Pair of escaped pit bulls kill terrier on walk

Escaped canines shot on the scene

By: Chris Jackett | Royal Oak Review | Published December 27, 2012

ROYAL OAK — Three local dogs are dead after a shocking attack shook two households.

A 35-year-old man was walking his rat terrier in the 600 block of Amelia, near Rochester Road, at about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13 when two pit bulls ran up and attacked his dog. Police were called to the scene as the two larger dogs continued to attack the smaller dog.

“The dogs were still actively attacking the rat terrier,” Royal Oak Police Sgt. William Sawyer said of what the responding officer saw upon arriving.

The officer fired four shots at the two pit bulls, hitting each at least once.

“Both of the pit bulls were hit,” Sawyer said. “One of the pit bulls went down at the scene and the other went back to its owner.”

Sawyer said one pit bull’s head was grazed by a bullet before running away, while the other pit bull that went down got to its feet and also returned to its owner’s nearby house on Rochester Road. The pit bull that was grazed was taken to a veterinarian and euthanized, while the one that had gone down at the scene was put down at the owner’s residence by a fifth bullet fired by the officer to the dog’s head.

“The rat terrier was dead at the scene,” Sawyer said, noting that an animal-control officer assisted the police officer at the pit bull owner’s residence.

The two dogs belonged to a 29-year-old woman who is now facing charges on six misdemeanor ordinance violations. The charges include two counts of dog at large, two counts of no dog license and two counts of harboring a dangerous animal. Each misdemeanor is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or up to a $500 fine.

Dog attacks have not been common in Royal Oak, but this incident comes just a few months after a May 19 incident near Main and Fourth streets, where an 8-year-old pit bull being held by a 10-year-old girl broke free and attacked an 18-month-old golden retriever that was being trained by Leader Dogs for the Blind.

The girl’s mother, a Jackson resident, was inside a nearby store and left her daughter outside with the dog. Nearby patrons were able to separate the two dogs before the pit bull’s teeth punctured the golden retriever’s skin.