An incident in which a PIT BULL TERRIER attacked and killed a bichon in Florence on OCT. 21 resulted in the euthanization of the pit bull, according to the Florence County Sheriff's Department.
The owners of the pit bull decided to euthanize the animal, and law enforcement agreed that this would be in the best interest of the community, according to sheriff's department incident reports.
The reports outline the following narrative of events:
Two deputies responded to a dog bite complaint in front of the Chapin Heights Apartments in Florence at about 6:39 p.m. on Oct. 21.
Upon arrival, they observed several people gathered in the parking lot and a man, Steven Wilcox, holding a bichon dog that they knew belonged to him.
A deputy noted that he immediately observed that Wilcox's dog had multiple deep lacerations and was seriously wounded.
Wilcox left the scene to bring the dog to the Iron Mountain Animal Hospital for emergency treatment.
Deputies spoke with a woman on scene, Charmaine Schmitt, who advised them that her boyfriend, Dean Gray, was leaving the parking lot when his pit bull leapt from the window and rushed towards the bichon and attacked it.
Schmitt said that she had noticed the dog leaning from the passenger side window, and when she tried to motion to Gray to roll the window up, he only thought she was waving goodbye.
Schmitt told deputies that both Wilcox and Gray forcibly tried to stop the attack, and were eventually able to loosen the pit bull's bite, after which Gray placed it in his vehicle.
Deputies noted in their reports that Wilcox was also bitten by the pit bull at some point during the incident.
Gray offered to pay any veterinary bills associated with the attack, but had to leave the scene to return to work. Schmitt provided deputies with his contact information.
The dog was not taken into custody immediately, as deputies were unsure as to where the dog would be housed for quarantine, which, because Wilcox had been bitten, would be proper procedure to check for signs of rabies.
DEPUTIES WERE ALSO PROVIDED WITH RECORDS FOR THE DOG, WHICH SHOWED THAT IT WAS ADOPTED ON OCT. 19 FROM ANIMAL RESCUE and was current on its vaccinations, which meant it could be quarantined at home.
On Oct. 22, a deputy went to Wilcox's home to speak about the incident and quarantine policies, and Schmitt arrived to apologize while the deputy was there.
Schmitt informed the deputy that Gray was taking the dog to be euthanized, and the deputy advised her that the dog should be quarantined first.
Annette Seibold, director of the Florence County Health Department, contacted personnel with the state of Wisconsin and was advised that the pit bull's owners may be allowed to euthanize the dog for the safety of everyone involved.
The report states that the dog's head will be sent to the Wisconsin Lab of Hygiene in Madison for rabies testing.