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Pasco Tribune

Owners of pit bulls leave after poodle killed, Pasco teen attacked

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 02:29 PM

A Pasco family is upset after two pit bull mixes killed their poodle and attacked their son, then the owners were able to take their dogs and drive away.

"The woman that was there with the dog, she was just standing there smiling," said Dawn Long, owner of Peppie, the 5-pound poodle that was killed at a Hudson recreational vehicle park. "I said, 'Ma'am, can you not get my dog out of your dog's mouth?'"

Her son, Bradley, was walking Peppie when the two dogs attacked. He tried to save the poodle from the other two dogs, to no avail.

"It's been a couple weeks now and it's almost healed up," Bradley said of his injuries. He's undergoing shots for rabies because the vet records for the dog that bit him were unavailable.

About 1 a.m. Sept. 2, a deputy was called to the Winter Paradise RV Park, 16108 U.S. 19 after the dogs had killed Peppie, according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy's report classifies the case a civil matter saying the pit bull mixes, Bertha and Milk Shake, broke loose, which is not the fault of the owners, listed in the report as Robin Crowe and Charles Cook.

The deputy instructed the couples to contact Animal Services the next business day, since that Monday was Labor Day.

Mark Long said it seemed as if the sheriff's office did not take the matter seriously.

"The first sheriff that showed up did not want to make a report. He didn't want to do anything," Mark Long said.

John Malley, manager of Pasco County Animal Control, said his department did not know what the pitbulls' owners were going to do.

"None of us are clairvoyant. We did not know that the owner would leave without being a responsible citizen," Malley said.

The county investigates 1,200 dog bites each year and most of the time the dog gets to stay with its owner.

"The only time we take the animal is if we have a concern that the pet owner is not going to be responsible," Malley said.

Animal Services said it will seize dogs that are running loose or have a history of violent behavior. Animal Services also says the owners of the dogs should have notified the department that they were moving.

News Channel 8 reporter Natalie Shepherd contributed to this report.

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