An Avon Lake couple is suing a couple whose PIT BULL TERRIER AND PIT BULL TERRIER MIX killed their Shih Tzu on Aug. 10.
According to the lawsuit filed in Lorain County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 17, Perry J. Pascarella was walking his dog Bella on Bridgeside Drive in Avon Lake when Sandy and Zuko, dogs of Donald and Melinda Golas, escaped through the home’s unlocked gate after seeing Bella.
“Without any provocation, Sandy and Zuko attacked Bella, biting, mauling and dragging her body until they killed her,” the lawsuit states. “Witnesses described Sandy and Zuko biting, chewing and pulling on Bella as if they were ‘playing tug-o-war’ with her body like a toy stuffed animal.”
The lawsuit stated that Melinda Golas had signed a contract that gave her a notice that Sandy was a dangerous dog. The lawsuit also stated that Sandy cannot roam or be alone with children younger than 10. On a date prior to Aug. 10, the Golas family knew that their gate did not close or lock properly, the lawsuit claims.
Pascarella was knocked to the ground and also was bit and mauled by the two dogs, the lawsuit says.
There was another instance in which both dogs showed vicious behavior, it said. In the spring of 2014, Donald Golas was walking Sandy and Zuko south of Bridgeside Drive and they knocked over a 5-year-old boy, scaring him and causing him to cry, the suit says.
“The child’s dog observed what occurred and ran toward the child to protect the child from being attacked by Sandy and Zuko,” the lawsuit says.
It claims that rather than restraining his dogs, Donald Golas released both of them and allowed them to attack the child’s dog.
“Sandy and Zuko quickly pinned the child’s dog to the ground, bit its neck and drew blood, before Defendant Donald Golas attempted to restrain Sandy and Zuko,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit alleges negligence, negligent infliction of emotion distress (witnessing Bella’s death) and negligent infliction of emotional distress (fear of physical consequences to his own person).
Pascarella and his wife, Carol, are asking $200,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages.
Meanwhile, Donald Golas pleaded no contest in Avon Municipal Court on Sept. 17 to two counts of animal at large, a minor misdemeanor. Avon Lake Municipal Court Judge Darrel Bilancini and ordered him to pay the maximum fine of $300.