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Injured dog's owners: Deem pit bulls dangerous

Terrier viciously attacked by 2 pit bulls last week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The owners of a West Highland White Terrier that was viciously attacked by two pit bulls last week want the pit bulls put on the dangerous dogs list, and they've filed paperwork at Animal Care and Protective Services to do so.

The owner of the pit bulls, however, said her dogs are not a menace to the community.

The 15-pound Terrier named Nickie was near death when she was taken to an animal hospital. The pit bulls had gotten loose from their owner's back yard and attacked Nickie as he approached their house on a leash.

Nickie's owner, Mary Williams, said the pit bulls clamped down with their teeth and would not let go, tossing Nickie around like a rag doll, fracturing his spine and ribs and puncturing his lungs.

"We've been hysterical, no sleep," Williams said. "We don't know what to do. We feel so helpless and we don't feel right eating because he's suffering, and we've got to be focused on him."

Nickie is still in the veterinary hospital, breathing on his own. He's having a hard time eating food by himself, and he's in an incredible amount of pain. Williams said she thinks the pit bulls should officially be considered dangerous dogs.

"I think something has to happen," she said. "I don't know what, but God forbid it's another dog or a child. That's a terrible image to see."

"No, don't take them away, no," said Carolyn Syquio, the pit bulls' owner.

Syquio said she's truly sorry for what happened, but she said her dogs aren't dangerous and may have been defending their property when they got loose.

"If you're going to get egged on every day by the dogs passing by -- all the time, in the front of the house, they sit there looking outside. They're actually waiting for us to come home," Syquio said.

She said her family has agreed to help Williams pay more than $3,000 in medical bills for Nickie, but she's adamant in saying her dogs aren't dangerous, calling the attack an isolated incident.

"It's definitely out of their character," Syquio said. "They've never attacked other dogs, no, not at all. They interact at dog parks. We have them at parties, at other people's houses with kids and other dogs."

Animal Care and Protective Services employees said it may take days or even weeks to determine if they will deem the pit bulls dangerous.

As for the Williams family, they are pursueing legal action not only for their dog's doctor bills, but also for emotional trauma.