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Pit bull deemed dangerous in Bay Area kills Manteca dog on busy street
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A dog with a history of violence in another county found its way into the Manteca dog pound Thursday afternoon after attacking and killing a smaller 15-year-old family pet in front of horrified onlookers. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Shaking a dog less than half its size by the neck like a rag doll is what horrified witnesses described seeing as they drove and walked their children home from Joshua Cowell  School on Pestana Avenue Thursday afternoon.    

A flurry of dramatic 911 calls were received by the Manteca Police dispatchers shortly after 3 p.m. as parents reportedly yelled at the attacking pit bull as others positioned their cars in the roadway doing what they could to stop the larger dog from continuing to kill the smaller pet.

One delivery person was said to have gotten out of his vehicle and attempted to separate the dogs by kicking the larger animal several times, but to no avail.  The larger pit bull ran through a grid lock of vehicles leaving a trail of blood as he carried the lifeless pet a block and a half up Pestana, witnesses said.

Police units and an animal control officer rushed to the scene while a member of the victimized family chased the dog up the street to retrieve the body.

Nelson Nieves had just recently moved to Manteca from the Hayward area.  He was working on his vehicle in the driveway of a family duplex in the 300 block of Pestana Avenue, north of Yosemite Avenue.  His dog “Bude” was sitting by his side.

Nieves has had his 15-year-old pet with him almost constantly for over a dozen years since adopting the dog when it was only four weeks old.  After the attack had subsided, next door neighbors said the older dog usually just laid around and slept most of the day showing his age.

The dog’s owner said the pit just snuck in “killed him right here – pulled him by the neck and carried him off” amid the screams of onlookers.

Animal Control Officer Les Rowe located the attacking bull’s caretaker in the 500 block of Pestana and was told that the animal was being kept at that address for a nephew who was in the Bay Area.  The dog had reportedly been placed in a second floor room with the window opened to air it out.

Rowe said he was told the 60-pound pitbull leaped out the open second story window and ran off before the resident could catch him.  It was estimated to be minutes later that he attacked the smaller 25-pound beagle-terrier,

The animal control officer took the dog into custody and impounded him at the Manteca animal shelter where he will be quarantined until a decision is reached regarding the future of the animal.

Rowe found a chip had been imbedded under the dog’s coat which directed him to contact the animal control officials in Contra Costa County where the neutered dog had also been detained in the past.

Authorities at the Contra Costa pound explained that the dog had been declared to be dangerous multiple times in their community. That was the reason for the placement of the chip as a warning.

The two Manteca animal control officers who caged the bull said he appeared to be very calm around them Thursday evening and even rolled over on his back showing submission – apparently people friendly, but not animal friendly.

Two women in their mid-20s were among the witnesses and demonstrated tearful and near hysterical reactions to what they had seen half an hour later.  

One said, she too, had a pit bull, stressing however it had been brought up to be friendly and she had never had a problem with it being aggressive.  Living on Mulberry Circle on the west side of Manteca, she said neighboring dogs of the same breed had broken through her fence two weeks ago and killed her eight-month-old puppy “Jax.”    

The woman added that her mother’s dog “Oscar,” a dachshund, had been killed by dogs breaking into her yard two years earlier.  She claimed that many of the pit bulls she sees on the street do not have tags and she feels they are being kept as status symbols but mainly for  personal protection.