A deadly dog attack left a Rolando man lamenting the loss of what he calls his best friend.
William Tiatano said he was walking back home with his dogs Miley and Brandy when a stray dog approached them out of nowhere at the Clay neighborhood park in Rolando.
The dog first sniffed Tiatano’s 3-year-old golden retriever, Brandy. Everything seemed peaceful but that all changed in an instant when the pit bull moved his attention from Brandy to Miley.
“The pit grabbed her by the throat and started shaking her like a rag doll. I was hitting the pit bull with my leash trying to get him to let her go. His jaws were locked on her and he didn't stop or let her go until she stopped moving,” Tiatano said.
Multiple witnesses including Tiatano called San Diego police to report the incident.
By the time police got to the scene, the pit bull had moved to a nearby apartment complex. Police kept an eye on the dog until the San Diego Humane Society officers arrived.
As the officers attempted to get near him, he charged at one of them. The dog then took off to a stairwell, forcing animal control to climb into the apartment complex through a second-floor sliding door.
Once inside the complex, they were able to corner the pit bull at the top of the stairs and use a “catch pole” to get the dog.
Tiatano says he will never get his Miley back, a 14-year-old Schipperky he rescued a few years ago. But wants others to be spared the heartache.
“Just be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of people and another dog that might be around,” he said.
Several neighbors say the dog had been running loose since Saturday night and had already attacked at least one person while they were walking to their car. It is unknown who the dog’s owner is, but police say if they find that person, they could face several fines.
NBC 7 reached out to the SD Humane society for comment:
“San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement is investigating reports that a dog running at large attacked and killed one dog and injured another early Sunday morning in Clay Park in the 4,700-block of Seminole Dr., San Diego. The dog may have also attacked a person in the same neighborhood the night before.
Just up the street, San Diego Police had located the loose dog near an apartment complex. Three of our Humane Officers were able to capture the dog and bring him to our San Diego Campus.
The dog is currently on a 4-day stray hold. He does not have a microchip. Our Humane Officers are trying to locate the dog’s owner. If an owner does not come forward, the dog will be assessed by San Diego Humane Society’s behavior staff to determine the next steps that are in the best interest of the dog and public safety.”