Debbie Duran and her boyfriend, Marvin Funkhouser, were walking Duran’s two dogs on leashes in the 10700 block of Lancelet Road in Apple Valley at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Suddenly and “with no warning,” two pit bulls ran out from the side of a house and lunged at Funkhouser. They then turned and started attacking Duran’s 6-month-old husky/Queensland heeler-mix puppy, reports the Victorville Daily Press.
“I just went into momma-protecting mode, took my knife out of my doggie pack and started stabbing and stabbing,” Duran told reporters.
Duran said a woman came out of the house, followed by a little boy, and started toward the dogs but stopped and “just stood by and watched.”
“The lady screamed, ‘You just killed my dogs. You killed my dogs,” Duran said. “The people were really upset that I killed their pit bulls.”
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One pit bull attacked the puppy at the tail, Duran said, while the other attacked its head.
“I could not see that happen,” Duran said. “I am just 115 pounds, 5 feet 3 inches tall, but I was not going to let my baby die.”
Kathy Suggs acknowledged that her pit bulls got loose through an open garage, but she believes Duran overreacted.
"This lady was walking around, I think, with the intent to kill the dog," Suggs said. "Who walks around with a butcher knife? We all walk our dogs around here."
Duran told the Daily Press that four San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Apple Valley Station patrol cars and Animal Services workers responded to the scene. When they arrived, they found a brown pit bull dead in the road.
A black-and-white pit bull ran down the street and was found by animal services officers. That dog, Duran said, died as the workers picked it up.
“There are no pending or outstanding citations” following the dogs’ death, town spokeswoman Kathie Martin said. She said deputies returned Duran’s purse and knife after their investigation, because she was acting in self defense.
“My Jodi (the husky mix) has puncture wounds all over her,” Duran said. The dog was taken for treatment of her injuries, Martin said.
Martin warned that these may not be the only loose dogs roaming High Desert neighborhoods, and owners should make sure their pets are kept in secured areas in their yards.
“When that happens (a dog attack), you don’t even think. You just react,” Duran said. “People get killed all the time. But this time the pit bulls got killed. I just want people to know that you can fight back.”