Neighbors concerned about loose dogs

September 17, 2008 4:21:35 PM PDT
Thelma Heard says she narrowly escaped a vicious attack last weekend when one of five dogs broke free and chased her into her home.Heard, 71, is talking about the fear she has of her next door neighbor's pit bulls.

On Saturday, one of the dogs got loose while she was hanging clothes in her back yard. She says the next thing she knew, she had to run for her life.

"And he was running straight for me," Heard said. "He was running as fast as he could run towards me. And then I had to run as fast as I could to get back into the safety of my house."

Heard isn't the only one who's been chased by the dogs.

Frank Niester lives behind heard. He's had to pull out his shotgun to protect his dog Benji.

"Yeah, they came after me when I was working my garden," Niester said. "I went into the house, got the shotgun. I put one shot in the ground. Then they took off. But I admit if they'd kept coming, I was going to shoot them."

Alfonzo Allen owns the dogs. His four-year-old, drew was the one that allegedly chased heard.

While Allen admits the dogs get loose on occasion, he says they are not a threat to anyone.

"They're not vicious. If she would have been standing in the yard and they saw her," Allen said. "They might have attempted to run towards her to play or jump on her, but not to do anything vicious."

But neighbors say the pit bulls have killed.

"Yeah, they killed my neighbor's dog back here and drug him way over here in this field," Niester said.

Allen doesn't know anything about that. He says he's dogs wouldn't hurt a fly.

"Every now and then he may get loose or one of the dogs may get loose. But they've never bitten or attempted to bite anyone," Allen said.

But his next door neighbor isn't buying that.

"It looks like I'm going to have to be dead, torn to pieces by this vicious dog before anybody will do anything," Heard said.

The Cumberland County Animal Control Department tells Eyewitness News an investigation is underway.

They say other people in the community have also had frightening encounters with the pit bulls.


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