Thursday, April 6, 2017
SALEM, MARION COUNTY OR - AMANDA REYNA WAS WALKING HER CHILDREN HOME FROM SCHOOL WITH THEIR 10-POUND CHIHUAHUA "FIFI" WHEN A PIT BULL CAME CHARGING OUT OF A HOUSE AND SNATCHED UP THEIR BELOVED PET AND THRASHED HER TO DEATH
A Salem family is mourning the loss of their family pet following an alleged violent dog attack Monday afternoon.
As Amanda Reyna was walking her children from Washington Elementary School near Lansing Avenue NE and Glendale Avenue NE, a black-and-white female PIT BULL-TYPE DOG ran out of a nearby home toward her 5-year-old son. Before anyone could react, Reyna's 9-year-old longhair chihuahua, Fifi, ran in front of her son and blocked the other dog from charging him.
Fifi was no match for the larger dog. Reyna said she, her children, her friend Sara Rojas and Rojas's 10-year-old daughter watched in horror as the dog snatched Fifi up and thrashed her tiny, 10-pound body.
Rojas said the dog bit Fifi multiple times.The dog's owner rushed out of their home during the commotion. He punched and pried open the dog's mouth to get her to release Fifi.
The dog dropped Fifi's limp body, and the owner hauled the dog back into his home, not giving Reyna his name or apologizing, she said.
"My husband went over to try talking to them while I tried to take care of my dog and my traumatized children," she said.
Fifi was bloody and breathing heavily when they rushed her to a nearby emergency veterinary clinic. Reyna said there was blood in her lungs. There was nothing they could do to help her pull through, she said. Fifi was euthanized. Reyna and her family buried her in the yard.
Rojas said the dog's owners, who also run an adult care home out of their house, did not want to discuss the attack after Fifi was euthanized. The owner gave them $120 to pay for the euthanization.
The dog's owner did not respond to the Stateman Journal's request for comment.
Fifi's death has been hard on Reyna's family, especially the children who witnessed the attack. Reyna said her 5-year-old doesn't quite understand that Fifi is gone forever. "That was his puppy who stepped in and saved him," she said.
Another neighbor told her they spotted the dog wandering through the neighborhood in the days after the attack. Reyna contacted animal control and submitted a report. She learned it was not the first time someone had complained about the dog. "It should have never gotten this far," she said.
In March 2016 and July 2016, Marion County Dog Services received two complaints about the dog running at large. Dog control officers have limited authority with enforcement but are able to issue citations for "dogs behaving badly," said dog services manager Dean Freeze.
According to Marion County code, the keeper of the dog commits a civil infraction if their dog runs at large, disturbs a person with prolonged or frequent noise, scatters garbage, trespasses on private property, damages property, chases vehicles or is a female in heat at large. The citations include fines, but it's up to the owners to comply. However, having a "potentially dangerous dog" — a dog that menaces a person, attacks a domestic pet or bites a person — is considered a much more serious offense, Freeze said.
A hearings officer can impose corrective action ranging from requiring a dog to be leashed and muzzled at all times to euthanizing a dog. Freeze confirmed that dog services is investigating the attack. A dog control officer contacted the dog's owner and obtained a statement. They will make an assessment and take action most likely within the week, Freeze said. Until then, the dog will remain at the owner's residence in the neighborhood.
Reyna is making sure to avoid the house until she knows the case has been resolved. The yard of the home, which is near Washington Elementary and Waldo Middle schools, is not fenced, and she's worried the dog could attack a child.
Rojas said she's contacted the police, animal control, neighborhood watch and protective services to try and get some resolution and keep the dog from hurting anyone else.
"It's been awful," she said. "All the children were afraid. "Reyna echoed Rojas' worries about their children and others who walk, bike and play in the neighborhood.
"This is so scary," Reyna said. "It could've been them instead of my dog."