Puppy recovering after dog attack

Pit bull's owner who left beach after mauling sought

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A trip to the beach turned into a nightmare Sunday for one family when their puppy was attacked by a pit bull.

The family is now asking for help finding the pit bull's owner, who left the scene, leaving the family with a hefty vet bill to pay to get their puppy back.

The Folsoms said they love taking their 6-month-old Dachi-poo, Woofi, to Jacksonville Beach, where dogs are allowed after 5 p.m.

On Sunday evening, the family had just parked on 20th Avenue South and set their stuff down on the beach, and their 6-year-old daughter was walking Woofi down the water when they said a large dog ran up and attacked.

Woofi is now fighting to recover from being mauled by a pit bull and losing his leg.

"This was out of a horror movie," said Robert Folsom, Woofi's owner.

The Folsoms said they were still in shock Monday.

"It was just a horrific event, and I'm devastated because that was her first puppy, and this pit bull or this large black dog was shaking him like a rag doll like it was nothing," Folsom said.

The family said the pit bull's owner ran over, wrestled it off of Woofi and ran with the dog.

"He's probably in his late 20s," said Folsom, adding that the man had long hair. "I don't recall too much what he looks like, and the dog is big and black."

A large crowd on the beach helping the Folsoms found an emergency veterinarian on call and rushed them there.

"When he was here, he was totally on his side," said Dr. Kiran Kantimahanthi, of Animal Hospital of Hodges and San Pablo. "He was crying with pain, he was bleeding really bad, and the right front arm is hanging and the whole skin and the muscles are totally torn apart."

Kantimahanthi said it was a close call because Woofi lost so much blood, but he said Woofi's a lucky pup, surviving leg amputation surgery overnight.

For as traumatizing of an attack as Woofi endured, he's already bouncing back. His biggest challenge now is learning to walk without his right front leg, but the vet said he should be good to go in just about two weeks.

"He was like a brave little puppy," Folsom said.

The Folsoms want the man and his dog held responsible for the senseless attack, but they also need some financial help.

"We are reaching out to family and friends because the vet bill is $1,500, and in order for us to pick him up today, they need $1,000 with the promise that we will pay the rest soon," Folsom said.

Animal Control is looking for the pit bull's owner.

Sgt. Thomas Bingham, of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, said that at this point, the pit bull's owner is only facing ordinance violations and no criminal charges because no humans were injured.

If you'd like to help the Folsoms, go to the vet said you can write checks or call to donate at Animal Hospital of Hodges and San Pablo. The address is 13947 Beach Blvd., the phone number is 904-992-1888, and the email is contact@hodgesanimalhospital.com.

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