After 3 attacks, Tucson family gives up pit bull
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Maggie Vespa
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - One Tucson family is grieving the loss of their precious pitbull pup.
Others in their northside neighborhood, near the intersection of Oracle and Wesmore, say the threat is now gone.
And authorities say that so-called pup attacked three teens just this month.
"To know that he's going to die at 9 months, 10 months old, is hard," said 14 year-old Peyton Green.
For her, it means giving up a beloved pet.
"He doesn't know what he did wrong," she said. "He just felt the need to protect me."
For 13 year-old Samantha Juengling, who owns and loves these three dogs, it means gaining a sense of security.
"He has gotten my pants before," she said of Peyton's dog. "He grabbed my sweats, not these ones but my red ones. And so I don't really trust the dog."
It was an instinct that was proved right Sunday when the pair took Peyton's powerful pitbull, Drew, out for a walk.
"I was thinking like, 'I can't believe he actually got me,'" said Samantha.
Animal control officers say Drew, now quarantined at the Pima Animal Care Center, first attacked a teen boy nearby, ripping his pant leg.
It then lunged at Samantha.
This time, his teeth tore through more than pants.
"At first I was a little shocked, and then it just kind of startled me," she said. "And then it started hurting."
Samantha received nine stiches in her right leg.
And this wasn't Drew's first attack.
Earlier this month he bit another of Peyton's friends.
Animal control officials say Drew was quarantined then, too.
"We did do a dangerous dog assessment, and he did not score, based on the score sheet, and was not declared dangerous," said Elaine Klein, field enforcement supervisor at Pima Animal Care Center.
That means Peyton's family took Drew home, along with some very valuable advice.
"If you're going to have a dog out on a leash or outside of your home, have a responsible adult present that's able to control the animal," said Klein.
Now Peyton wishes she had listened.
"It's hard, but for him to be getting put down is better than me keeping him and having him attack more people," she said.
Tuesday evening Peyton's dad, who declined to do an interview, gave up ownership of drew.
Animal control officers tell 9OYS he recommended the dog be put down.
If you know of an animal near you that has acted in threatening, Klein recommends reporting your concerns. You can do so by calling the Pima Animal Care Center at 243-5900 or by heading to their website.