A woman and her dog were attacked by a pack of dogs Friday in the same neighborhood an emotional support dog was mauled.
Five dogs that were described as pit bulls owned by Reynaldo Davila escaped through a damaged fence at his home, in the 5900 block of NW 30th Terrace, in the Northwood Pines neighborhood, said Gainesville Police Department Chief Inspector Jorge Campos.
“The dogs went charging down the road and went after one woman and her dog,” he said.
The attack happened a street over from where escaped pit bulls killed a dog named Bella in September.
One of the dogs in the most recent incident went to the doorway of the woman’s house and attacked her dog, Campos said. Other neighbors also showed up to help when they heard screaming and barking.
Some neighbors trapped two of the dogs in a backyard and held them down until help arrived, he said.
Police arrived as residents held down the dogs. One dog most likely suffocated while the resident held it down, and the other was shot by a GPD officer after it acted aggressively toward him when the neighbor couldn’t hold it any longer, Campos said.
The three living and two dead dogs were confiscated by Alachua County Animal Services, Campos said.
If Davila wants the dogs back, he will have to pay $400 per dog to register them with the county, $50 a year to renew that registration, sterilize, microchip and vaccinate all the dogs and undergo a house inspection to ensure the dogs will not be able to escape again, said Ed Williams, the director of Animal Services.
“He has the right to ask for a hearing, but we’re full speed ahead in an attempt to declare them as aggressive,” Williams said.
Williams said there has been some suggestion that Davila and Pettiford are friends, and that one of the dogs involved in the attack was given to Davila by Pettiford.
Williams said Animal Services is looking to strengthen its ordinances to prevent this from happening again.
“The responsibility is 100 percent on the owner. We have been out and investigated this owner but, at the time, all we could do was warn him,” he said. “No one would go on record saying they saw the dogs escape and acted aggressively, and without that, we can’t cite him for anything.”
Davila could not immediately be reached for comment.
Bella’s owner, Linda Swinburn, said she is still traumatized from Bella’s attack and heartbroken over Friday’s attack.
Swinburn said she will continue to work with the city and county to get new laws passed to ensure the safety of dogs and owners.
“I will make a difference, along with the support of our community and the victims and their families who (have) gone through this traumatic and vicious killing,” she said.