City police say they are cracking down on dog owners who let their pets off the leash in Patterson Park, weeks after a poodle was attacked by two pit bulls who escaped from their backyard about a block away from the park.
Maj. William Davis, commander of the Southeastern Police District, told the regular monthly community meeting at the precinct on Monday night that the department has issued 10 citations for having an unleashed dog in the park since Nov. 18, when the two male pit bulls attacked the standard poodle as he was getting out of a car with his owner, Joanne Dolgow.
Although the attack did not happen in the park, Davis said the episode raised concerns about dogs running unleashed. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department wants to show that "we don't take things lightly."
The white poodle, Mischa, who weighs about 65 pounds, was severely injured in the attack that took place in the first block of N. Montford St. about 7 p.m. His left front leg was torn open, an artery was severed and he suffered more than 40 puncture wounds over his body, Dolgow said. Dolgow had a puncture wound on her left thumb as a result of the attack.
A second woman also suffered a finger injury when she tried to break up the attack, said Officer Ron Starr, a certified animal cruelty expert with the Baltimore Police. He did not have detailed information on the second person, but said she was more seriously injured than Dolgow. It was not clear if the second victim's dog was hurt.
"They were … on him like a shark," Dolgow said. "They were literally tearing hunks of flesh out of him."
She and her husband rushed the dog to Falls Road Animal Hospital, and treatments have continued at Chadwell Animal Hospital. She said Mischa, who is able to walk and was at the meeting Monday night, has been in the hospital 16 days since the attack, including some overnight stays.
The two pit bulls, Tango and Max, apparently got through a broken fence in the backyard of their home on North Port Street, about a block from Dolgow's house. Their owner, Angel Perez, said he believed someone broke the fence and created the opening shortly before the dogs ran out.
"It was a regular dog fight," said Perez, who attended the meeting and spoke briefly with Dolgow after the session. "I think [the onlookers] didn't know how to break things up."
Perez said that 3-year-old Tango, who weighs about 40 pounds, and eight- or nine-month-old Max, who weighs about 60, are not vicious.
The dogs are being held by city animal control authorities pending a hearing Wednesday morning to decide their fate. Dolgow said she believes they should be euthanized.
"I think these dogs are a danger to the neighborhood," she said. "What if a toddler had been playing there? That child would have been dead."