Family dog dies in South Hill pit bull attack

SPOKANE, Wash. - Family dog dies in South Hill pit bull attack

SCRAPS is investigating a vicious pit bull attack on Spokane's South Hill that killed an 11-year-old dog.

Dan Pelle was walking his dog Koko on Thursday afternoon in a field near 32nd and Havana, something he's done for at least a decade.

"It was a day off for me, so we went to this area by Chase Middle School," Pelle said.

The two were walking in the forested field when Pelle spotted two pit bulls about 30 yards away.

"We paused to let them pass," Pelle said.

Pelle says two young men were with the dogs. When those dogs saw Pelle and Koko, they immediately ran toward them.

"They took her down, one was on her chest, the other on her hind side," Pelle said.

The attack lasted for about two minutes until Pelle was able to use his walking stick to free Koko.

"We got up and ran for our lives," Pelle said.

Pelle then rushed the dog to the vet but sadly, the attack was too much.

"She was unable to catch her breath to get enough oxygen," Pelle said.

Pelle and the vet knew they had to euthanize her. "It was devastating that this is real now. She is not here anymore," Pelle said.

This Christmas will be a lot less merry for the Pelle family, who got the dog 11 Christmases ago. They didn't just lose their dog, they lost a family member.

"This dog made our lives whole," Pelle said.

SCRAPS says one of the pit bulls is now in their custody. Officials have deemed the dog dangerous. The other pit bull involved died from injuries it received when the young men walking the dogs that day, tried to stop the attack.

SCRAPS says one of these men's parents own the dogs. The dog's owners now have several options.

They can purchase special insurance, put warning signs up and make an approved enclosure for the dog. They can also relocate the pit bull outside the area or euthanize the animal. The owners have 15 days to decide what action they'll take.