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Woman, dog injured in Shadle area pit bull attack

By Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Nov 29 2013 08:30:34 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 29 2013 08:40:38 PM CST
Charmaine Wellington and her poodle Zen
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Spokane woman and her sister's dog are both sporting deep cuts and stitches after they were attacked by a loose pit bull in the Shadle Park area.

The incident happened Thanksgiving morning near the intersection of Cedar St. and Gordon Ave.

It's not clear how the pit bull that lives a few houses away managed to get loose although it appears sometimes he is tied up in the front yard. On Thursday he was across the street when the two women and their pets walked by.

"The dog was loose and as soon as he saw my two small dogs it seemed to adopt a stalking predatory behavior," Charmaine Wellington, the victim dog's owner said.

The dog then struck without warning, locking its jaws on the poodle mix named Zen.

"Both my sister and I were wrestling with the animal, pounding on it, trying to get it to release my pet and it didn't seem to have any effect," Wellington said.

Fortunately a neighbor across the street who plays tug of war with his pet knew the trick that makes dogs let go of whatever their chewing on and blew a blast of air into the pit bull's nose.

"He was visiting his mom and he was the one who blew on the dog's nose and clapped his hands in front of the dog's muzzle and that's what got the dog to release my pet," Wellington said.

Unfortunately by then, the pit bull had nearly ripped off Wellington's sister's finger tip and Zen's head and neck were deeply slashed.

"The doctor was very concerned about whether the throat had been injured right now there's continuing concerns about whether the tissue that's been ripped away from the bone will heal," Wellington said.

So now Zen's racked up more than $900 in emergency vet bills. Wellington's sister is hoping she'll keep her finger tip and no one is answering the door where the pit bull lives.

"I'm concerned the owner has a history of not properly restraining the dog effectively and I'm also concerned whether the dog has shots," Wellington said.

Spokanimal officials want the dog quarantined to look for signs of rabies. The pit bull could also be declared a dangerous dog and if that happens the owner will either have to put him down or maintain a very expensive insurance policy to help cover the costs of any future attacks.

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