ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A woman said she felt helpless as she watched a pit bull violently attack and kill her small dog. She said the pit bull yanked her dog from her own yard. Even worse, she said the pit bull is back with its owner, and the victim’s family is outraged.
Animal Control said there’s not much they can do until the court case is resolved. Meanwhile, the family who’s dog was killed, fears for the neighborhood’s safety.
“I got to this point right here and that’s when I saw them shaking her,” Nicole Chavez told KRQE News 13.
Chavez said she watched a pit bull yank her small Maltese named “Minnie,” out from under her own fence Friday afternoon, in their southwest Albuquerque neighborhood.
“This is the hole where they drug her under,” Chavez pointed to a small dirt opening under her wooden fence.
Chavez said she heard her dogs Mickey and Minnie barking. When she saw what was happening, it was too late. She said the dog on the other side of the fence had a grip on Minnie.
“She was just demolished,” Chavez recalled seeing Minnie’s body, mangled and bloody. She said she feared for her five-year-old son.
“He could have thought it was a friendly dog and tried to pet it,” Chavez said. Her five-year-old added, “it was getting angry.” He tried calling Minnie from the back door during the attack.
Minnie was rushed to the vet. The vet report showed she suffered puncture wounds all over her body, spinal and brain injuries. Her injuries were so bad, Chavez said the vet recommended euthanasia immediately.
Minnie’s family is now outraged, since Sunday, Chavez was told her dog’s attacker is back with its owners, just two doors down.
“Is it going to take my child being injured?” said Jacob Martinez, Minnie’s owner. “Is it going to take somebody else’s child being killed or mauled to death by this pit bull, in order for the city to actually do something about it?”
Martinez said he came home to find the pit bull standing over Minnie’s body, as if to guard it’s kill. He said the pit bull tried to attack the Animal Control officer, who called for backup.
Martinez said he was told by an Animal Control officer, that his dog’s killer would be put down. He said he saw the pit bull being confiscated by the city.
However, a spokesperson for Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department told News 13, the pit bull made it back to its own property after the attack, and said they can’t take the dog from its owners until the court case is resolved.
The city shelters have been under fire after claims by shelter employees they’ve released hundreds of dangerous dogs back to the public.
While Minnie’s owners grieve her loss, they also said they don’t feel safe. “It could just get out and roam the streets, and if we’re going to check the mailbox, we have to watch where we’re going,” said Chavez.
“A member of our family has already died, and no one is held accountable for that?” Martinez added.
Animal Welfare told News 13 they’re still investigating Friday’s attack, and plan on pressing charges against the pit bull’s owner for having the dog loose. They also said they’ll work to get it registered as a “dangerous dog,” but that could take a few weeks.
The pit bull’s owners told News 13 they’re not certain it was their dog who killed Minnie, since they weren’t there. They said another pit bull was also near the attack at the time.
Minnie’s owners said they’d like to see their dog’s killer euthanized, since it also showed aggression toward people.