet been found.

“I just think that it’s kind of a community safety issue – that we have dog owners out there that would be so reckless and irresponsible,” Carroll said. “We were just lucky that we were home at the time. If we went to church, then that probably would have been it for her.

“And who knows what would have happened if it was a child in the backyard that got the dogs’ attention – it’s a scary situation, and one that people should know about.”

According to Carroll, she immediately called 911 to report the attack as it was happening and her husband was chasing the dogs away – giving a description of the two vicious animals and the direction that they were last headed.

An animal control officer responded to the home, but had to return later to get more information from the family because they had left to take the dog to the emergency vet clinic.

What Carroll learned when she finally did return home only upset her even more.

Despite what she says was a vivid description of the attack, the report allegedly given to the animal control officer was only that there was a dog bite – a misclassification she felt wasted valuable time and allowed the two roaming animals to escape and remain a threat.
With the heavily used Northgate Park and the Tidewater Bikeway directly behind her house, Carroll said it isn’t uncommon to see people out with their dogs off the leash despite the abundance of children that frequent the area.

She said that older neighbors have been afraid of spending too much time in their backyard out of fear that the animals might return – shaking up the quaint older neighborhood and putting everyone on notice.

“We can’t be safe in our own backyard – that’s not a very comforting feeling,” Carroll said. “It’s terrible that there are pet owners out there that are this irresponsible.”

Manteca has adopted a municipal ordinance that makes spaying and neutering of pit bull breeds mandatory in the City of Manteca with one exception — for breeding under strict conditions that require a city issued permit.

The ordinance’s passage came on the heels of several incidents in 2007 in which pit bull dogs bit citizens in Manteca resulting in severe injuries.

An exhaustive eight-page ordinance lays out how the city can demand the neutering and spaying.

The first violation may result in the department impounding the pit bull and disposing of the pit bull in accordance with municipal ordinances or the owner may reclaim it by paying fees including the department’s cost of having a veterinarian spay or neuter the dog. The owner will be required to make a $100 deposit and then cover the balance of the actual bill before reclaiming ownership.

The second violation is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment at the county jail for a period not to exceed six months or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both. The second violation may result in impounding and destroying the pit bull.

Breeding permit application fees are $100 and come with a list of stringent rules that must be followed.
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