KIRTLAND, Ohio-- A woman is horrified and a family is devastated after their dog is viciously attacked and killed by three pit bulls in a local neighborhood. The owner of two of the dogs is facing criminal charges.
"I never knew I could love an animal like that, and it's gonna be really hard not to have him here," said dog owner, Claudia Siers.
For ten years, Bandit the puggle, a cross between a pug and a beagle, has been a beloved member of the Siers family in Kirtland.
"He was a good dog. He wouldn't hurt a fly. I mean, he loved kids; he loved people," she said.
Around noon on Tuesday, Claudia Siers said she was walking Bandit in the neighborhood when three dogs charged at them. Kirtland police said they were American Staffordshire terriers, one of the breeds commonly known as a pit bull.
"The one grabbed his neck and then I was trying to get him and at the same time pull on the leash. I was literally on the ground trying to keep them away and then the other one got involved, so it was like pretty much three against, you know, the three dogs against my dog and me," Claudia Siers explained.
Claudia was on the phone with her husband at the time. "My wife started screaming 'no, no,' then she got hysterical," recalled Brian J. Siers.
"Why wasn't it on a leash? Why wasn't he being watched?" asked her son, Brian C. Siers.
Kirtland police charged 57-year-old Peggy Wieland with having a dangerous or vicious dog and having a dog at-large. They said in May, she was previously charged in connection with one of the dogs.
"I'm a big advocate of pit bulls and rescue breeds and stuff like that, but there's a certain way to handle them and a certain way to take care of dogs and train them," said daughter, Lauren Siers.
"As long as one person learns that you need to handle your dog and if you don't handle your dog, it could have serious consequences and we're not lucky enough that we lost our dog, but I'm lucky that my mom didn't get attacked," said Claudia's son.
"Just for him to die in such a way and for me to see it, it was horrible, just utterly horrible," Claudia said.
Claudia Siers said the women who own the dogs actually drove her to the vet, but it was too late to save Bandit.
Police said the dogs will be quarantined at home for ten days. They said charges are pending against the owner of the third dog involved.