Avon Lake Resident, Golden Retriever Hurt in Dog Attack

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AVON LAKE, Ohio -- Avon Lake police are asking for the public's help in tracking down the owner of two pit bull mix dogs who attacked a resident and another dog Friday.

An officer was forced to shoot the dogs, killing one and injuring the other, police said, after they could not be pulled off of a resident's pet.

"She's our baby," Avon Lake resident Chip Atherton told FOX 8 on Sunday, about his golden retriever Zoey, who survived Friday's brutal attack.

The puncture wounds on the back of her neck tell the traumatic story.

Avon Lake police said they responded to calls Friday afternoon of two pit bull mix dogs wandering the neighborhood near the 100 block of Lear Road.

Workers in the area told FOX 8 they spotted the dogs and tried to lure them with food, but became hesitant when the dogs started to growl and even snap at them.

One of the workers said she was more concerned for the dogs than afraid of them.

"They're out running around. There's a lot of traffic. There's kids and--any dog--you don't know what they're gonna do," said Rhonda Walters.

Police said the dogs attacked and bit a resident in the leg before officers caught up with them on Williamsburg Drive, right around the same time that Chip Atherton was letting Zoey outside for the evening.

"When they heard (Zoey) bark, they came right at her," Atherton said. "The one dog had her by the snout and the other dog had her by the neck and she had blood all over her face."

Police said when the officer couldn't break up the fight, he drew his weapon, shooting and killing one dog and wounding the other.

The wounded dog was taken to a local animal clinic for treatment.

Atherton rushed Zoey to the emergency vet where she was treated for several lacerations and monitored for shock. Luckily, her injuries are minor.

Atherton said he thinks the bulky collar for her electric fence helped to protect her from more bite wounds.

But if it hadn't been for the officer's bold actions, Atherton said, "I think Zoey wouldn't be with us today."

Atherton also told FOX 8, from what he could tell, the dogs appeared to be somewhat emaciated.

"I love dogs, and a couple friends have pit bulls and I don't feel they're a bad breed. They're great dogs, as long as people take care of them," he said.

Police have described the dogs as a male dark brindle pit bull, possibly pure bred, and a female blue pit bull mix with possible cane corso. The female had recently given birth and had been nursing.

Both dogs were wearing cloth collars with no identification tags.

An officer with Avon Lake told Fox 8 Sunday that the resident who was bitten has already begun preventative rabies treatment, since the vaccination records of the dogs are unknown.

Anyone with information on the dogs' owner is asked to call Avon Lake police.