Minutes before a Tyhee woman was attacked by PIT BULLS on the second story deck of her Tyhee home last week, Rebecca Beasley said she also encountered the vicious dogs in her own backyard.
Beasley lives just two doors down from Kelly Davis, who notified law enforcement officials last week after the attack.
Davis fended off the dogs by stabbing at them with a steak knife holding the gate closed and keeping the dogs at bay.
Both women said the larger of the two dogs was shorter and more stocky, and Davis estimated that it weighed about 75 pounds. The other was taller and thinner, and she said the larger dog’s head was almost all white.
“The big one had a huge head. It was a female and looked like that maybe it has pups or had pups,” Beasley said. “It was scary, and they came right at me.”
Both women said the canines were wearing collars and tags.
Beasley was leaving for work at about 5:30 a.m. She got into her vehicle and remembered that she had forgotten her glasses. As she came around the front of her car, the dogs were standing a few feet away, blocking the path to her back door.
“I just screamed and ran back to my car,” Beasley said. “But after I was in the car, the dogs stayed right outside the car, and they were still trying to get me. I started backing up — I actually was trying to run them over.”
Her daughter, Joanna Jaramillo, was just waking up and coming upstairs, and she heard her mom scream but then saw her backing out of the driveway.
Jaramillo has a dachshund that she usually lets out into the backyard in the morning, but that day she did not.
“I saw that the back door was open, and I closed it,” Jaramillo said. “I think about what could have happened if those dogs would have gotten into the house, and I wonder if maybe that’s why they were here, because they know I have a small dog.”
Davis first saw the brown and white pit bulls when she went out onto the deck with her two dogs, a small black pug and a dachshund.
The pit bulls were at the bottom of the stairs when Kelly took the little dogs inside. When she came back out about 20 minutes later, Davis was armed but not prepared for what happened.
As soon as the dogs saw her, they charged up the stairs, and she became engaged in a fight for her life. The dogs eventually retreated.
Stan Miller, Davis' friend, believes he shot one of the dogs after it charged at him in the drive of Davis’s split-level home.
Miller said he didn’t want to kill the dog, and he first fired a shot into the ground hoping to scare the dogs away. It didn’t work, and Miller said the hounds became more aggressive after he fired the .22-caliber pistol.
About 2 miles east of the attack on Davis and Beasley, Marion Whitley said she witnessed an ambush against the family pet that she said was orchestrated by two pit bull dogs.
Whitley has lived on Paintbrush Lane for the past 10 years. Her daughter, Trista Randall, lives next door along with five of Whitley’s grandchildren.
Last week, Whitley said she noticed two dogs coming down the road and across a small ravine adjacent to her expansive backyard. She also noticed that her grandchildren’s new dog, a border collie, was out in the yard next door.
“I haven’t ever seen anything like it,” Whitley said. “One of the dogs hid by the side of the house, and the other went running over to our dog like he wanted to play. When our dog ran over, the dog by the house came out, and they had it in the middle of them.”
Whitley said the family pet managed to escape, and the dogs retreated back down the road.
She didn’t report the incident but came forward when she read the Journal report about the attack on Davis.
“It’s frightening,” Whitley said. "There are a lot of little children in this neighborhood."
She described the dogs as being brown and black pit bull or pit bull-cross breed dogs, with one being larger than the other.
Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said his office has received a number of leads in the case, and investigators are following them all.
Nielsen said all dogs within the boundaries of the county are required to be contained or leashed.
Pet owners can be cited for allowing dogs to run at large, and if the dog attacks a human or another animal, the owner can be charged with harboring a vicious animal.
Anyone who encounters the two dogs is advised to not approach them but call the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office at 236-7114.
Pocatello Animal Shelter Director Mary Remer said dogs are territorial, and sometimes they stretch their territory.
Remer offers four words of advice to anyone that finds themselves face to face with an aggressive dog: bark, stop, drop and roll.
As soon as you hear the dog bark, stop. Drop your eyes away from the animal, and don’t make eye contact (the canine will see it as a challenge) and roll your shoulders forward in a submissive motion.
Remer said don’t run and try yelling at the dogs, if that doesn’t work, grab something and protect yourself.