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Pit Bull Attacks & Kills Other Dog, Animal Control Seeking Owner

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines Animal Control is on the lookout for the owner of a pit bull that attacked and killed another dog over the weekend.

On August 31st, officers were called to 29th and Rutland for a dog attack.  The reporting pet owner told Animal Control that as she was taking out her two dogs -- a Yorkshire terrier and a dachshund -- an unleashed white pit bull ran over and attacked.

The woman managed to scoop up the dachshund, but before she could get to the Yorkshire terrier, Dallas, it was too late.  The little dog had a hole in his chest and neck and a fractured jaw and had to be put down.

"A lot of people will tell us, my dog doesn't bite. Every dog has the potential of biting someone so if the dog is not confined, not tethered next to you, not on a leash, you know, that's irresponsible," says Josh Colvin with ARL Animal Care and Control.

Read the Animal Control report on incident

That same day, a cat down the street was attacked and killed by a dog. At first, Sarah Benton thought it was the same pit bull that killed her 6-year-old rescue cat, Lila, but it was actually another dog. Benton didn't find her outdoor cat until the next day.

"Half of her body didn't work, she had a broken femur and there were bite wounds all over her body. It wasn't good. I just picked her up and she let out a really sad meow," says Benton.

After she returned from the vet, Benton went door to door and found the owner of the dog. The American Bulldog is in quarantine.

Des Moines’ leash law requires all dogs to be tethered to their owners at all times.

Cats can run as long as they are not destroying property and have a license and rabies vaccination tag.


  • JstLvng

    throw the book at them for not containing their dog. this has nothing to do with the breed, it has all to do with the responsibility of the owner!!

  • Mike Cee

    Let me guess-another pit bull owner that will claim their dog isn’t vicious-right up to the moment that the dog killed someone else’s dog. When will people learn that these breeds instinctively kill and can’t be trusted? This isn’t a poodle nipping at someone’s ankles-this is an animal that is bred to kill and, under the right circumstances will kill no matter who the owner is. If you think your pit bull won’t do the same then you’re sadly mistaken and in for a rude awakening when it does happen, just like the owners of the multitude of pit bulls who have maimed and killed kids and other dogs.

    At least it wasn’t a child-this time.

    • krizert

      Any animal is capable of hurting another animal. This is no different than a human w harms another human. My sympathy goes out to the owner of the dog that was slain.We, as a society, need to look at the causes of what happened. We take away the privledge of driving from person s arrested for DUI, perhaps this pet owner needs to be banned from owning any animals. Any owner that is irresponsible enough to let their animal run free like this makes me hope they have no children.

      Just imagine that was a child allowed to run free with no consequences. If the child did something like harming another child, we would blame the parents and this story of animal violence is no different.

  • Debbie Bell

    Leaving home and attacking for no reason and without first trying to avoid conflict are essential dog fight traits intentionally created by sadistic pit men. These attacks ate good pits doing what they were bred to do.

    Before the pit mongering began in the 1980s, the name for American Bulldog was American PIT Bulldog. Am bulls are pits too.

    • IgnoranceShallBeRelinquished

      Yeah, American Pit Bull Terrier not bulldog. The difference from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier. All of which are Terriers not bulldogs. Bulldogs come from the Mastiff breed. I am proud owner of two American Bulldogs, but am a firm believer that all breeds can attack no matter the size or strength. Nor is it uncommon from one dog to attack another. My dogs constantly are attacked or antogonized by Napoleon complexed when we are out on walks, but then again both are leashed.

      Debbie, perhaps you should get your facts straight before spewing your ignorance on a news site. Some light reading might help with that. Her you go:

      • jim

        American bulldogs are more or less pitbulls due to fanciers having to come up with enough genetic material to save the breed. Many bulldogs can trace their pedigrees back to the American Pitbull Terrier

  • FIddlestix

    But, I’m sure it’s really a good dog who just made a ‘mistake’ and didn’t know any better. … NOT!!! … Now, thousands of dollars of city money will be spent because the idiot owner of this monster will drag this out in order to save it.

  • Mike Fluharty

    Cats should be kept indoors. Domestic and feral cats kill millions upon millions (possibly billions) of birds and other indigenous animals every year and are chief contributors to the endangerment and even extinction of many native species worldwide.


    no it’s not a good dog that made a mistake and didn’t know any better it’s an untrained, poorly trained or trained for fighting dog that should have never been loose in the first place and the owner deserves to do time and owes restitution although it won’t help the poor lady who has lost what was most likely like a member of her family however it does not dictate the breed saying a pitbull is born vicious is the same closed minded mentality of a racist don’t like the breed don’t own them bad owner? make them get rid of the breed however don’t come across making generalizations about an entire breed when in reality where you actually live your more likely to be attacked by a well behaved chihuahua than you ever are a well behaved pit. Pits were not born fighting dogs the ones that are were taught it by their owners get your head out of your ass and learn.

    • Randy Graven

      What difference does it make? Pit bull,German shepherd,poodle,whatever-if it was running loose and killed another dog on a leash it should be dead. And Mr. Fluharty and Mr. Hendrickson, I ask you, when did you last hear or read of a cat attacking and maiming or killing a human or a dog?

    • Steven Mann

      I can help with that…american bulldogs are pit bull type dogs. story did not specify american pit bull terrier, as you so deceptively implied. therefore completely accurate reporting.

      • guest

        There were two different attacks, one by a pittbull one by an american bull. The owner of the cat is trying to say no vicious dog should be allowed to live in the area but since the bulldog is not considered a vicious breed the owners may get the dog back.

  • BDaddy

    I own a pit bull and he is just an angel. He would never attack anyone and for that reason, we let him run loose 24/7. If he is antagonized by a kid who doesn’t know how to treat a dog then its not my fault. My dog has a right to defend himself!!!!

  • Homer Coppock

    OUTLAW PIT BULLS AND CHARGE OWNERS WITH MANSLAUGHTER. Anyone not having any dog leashed minimum&0 days in jail no bail.

  • Padams

    Your ignorance and irresponsible ownership of your dog is EXACTLY WHAT ALL DOGS DO NOT NEED. It’s funny that this ” pit bull” story is coming out right as the city of Des Moines tries to make an attempt to remove the names of specific dog breeds in the city’s animal ordinance to ban from city limits. I would just like to make every one aware, Pit bull” is NOT a breed. It’s a generic term often used to describe all dogs with similar traits and characteristics known to the public as “pit bulls.” When we use the term “pit bull” here, it should be understood to encompass American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and mixes of those breeds. Educate yourselves before you make ridiculous statments.

  • JodyJ

    I Live in an apartment complex. I went to take my Chihuahua out the back entrance door for his potty break. As I opened the back door, My Chihuahua went After “something” .. It was dark, I then seen a White & Brown Pit bull bouncing all over the place, With “its” owner. On a leash. My Chihuahua went After the Pit Bull. I picked him up immediately. This Pit Bull? Was Sooo Friendly, bouncy, playful, that is was quite humorous. The Owner apologized. Why? I don’t know. His Pit bull did nothing. Just wanted to play. Wagging his tail, just a bouncy funny dog !! It was MY Chihuahua that wanted to attack the Pit Bull !! The Pit Bull bounced all around Avoiding my Chihuahua, in a playing manner. Not an attack manner. This PIt bull even jumped on me playfully !! Long Story short? It Makes One huge difference HOW you raise this breed. This is the 2nd Pit bull I have come across that was very playful and puppy acting when it was a Full grown animal !

  • Nicole Thorngren

    @bdaddy. Absolutely ridiculous that you think your opinion is in any way appropriate. I also own a “pit bull”. He is CGC Certified. He visits schools & nursing homes. A few months ago, we were featured in Des Moines Mag as he served as a donor dog at the ARL auction. BUT- I also carry liability insurance on him. He has NEVER bitten any one, and I doubt he ever would. But he is a DOG. And it is my responsibility as his owner to protect him by carrying insurance, leasing him while in public. I also do not just let him run up to other dogs like some idiots do while on a walk. Honestly, it’s not because I’m afraid of my dog’s reaction, bit because I worry about the lack of socialization of other dogs and I know darn well how it would turn out if there was a scuffle. My dog is a “pit bull”. But he’s brightened the day of so many others, and he could not be a better dog for our family and two small children. It has nothing to do with “breed”. “Pit bulls” are dogs that look a certain way. They have blocky heads and muscular bodies. Most of them are “mutts” and assuming they will behave a certain way based on looks is ludicrous.

  • Terie

    The same thing happened to my mother’s dog in March. The neighbors pitbull got loose from a 9 year old girl who was walking him and he attacked my mother’s maltese in her yard and killed him. the owner of the pit bull swears that her dog is a sweet angel, but she never apologized. WDM declared the dog vicious but the owner still has her dog and my mother’s dog is dead. We sued for damages and won in small claims but because she is losing her house to foreclosure, we will never see a penny. There is not justice.

  • Guest

    Its funny because most likely it is not a pit bull type dog.most likely it’s another American bulldog that attacked the dog because they said they saw a big white dog. Last time i checked American pitbull terrier aren’t big dog like an America bulldog but like most people cant even tell the dif between American bulldog n a American pitbull terrier . Just like we created the pitbull to fight well most pitbull nowadays been bred to be friendly with other animal and most of them don’t come from a fighting bloodline. It only take three generation to start changing a dogs bloodline. That’s why most golded retriever are not good at retrieving anymore because we bred them to not do that anymore.

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