Officials remind citizens to obey leash laws after dog attack


POSTED: 10:53 PM Jan 24 2013
Officials remind citizens to obey leash laws after dog attack

A vicious dog attack in Missoula leaves one woman calling for help to save her pet.

City officials say this difficult story is a reminder to the community about why leash laws are so important.

Simon the dog is doing better now.  His owner, Kristin Nichols, tells NBC Montana he was in the veterinary hospital, but a handful of procedures later and he's patched up and back home.

But Nichols is still rattled and the people who were there when their dogs attacked are gone.

“They were both way bigger than my dog and they wanted to kill him, I think,” said Nichols.  “They were just going at him again and again.”

Nichols says it was absolutely traumatizing watching her dog get attacked.

“They lunged at my dog and immediately had him,” said Nichols.  “At that point I let go of the leash and kind of jumped back because, I mean, what are you going to do, you know?”

Nichols wonders why the attacking dogs weren't on a leash.

“I just think there's a reason there's a leash law and my dog is extremely friendly but we don't go anywhere without him on a leash,” said Nichols.

Missoula Animal Control Supervisor Ed Franceschina says if you want what's best for your dog, you'll put him on a leash and keep him in control.

“If it's a vicious dog and just too dangerous to have a judge could order it put down,” said Franceschina.  “That has happened in the past.”

Nichols says she doesn't want the two dogs that attacked Simon to be put down but now she's stuck with over $700 worth of vet bills.

“Obviously they were wrong and my dog and myself had to suffer greatly for that,” said Nichols.  “It's going to take us a long time to pay it off so I would just like for them to pay for it.”

“If your dog is involved in something like that step up and help the person; it's the right thing to do,” said Franceschina. 

Nichols says the reaction of the other dog owners shocked her.

“By the time they got their dogs into their car my dog was bleeding everywhere and they just left,” said Nichols. 

Animal Control would like to find the dogs involved in this attack and their owners.  The dogs were described as a large black pit bull and a large white dog.

The owners are said to be two females.  One is described to have shoulder length, reddish-blonde curly hair; she’s allegedly the owner of the large black pit bull.

The other was described as having straight, dyed blonde hair that’s about chin length and two facial piercings; she’s allegedly the owner of the large white dog. 

The owners of the  two dogs left the scene of the attack in a white SUV, possibly a Toyota 4Runner.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of these two dog owners or their dogs you are urged to call Missoula Animal Control or click here.