Leash and fence didn't prevent dog attack

Leash and fence didn't prevent dog attack

CREATED Mar 28, 2012

Reporter:  Jessica Chapin

SAN MANUEL, Ariz. (KGUN9- TV) - A fence and a leash weren't enough to save one woman's small dog from attack Tuesday, and now she wants Pinal County to do more about vicious dogs in her neighborhood.

Margaret Salaiz's 14-year-old Chihuahua Beagle mix was killed Tuesday afternoon, when according to Pinal County officials an elderly neighbor was walking two of his dogs and lost control.  Pinal County told 9 On Your Side one of the dogs, a pit-bull mix, grabbed the small dog through a chain link fence.

This happened just one day after neighbors called police on the man's two other dogs fighting in his yard.  Authorities arrived and found he owned five dogs, which in Pinal County requires a kennel permit.  The man gave two of his dogs to Animal Care and Control and told them he tried to surrender the same two dogs to the Southern Arizona Humane Society, but that the fees were too expensive.

Tuesday, Animal Care and Control confiscated the dog involved in the attack.  The man still has two dogs.  Pinal County authorities are still investigating both cases and have not released his name.

"It's not so much the dog, the owner," said Salaiz, "What's he doing with vicious dogs and he couldn't control them?  He could not control his dogs."

Salaiz says she wants to see all of the dogs confiscated, and fears for the safety of children in the neighborhood.

"My biggest concern is that my grand-daughter walks by that man's house and if that dog could get through my fence to get my little dog, what makes him think his chain link is going to hold his dog and not get somebody's kid, my granddaughter walking to school in the mornings?" said Salaiz.

Pinal County spokesperson Joe Pyritz says because the incidents are still under investigation they do not know what, if any charges the man could face.  The dog involved in the attack will be deemed "vicious."

"Our hearts go out to the family whose chihuahua was killed by the man's dog," Pyritz said in a statement to 9 On Your Side.

Pinal County Animal Care and Control continues to investigate both cases.