Society

Pit Bull Killed 15-Year-Old Golden Retriever and Injured 2 Good Samaritans Must Be Euthanized, Judge Rules

| by Denise A Justin

Superior Court Judge David Brisco ruled on Tuesday, December 24, that a 3-year-old Pit Bull, named Johnny Range, must be euthanized following a vicious attack in which he fatally mauled a 15-year-old Golden Retriever and caused serious injury to two humans. The incident occurred in Upland, California on August 25, 2013.

After testimony by Upland residents who witnessed the unprovoked attack on Lazer, the Golden Retriever who died, and the subsequent violent attack on the two men who tried to save him, the Judge heard from authorities who investigated the attack. Judge Brisco concluded that Johnny Rango is a dangerous and vicious dog who is to be destroyed immediately.

Brisco also ruled that Johnny Rango’s owner, Alicia Fagundes of Upland, must pay all impound and other fees for the dog who has been cared for at the Upland Animal Shelter for about four months, awaiting a decision. She must also reimburse the city for its costs in investigating the incident.

“I think it’s a just decision,” Lazer’s owner Daniel Garcia told Lori Fowler of the Daily Bulletin.“Justice has finally been served,” he said.

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BACKGROUND

Garcia was walking with Lazer through his Colonies neighborhood around 8:15 p.m. on Aug. 25, when he suddenly saw the Pit Bull, Johnny Rango, approaching.

Without provocation Johnny Rango attacked the elderly Golden. first on his shoulder and then latching onto his neck for about 10 minutes. He finally let go after several neighbors tried various methods to try to force him to release his hold.

During that time, two of the neighbors were injured — one of the men had several deep bite wounds on his hand and another man tore his shoulder and suffers permanent damage as a result, Lori Fowler of the Bulletin reports..

Neighbors rushed the distraught Garcia and Lazer to a veterinary hospital, where the Golden was given a 50/percent chance to live. But the old dog was too badly injured to survive the attack and succumbed to his injuries about 4 a.m.

According to Upland Animal Services Officer Jennifer Calderon, Johnny Rango is a tan- and-white, unneutered Pit Bull, weighing between 90 and 100 pounds/

Calderon testified that Johnny had attacked another dog in 2012, which resulted in one human injury. Following that incident, Johnny was designated a potentially dangerous dog and his owner, Alicia Fagundes was assigned several restrictions.

“Johnny is extremely animal aggressive,” Calderon said. “He wants to attack other animals.”

Several other witnesses testified to the gory details of the attack —as well as the terror and injuries to the dog and two men. They also confirmed that the attack was unprovoked.

In October, the Upland city prosecutor made the recommendation to label the Pit Bull as a vicious dog and authorize his euthanasia.

Fagundes fought the decision, saying Johnny Rango is a good dog who does not deserve to die.

She appealed that recommendation, and the matter was sent to the City Council, which upheld it in November. Fagundes again appealed, sending the case to court.

Fagundes was not present at Tuesday’s hearing, according to the Daily Bulletin.. Her lawyer, Dennis Assuras, said she was sick and had doctor’s orders to stay home. His request for a continuance was denied, and the judge proceeded with the hearing absent any witnesses for the defense.

“Fagundes said she was planning to take Johnny Rango—whom she has owned since he was a puppy--to a trainer, specifically a “Pit Bull camp,” to work on the animal aggression and then send him to live in Arizona.

“She wants very much that her dog not be executed without at least having the opportunity to have her dog trained,” attorney Assures said, “to show it’s not a vicious dog and it’s not a threat to the community.”

Source: Daily Bulletin