TYHEE IDAHO - 2 RESIDENTS HAVE SEPARATE ENCOUNTERS WITH PIT BULLS IN WHICH GUNS WERE USED AS A LAST RESORT TO STOP THEM - KELLY DAVIS WAS ATTACKED BY 2 PITS ON THE STAIRS OF HER SECOND-STORY DECK AND MARTIN HACKWORTH ENCOUNTERED 2 PITS TRYING TO GET TO HIS LLAMAS AND GOATS ON HIS FARM
Harrowing, that’s how Kelly Davis described her encounter with TWO VICIOUS PIT BULLS early Friday morning. It was the second unprovoked attack by pit bulls in the Pocatello area during the past six months.
Davis first saw the brown and white pit bulls when she went out onto her second-story deck just before 6 a.m. Her two dogs, a small black Pug and a Dachshund, accompanied her.
“My little dogs started yapping when they saw them, so I took them back in the house. The pit bulls were at the bottom of the stairs when we went in,” Davis 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 more lean. They both were wearing collars and tags, she said. About 20 minutes later, Davis went back outside, and on the way out she decided to arm herself.
"I don't even know why I thought about it, but I thought, "I'm going to take a knife with me, just in case,'" Davis said. "It's a good thing that I did too, because as soon as they saw me, those dogs started charging up the stairs."
Davis said she struggled to hold the spring-loaded gate at the top of the stairs shut, and she stabbed at the larger of the two pit bulls.
"For one brief minute I thought about making a run for my front door, but I knew I would have never made it. They would have been on me in a minute," Davis said. "It was all I could do to hold the gate closed, but I kept stabbing the dog in the face."
The pit bulls did retreat, and Davis ran to her front door and got inside of her house. Davis called her co-worker, Stan Miller, and told him what had just happened. Miller and Davis ride to work together every morning, and he was on his way to pick her up when she called.
“She was really upset. It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on,” Miller said. “I asked if she was OK, and she said, ‘No I’m not OK. I just got attacked by pit bulls.’”
DAVIS ALSO TOLD MILLER TO BRING A GUN.
When Miller pulled into the driveway the dogs were at the bottom of the stairs and when he stepped out of his pickup, they charged at him. Miller fired a shot from a .22-caliber pistol into the ground hoping to scare the dogs away, but it didn’t work.
“I didn’t want to kill the dog, but when I shot, it seemed to make him more aggressive, and he kept coming at me,” Miller said.
He fired again and believes he hit one of the dogs.
“It yelped, and they both took off,” Miller said.
Davis didn’t recognize the dogs from the rural Tyhee neighborhood, and Miller, who said he drives through the area daily, said he’s never seen the pit bulls either.
When they got to work, Davis and Miller notified the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, and later that day, a deputy took their report.
“We wanted to let them know that we had shot someone’s dog and why we shot it,” Davis said. “Plus this is a school bus route. There are children out on the road waiting for their buses every morning. That would be tragic. A little kid wouldn’t stand a chance against these dogs.”
Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said his office received no other reports about dogs matching the description of the animals that attacked Davis and Miller, but Nielsen said Miller was well within his right to defend himself.
“If a vicious animals is on your property and attacking you or your animals, you have the right to defend yourself according to state law,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen said an investigation into the incident will follow.
Portneuf Animal Welfare Society founder and director JoLynn Anderson said there are a few plausible explanations for the pit bulls’ aggressive behavior. She said the dogs could have been kept on a chain, and when they got loose, went on the run and on the rampage.
"They could have been previously been attacking livestock. Once a dog gets a taste for blood," Anderson said, "it’s hard to get them to stop."
Anderson said the dogs also may have been trained to be aggressive.
“I will almost guarantee that those dogs will be back,” Anderson said. “They (the Davis family) need to let all of their neighbors know that there are vicious dogs and to protect their kids. If you can’t get into your house, shoot it. You have to protect yourself. A dog can kill you.”
In June, Idaho State University senior lecturer Martin Hackworth shot and killed a pit bull-cross breed dog on his 5-acre farm on Barton Road near Chinese Peak. It was Father’s Day and the family was on their way to brunch when they heard a commotion outside.
The Hackworths raise llamas and goats, and there are a number of animal enclosures built on their property. The family also has two Australian shepherds — a male and a female.
Hackworth went outside to find the TWO PIT BULL-CROSS BREED DOGS trying to bite and chew their way through his fence and into his property.
He tried to scare off one of the dogs with a tree branch, but the pit bull managed to take it away and charged him.
Hackworth retrieved a shotgun from inside his house and shot at the smaller of the two dogs, it yelped and ran away and he managed to shoot and kill the larger pit bull just as it was about to break into an enclosure where his son, JR Hackworth, was throwing rocks in an attempt to scare the big dog away.
A Bannock County deputy and a Pocatello animal control officer responded minutes later.
The officers had followed the dogs up the hill after having made contact with them earlier and had pepper sprayed the animals when they became aggressive.