ANKENY, Iowa -- 81-year-old Ankeny resident Joyce Flanders was shocked by a noise late Monday morning.
“My dog was squealing in the front yard,” she said.
Flanders moved as fast as her feet could take her, her five-pound Chihuahua “TT” being attacked by two neighborhood pit bulls.
“I walked out here and tried to get her and these two dogs are attacking her and they’re just shaking her all over,” said Flanders.
The dogs, running loose, released TT. Flanders grabbed her dog and says she made a dash for the garage.
“I get in here and my sister in law was here, I told her shut the garage door! The dog advanced at me, they got within five feet of me before the door went down, the door scared them and they backed off,” said Flanders.
She then turned to her own dog.
“She wouldn’t let me unleash her so I had to leave her. I didn’t want to leave her but I had to, and I went and got her clothes changed and then I undid her from the leash and got to the vet, but she bled out before I could get her there they couldn’t save her,” said Flanders.
Joyce said one of the dog's owners stopped by later on.
“She brought me a plant and a card and she’s very forgiven and she was crying, she’s lost a dog before too, I understand that, but I wanted to hear her side of the story,” said Flanders.
So did Channel 13 News, but attempts by a reporter to contact the owners were unanswered.
Flanders’ sons went looking for answers the day of the attack and took photographs of a backdoor wide open, and a wooden fence ajar.
Ankeny police say the dogs, declared vicious after a 2014 attack, needed stronger security.
“They have to be inside if they’re not inside they have to be on a leash and they have to be muzzled. If they’re stored outside the fence has to be secure and I believe they have to be in kennels,” said Lt. Brian Kroska of the Ankeny Police.
Joyce says the city needs stricter rules on the kinds of dogs residents can have.
“I think they need a little more freedom to get this under control before someone else gets seriously hurt,” she said.
Ankeny police say after a dog has been declared vicious the owner needs to carry insurance, go through a training class, and comply with the city on how to secure their dogs.
Police say as of a check in October 2015, the owners had complied.