FORT WORTH - A Fort Worth couple is grieving the loss of two of their family pets and holding on to the lone puppy which survived a pitbull attack. Carol and Robert Shepherd say they have tried for months to keep the larger dogs out of their yard, but every attempt was unsuccessful.
On Monday afternoon, Carol Shepherd returned from her volunteer work. When her three daschunds didn't race to her side, she knew something was wrong. A quick glance outside revealed the 10-year-old, black, long-haired daschund named Shadow was dead.
Carol rushed to find the other dogs.
She found the puppy, Buddy, safe inside, but when she walked around the corner of her house, she knew the golden-colored Rusty didn't survive.
"I saw two of the pitbulls hovering over his body," Carol said. "He was bloody. I knew he was dead, so I went back into my house, and one of the dogs chased me until I slammed the patio door."
Carol's husband Robert said he has been trying to keep the dogs out of his yard for more than a year. He has put up new pickets and chicken wire, and poured cement to secure the fence.
Still, the dogs from two doors down got inside. Shepherd says he asked the pitbulls' owner to check his fence several times, but each time the dogs would escape within days.
Shepherd eventually called animal control.
City records show at least two complaints in October. On each occasion, animal control officers arrived and found the pitbulls were returned to their property. So, the owner was given a warning and tips on securing a fence.
The Shepherds say the officer told them the dogs would not be removed or the owner cited, unless a person or pet was injured.
"I couldn't believe it," Carol Shepherd said. "I told them, 'These are pitbulls, and I have daschunds. They won't be injured, they'll be killed. And now it's too late."
When animal control arrived on Monday, Rusty and Shadow were already dead.
The pitbulls' owner signed over two of his dogs to be euthanized. He said the third dog in the attach was not his, and he suspected it was a stray.
The Shepherds are filling out paperwork to have the dogs declared dangerous, just in case the owner changes his mind about the euthanization.