Pit bull attacks

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, April 3, 2012

AHOSKIE – An elderly Ahoskie woman and her pet Dachshund were victimized by a pit bull here Sunday afternoon.

Ruby Baker of Parker Ave. was hospitalized for bites to her hand while her pet “Snoopy” suffered internal injuries.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said his department and Hertford County Animal Control have the incident under investigation.

“An eyewitness to the incident had prior knowledge of this particular pit bull and knew the owner,” Fitzhugh said. “The dog was located a short time later and was impounded by Hertford County Animal Control. Charges are pending against the owner.”

Two different sources told the News-Herald that the pit bull was located at a residence on Pine Street. Fitzhugh would not confirm that location.

According to Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan, the pit bull will be impounded for 10 days. He stated that impoundment was required by state law pertaining to a dog attack.

“It’s basically a precautionary period to monitor the animal, a dog in this case, to ensure there is no rabies present in that animal,” Vaughan said. “Depending on what further information develops from the ongoing investigation into this incident may lead us to keep this dog impounded for more than 10 days.”

As to whether or not the pit bull’s owner would be held liable for Baker’s medical care as well as the vet’s bill for her pet, Fitzhugh said that would be determined by the District Attorney’s office based on the severity of the attack and the resulting injuries.

The attack occurred in the parking lot of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. Baker, who lives a block away from the newspaper’s office, walks her dog daily through the RCNH lot. “Snoopy” is always kept on a leash, as required by Ahoskie law, during his daily walks.

Fitzhugh said two pit bulls approached Baker.

“One of the two pit bulls became aggressive and attacked Mrs. Baker and her dog, resulting in injuries that required both to seek medical attention,” Fitzhugh said.

Hertford County Commissioner Ronald Gatling told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that he was traveling on Catherine Creek Road and was passing by the newspaper’s office when he looked over and saw a woman on her knees and two pit bulls. He stopped to help Baker, noting that one of the pit bulls had blood on its mouth and ear.

“We wish Mrs. Baker and her dog a speedy recovery,” Fitzhugh said. “We’re thankful that a passer-by stopped to help.”

The owner of the second pit bull has yet to be identified. Fitzhugh said that dog was brown and white in color.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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