GRAPEVINE — Jettie the pit bull remains in quarantine at Grapevine's Animal Control. The city officially deemed it "dangerous" Wednesday afternoon, after confirming it was involved in two attacks on dogs and people in the last few weeks.
Neighbors say this dog and others from the same home on High Timber Drive have gotten loose and aggressively charged after them for years.
"It's scary," said Rulene Weishuhn, a nanny who cares for 28-month-old twins. She was walking them along the same path where the attack on Channel 8 medical reporter Janet St. James and her beloved border collie, Emmy, happened on Saturday morning.
"I was walking my 14-year-old dog as I always do on Saturday mornings in the neighborhood behind ours, and as we turned a corner, I saw an un-collared pit bull run down the street," St. James recalled. "It looked like it was chasing something, then saw us and came straight at us."
St. James said she tried yelling at the pit bull to stop. "It paused for an instant, and then it attacked us," she said. "It got my dog in a classic choke hold. My dog was screaming and I was screaming for anyone to come help us."
A neighbor ran down the street and hit Jettie with a tire iron. He retreated, but Emmy was badly injured and Janet had been bitten.
Police said this was not Jettie's first attack.
Animal Control was called to the neighborhood in January to investigate another dog being attacked by a pit bull, but they could never find the animal in question.
Animal Control officers contacted that dog's owner after the Saturday attack. She came to the Grapevine Animal Shelter and has now positively identified Jettie as the aggressor in her attack.
Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling said those two incidents led the city to deem the dog "dangerous." The owner has 10 days to appeal the ruling, and it appears that she will.
"This is what makes me mad. " There should be no question what should happen to this dog, in my mind," St. James said. "This has nothing to do about pit bulls. It's not a pit bull issue, it's a dangerous dog issue."
Eberling says Grapevine laws mirror state law, and no breeds are banned within the city limits.
If the owner of the pit bull does officially appeal, and a judge agrees to give her custody, she would be forced to follow strict guidelines, including housing the dog in a new kennel with high fences and a combination lock. The kennel can have no space for the dog's nose or mouth to poke through, and no space for a person's hand to reach in.
The owner would also have to take out a $100,000 insurance policy, and would also be forced to put a muzzle on the dog any time she takes it off her property.
If she moves the dog from the Grapevine city limits, she must notify the city of the new address and animal control officers in the new city must also be notified.
Police said the woman has been known to foster or rescue large breed dogs. She has not yet been cited for any violation.