FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Mark Borders had his Chihuahua mix Dudley since it was four weeks old. But on September 17, his neighbor’s pit bulls attacked and killed his dog. Though Borders wants the dogs euthanized, Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control returned the dogs to their owner Thursday. Authorities said they don’t have a history of aggression.
The incident happened in the 1300 block of Spy Run Ave. near downtown Fort Wayne. According to Animal Care and Control, Borders, 42, was walking his dog without a leash. When he went past his neighbor’s back yard, three pit bulls burst out of a padlocked fence and attacked his Chihuahua. Borders argues the fence wasn’t padlocked. The pit bulls killed the Chihuahua on Borders’ property.
“We’re punching them in the head and trying to pry their mouths open,” Borders said. “That dog is all the family I have left.”
Borders retold the story while holding a bag of his cremated dog. Choking back tears, he said the loss has hit him hard.
“It’s terrible and I can’t get it out of my mind. I watched those three pit bulls attack a six pound Chihuahua,” Borders said. “I’m going to have to go see a psychiatrist.”
But the owner of the pit bulls, Stacey Tarango, tells the story differently. While she is sorry that her dogs killed the Chihuahua, she said the Chihuahua was taunting her pit bulls. Tarango said the attack was the first sign of aggression her pit bulls have ever showed.
Animal Care and Control leaders confirm that the pit bulls have no record of aggression. They quarantined the dogs for 10 days and determined that they show no sign of human or animal aggression even after the attack. That’s part of the reason authorities released the dogs back to their owner Thursday.
“It’s not enough for us to go in front of a judge and say this dog is dangerous. We have no other history with them,” said Amy Jo Sites, deputy director of Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control. “We have to take each case individually. If we euthanized every single dog that came in here for a bite against another dog. We would be euthanizing peoples’ pets every day.”
By ordinance, a first offense attack between dogs is looked at the same whether it is a bite or a kill. The pit bulls have been categorized as potentially dangerous dogs.
In the meantime, Borders is convinced that the pit bulls will attack again.
“What if it’s a child this time or a person? It’s going to happen again. Those pits got a taste of blood,” Borders said. “They ate my dog!”
Borders is suing Tarango for $5,000 because of the attack. Tarango has filed a restraining order against Borders. The two live a couple houses apart.
By law, the only thing Animal Care and Control did was spay the only pit bull not fixed and have the owner pay for quarantine expenses. That came out to several hundred dollars.
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