Local boy, pit bull attacked by neighbor's dog

Local boy, pit bull attacked by neighbor's dog

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A local dog attack involving a pit bull – but this incident doesn't start or end the way one might think. 
A 14-year-old boy suffered multiple puncture wounds to his fingers and hands after a neighbor's black lab attacked the boy and his pit bull.

The incident happened on Monday afternoon in the River Crossing neighborhood near Thornydale and Orange Grove roads.

Tucson News Now obtained video surveillance from the neighborhood which shows the boy on a skateboard being pulled along the sidewalk by his pit bull on a leash.

The video also shows a teenage girl on the opposite side of the street having some difficulty controlling what appears to be a full grown lab.

When the unsuspecting boy and his pit bull come into sight, the lab breaks free and heads straight for the teen and his pet.

"I just wanted medical attention, I was really worried about the rabies thing. I didn't know much about dog bites," said the boy's father, Zack Marcus, who was very upset after seeing his son's hands covered in blood.

"I think if a dog is mean enough to break a leash, break free from a leash and attack another dog while walking with a kid...I don't know.  I love dogs, but that's a bad dog," he said.

Marcus said police were very slow to respond.

When they did arrive, he said they listened more to the attacking dog's owner than to the victim.

That is until seeing the same video that was shown to Tucson News Now, which showed the black lab, clearly the aggressor, being pulled away while still latched on to the pit bull's face.

"If you know of a dog or have a dog that doesn't do well in certain situations, avoid those situations,"  said Justin Gallick of the Pima Animal Care Center.

After being picked up by Animal Care officers on Wednesday, the black lab is now under a rabies quarantine for the next 10 days.

Unfortunately attacks like this happen relatively often, officials said. In most cases, they are entirely avoidable.

"To me that screams education and responsible pet ownership," Gallick said. "From my understanding a pet was being walked by somebody that's underage and maybe didn't have the physical capacity to walk such a dog."

For Zack Marcus, that is all well and good, but it does not erase eight puncture wounds to his son's hands. He just wants to be sure it does not happen again.

"I have pit bulls, big ones," he said. "And we get the bad rap because of the pit bull. My dog's never done that."

If anyone is ever attacked by a dog, officials said it's their obligation to contact Pima County Animal Care Center.

Police will respond and fill out the initial reports, however, enforcement action against the offending animal and its owner is dependent upon the victim contacting PACC.

"We can't investigate a bite that we're not aware of," Gallick said.

In this case, the offending dog will undergo a dangerous dog evaluation in addition to the rabies quarantine. If deemed dangerous, the dog and its owner may face strict regulations regarding confinement, licensing and insurance. If the owner is unable to meet those requirements, the dog could potentially be put down.

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