Local News

Dog's Death Sparks Questions

Posted March 1, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— For John Cain, his black Labrador retriever was a great pet and good friend over the six years they had been together. Last week, Cain found a tragedy -- his dog had been attacked by another animal and killed.

There were, however, no witnesses to the attack.

Questions of exactly what occurred and why have baffled Cain and neighbors. But talk from area youngsters is that a new neighbor's child and dog are responsible.

The children said another child had been bragging that he had trained his pit bull to attack anything at his command, and that he had ordered his dog to attack the lab.

Cain kept his dog in a fenced yard, and found out from neighbors only after she disappeared that she had devised a daily routine of jumping the fence but hopping back in before he returned from work. Cain surmises that it was during one of those outings that she was killed.

Gone for three days, the dog was discovered in a nearby wooded area with severe wounds to various parts of its body.

Animal control officers said without a witness, they cannot do anything about the allegations. Cain said he is circulating a petition to get the pit bull removed from the neighborhood and plans to use the information gathered from neighbors to file a civil lawsuit against the dog's owner.

Sanford has a leash law, but someone has to witness the dog wandering off a leash or see an attack for animal control officers to step in.

Parents say that given the lab's size -- it weighed 105 pounds -- they are now concerned for the safety of their young children.