Another deadly dog attack gets two pit bulls euthanized

A dog warden for Delaware County confirmed Wednesday that two pit bull-mixes were euthanized after they attacked and fatally injured a Yorkshire Terrier in the Polaris neighborhood. (WSYX/WTTE)

A dog warden for Delaware County confirmed Wednesday that two pit bull-mixes were euthanized after they attacked and fatally injured a Yorkshire Terrier in the Polaris neighborhood.

The dogs, part of a group of three, had been let out of a condo off-leash at the Polaris Village last Friday morning. At least two of the dogs attacked the terrier while a woman walking the smaller dog was unable to stop them. The Yorkshire Terrier had to be euthanized a short time later due to injuries. Delaware County officials said the owner of the pit bulls surrendered two of them for euthanasia, but kept a third which couldn't be proven to be part of the attack.

Its owner, too distraught to interview, said this was the second time the terrier had been attacked by neighborhood pit bulls in less than two months.

The news comes days after reports of another fatal attack by pit bull-mixes in Gahanna. In that incident, three pits on Howland Drive breached a backyard fence, then were able to maneuver a patio door open, chasing and cornering two neighboring Shetland sheepdogs inside their own home. The dogs were both later found dead by a caretaker.

The owners of those pitbulls have been charged for having "dogs at-large," and the dogs will be designated "dangerous" under state law for killing another animal — unless the owners appeal the designation in court.

Gahanna officials said Wednesday that the owners of the pit bulls on Howland Drive had voluntarily moved two of the dogs out of their house.

Franklin County Animal Care & Control director Kay Dickson said Wednesday that the Gahanna pit bull owners had been asked to surrender their dogs.

"We've gone out I believe two or three times, and asked for a surrender," Dickson said. "(The owners) did not choose to surrender."

The dogs may not be forcibly removed, unless a judge orders it at a hearing. The owners may waive the hearing and accept the "dangerous dog" designation, if they wish.

"Under the law, dogs are considered property. And we can't just go take someone's property; that's why we live in America," Dickson said Wednesday.

To be labeled "vicious," a dog must attack and severely injure — or kill — a human. Vicious-designated dogs are more easily euthanized under the law, but that name is reserved for the most serious cases. Dogs labeled "dangerous" may be able to attack or even kill other animals several times under the law, before being ordered confiscated or euthanized by a judge.

That other dogs deemed uninvolved in the attacks, have remained living near the owners of the killed animals, frustrates and frightens both of them.

"They chased and tortured my dogs," said Lori Brosnahan, the owner of the slain Shetland sheepdogs in Gahanna. "That shouldn't have happened."

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