NEWNAN, Ga. (WGCL) - A pit bull that was stabbed at an adoption event in Newnan on Sunday had to be euthanized.
Clara was taken to an adoption event at PetSmart on Bullsboro Drive to meet a potential adopter.
According to Newnan police, a volunteer with the Newnan-Coweta Humane Society was walking Clara outside when she broke from her collar and ran back inside the store.
Once inside, Clara walked up to a Yorkshire terrier owned by Craig Emory Hayes.
Police said Clara began to sniff the Yorkie, then grabbed it by its ear and began to pull it.
Hayes told police he kicked Clara and yelled for someone to help. He said after about 15-20 seconds, help didn't arrive so he pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed Clara.
Police said the dog was stabbed three times in the neck.
Mike Wohler was in the store when he heard the commotion.
"When I rounded the corner, I seen blood all over the floor and I seen the pit bull have the other dog by the back of the neck," said Wohler. "[I saw] it had ahold of the little dog but it wasn't biting or doing any type of aggressive movement as in it wasn't thrashing around, shaking his head,...it's like they were in pause."
Wohler said he put his hand in Clara's mouth, and she wasn't biting the Yorkie that hard.
"About the time, the pet store manager came up with that mace-type spray for the dog that apparently they use when dogs get into fights, and spayed her," said Wohler. "As soon as they sprayed her she let go and then sat down and was sitting there wagging her tail."
Several witness said that is wasn't necessary to stab Clara. There were about 30 people in the store, including some children.
"I could see there was no blood or any type of substantial wound right there on the little dog," said Wohler.
Police said the Yorkie had a bite mark on the right side of its ear where Clara grabbed it.
Hayes told police he was defending his dog like he would his child if a dog attacked him, and he was afraid Clara would turn on him and his 8-year-old child.
Wohler said Hayes seemed like he was looking for an excuse to stab Clara because she was a pit bull.
"So the whole time that was going on, the guy is screaming 'effing pit bull this, 'effing pit bull that, I hate these dogs. I don't know why they are even allowed around anymore,'" said Wohler.
Wohler said Hayes even stabbed Clara once after the dogs were pulled apart.
The decision was made to euthanize Clara because of the extent of her injuries.
Police said they are conducting a follow-up investigation and charges will depend on the outcome of the investigation.
"I wish they would [file charges] because what this guy did was absolutely insane and unnecessary," said Wohler. "I understand he would want to protect his dog, but there are so many other ways to break up a dog fight than stabbing one in front of a bunch of kids and women in a pet store during an adoption day."