More witnesses come forward after dog attack

April 15, 2011 7:51:43 PM PDT
The hunt is on in San Jose for two pit bulls that mauled a woman and injured her dog so badly it had to be put down.

There have been several similar attacks in recent months in various parts of the city. Animal control officers are at Cataldi Park, the scene of the latest incident.

Authorities are looking for two dogs; one is a pit bull tan in color, the other is a larger, black pit bull mix. San Jose police and animal control are patrolling the park and the Berryessa neighborhood. They have made contact with some pit bulls and their owners, but so far the descriptions do not match.

Neighbors who walk the popular Cataldi Park on a daily basis say overall they feel very safe here. But dog attacks are not unheard of.

"This is probably the fifth attack that I've heard of or seen of pit bulls - not of these same two, in the neighborhood. I have a small dog too and there are times where I've had to throw him in a trash can to protect him, or put him on top of a car," said neighbor Bryan Talmage.

Just after midnight Thursday, Dawn Marcia Wilson was out with her Husky mix when two pit bulls came out of no where and attacked her dog Shadow. The attack went on for over 20 minutes before the dogs took off. Shadow's injuries were so severe she had to be put down. Wilson needed to be stitched up at the hospital.

"They didn't seem to be interested in me as a person. They were after the dog," said Wilson.

"So right now, we're going to patrol the area for the next 10 to 15 days - looking for any possible suspect dogs," said San Jose Animal Services Sgt. Jay Terrado.

"We would use equipment that we're provided and call in additional units just to make sure we do not loose these dogs if they are out running in the street."

Anna Wiebes, who lives just around the corner, escaped a pit bull attack just a couple months ago.

"I slowly walked to one of the houses to the front door, because I needed help. I knew I was in trouble. I knocked on the door and nobody was home. They had me cornered on the porch and they were just standing there, ready to attack me," said Wiebes.

This is the third attack in San Jose in recent months. In December, animal officers caught one of two loose pit bull mixes that attacked a woman in the driveway of her San Jose home. Councilwoman Rose Herrera is asking Animal Services to track all dog bites that puncture the skin.

"We want to be able to separate those out and look at how many of those are happening and what breeds of dogs and understand the scope of the problem," said Herrera.

People in the Berryesssa neighborhood don't blame anyone breed of dog, but do blame irresponsible dog owners and aggressive dogs allowed to run off leash.

"I think maybe the owners are not treating the dogs' right. Because my daughter owns three pit bulls. They are like little baby kids. They just want to play," said neighbor John Morris.

"If they've got an animal that is going to get out of hand, they've got to make darn sure just because it's the right thing to do not to let that dog get out of hand," said Wilson.

San Jose animal control said the latest incident might be a horrible accident. The pit bulls could have escaped through a backyard or broke through a fence and the owners may not even be aware it happened. Authorities say dogs are usually not on the loose, wandering around alone in the middle of the night.

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