A 5-month old Shiba Inu puppy – a small-breed Japanese dog – was attacked and killed Wednesday night by a PIT BULL in Hollis. Louis Marchand, the animal control officer for Hollis and Limington, said Thursday the attack happened near the Salmon Falls Library around 6 p.m.
Rob Rocheville was walking his puppy in the woods along the Saco River when two dogs, one of them a white pit bull with brown spots, came running up to them, said Rocheville’s fiancee, Lynn Holston. She said she did not witness the attack herself, but Rocheville told her the pit bull began sniffing the puppy and suddenly lunged at it.
The puppy, which weighed about 15 pounds, came out of its harness and jumped into the river to get away from the dog but, according to Holston, the other dog jumped in after him. Her fiance, she says, jumped in and tried to wrestle the puppy away from the pit bull.
It wouldn’t let go,” she said. “My boyfriend did everything he could to try to save him.”
Holston said the puppy died in Rocheville’s arms, but the pit bull still hadn't released its grip, and he finally let go.
“When he realized the puppy was gone, he started to run because he wasn’t sure if the dog was going to attack him,” she said. “The last thing he saw was the pit bull swimming away with the puppy in his mouth.”
Holston said the puppy’s remains have not been recovered. Rocheville could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. Holston said Rocheville received initial medical treatment Wednesday night for cuts, scratches and a puncture wound on his hand, and was being seen by a doctor again on Thursday morning.
Marchand, the animal control officer, said right after the attack the owner of the dog, Mitchell Marquis, 21, of Hollis, arrived on the scene. Marchand says Marquis told him he had left work after learning that his dogs had gotten out of the house. He lives nearby and had come down to the river to look for them. Marchand said Marquis was upset when he learned what his dog had done.
Marchand said the dogs eventually made their way home around 10 p.m. Marquis has been issued a summons to appear in court on Jan. 20 on a complaint of having a dangerous dog and allowing an animal to run at large. The penalty for having a dangerous dog is a fine of $250 to $1,000. Hollis Town Clerk Martha Huff said records show Marquis had one previous dog-related offense, having paid a $90 fine in 2011 for having a dog at large.
The pit bull and the second dog at the scene will be quarantined in Marquis’ home for 10 days to make sure neither of them is rabid, Marchand said. Marquis did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Rocheville and Holston had recently bought the puppy, named Havoc, for her 6-year old son, Ashton. Holston says Ashton asked her Thursday morning where Havoc was and she told him he had been chased away by another dog and he was lost.