Local News

Dogs' deaths blamed on stray pit bulls

Posted September 21, 2009 6:30 p.m. EDT

— Wake County animal control officers are investigating the attacks on two dogs found dead in their owner's back yard last week.

Joyce Valentine said she returned home from work Friday afternoon to find her 4-year-old Jack Russell terriers, Missy and Buster, mauled to death. The dogs were confined to Valentine's back yard by an electric fence when they were killed, she said.

After talking to neighbors, Valentine learned two stray pit bulls had been roaming the area. A neighbor captured them and took them to animal control.

Mike Williams, director of Wake County's Animal Control and Adoption Center, said no one knows to whom the pit bulls belong or how they ended up in Valentine's neighborhood.

The animals appeared to have been well cared for, he said.

The dogs are under a 72-hour quarantine and, if not reclaimed by their owner, will be assessed to determine whether they can be offered for adoption or should be euthanized, Williams said.

It's unlikely their owner, if he or she comes forward, will face criminal charges, Williams said. He or she, however, could be fined by the county, and Valentine could also sue.

Williams said the case is a reminder to all pet owners to keep their pets properly confined for their pets' safety, as well as other people's safety.

"It doesn't matter what breed it is," he said. "Any dog can be dangerous."

"There's no reason why these animals should have been let loose, collarless in a neighborhood where there are children or other animals, where they could have been killed," Valentine said.