Three pitbulls may be labeled "dangerous" after killing two neighbor dogs in Gahanna

Franklin County Animal Control will ask a judge to label three pitbull-mixes as "dangerous dogs," after a horrifying attack that left two Shetland sheep dogs dead in their own home Friday (WSYX/WTTE)

Franklin County Animal Control will ask a judge to label three pitbull-mixes as "dangerous dogs," after a horrifying attack that left two Shetland sheep dogs dead in their own home Friday.

Gahanna Police said in a report filed on Friday that the pit-mixes, living at a home on Howland Drive, broke out of their enclosed backyard and through a neighbor's fence, then pawed a patio door handle open. Once inside the neighboring home, the dogs apparently cornered two Shelties and mauled them, leaving one dog dead and the other suffering from a broken back and ribs.

The second dog was euthanized a short time later.

The homeowners were away at the time. A caretaker discovered the mauled pets and notified the owners.

Both police and animal control officers have been investigating the case through the weekend, and issued charges for loose dogs Monday, as well as notifying the pitbull owners that their dogs would be petitioned as "dangerous dogs" in Franklin County Court. The pitbull owners will have several weeks to respond and potentially challenge the designation.

Neighbors in the Howland Drive area say they're very uncomfortable having the confirmed killer dogs in their neighborhood, with dozens of other pets and small children running around.

The owners of the deceased Shelties said that a "dangerous" label is not enough to make anyone feel safe.

"I think these dogs are vicious, and I don’t think they can be controlled," said Lisa Brosnahan. "(The owners) haven’t controlled them. I think they should be destroyed, and I don't say that lightly."

The pitbulls owners did not respond to a reporter at their front door Monday, instead walking away and shutting off indoor lights.

If a judge approves the "dangerous" designation, the offending dogs will have to be leashed at all times outdoors, and a "Dangerous Dog" sign will be planted in the front yard.

It would take an attack on a human, or several more animal attacks, for the dogs to be removed and possibly euthanized, according to Franklin County Animal Control director Kay Dixon.

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