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Dog 'didn't think twice about biting'

Pit bull bites a family's Doberman during walk

Animal Control Officer Kathy Shields (click for larger version)
May 04, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — To Bill Saunders, the end of Cohasse Street has gone to the dogs.

He's concerned about one particular dog, an unneutered male pit bull that bit his Doberman pinscher Monday afternoon while Saunders was walking with his wife and twin 4-year-old sons.

"That dog didn't think twice about biting," Saunders said. "He would've gotten my kids if I hadn't booted him. … It was inches from one of my kids getting bit."

His Doberman, 10-month-old Floyd, received two puncture wounds "but the vet said he'll be all right" after taking 10 days of antibiotics, he said.

The incident happened around 5 p.m., when the Saunders family walked past the triple-decker at 48 Cohasse St. There, he recalled, a young boy, maybe 6 years old, was the only person outside with the pit bull on a "little leash with a collar."

According to Animal Control Officer Kathy Shields, the situation had several features that make it dangerous for any dog, especially strong breeds: the pit bull's owner, Thomas Brunelle, has had the dog for about one month and knew little of its history; the dog is male, adult (4 years old), unneutered and unregistered (but it has had rabies shots); it was being held by a child unfamiliar with its strength; and Saunders had both another dog and young children. Because pit bulls are strong dogs, they tend to want to be "alpha" animals, and need training to learn they aren't.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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