A gray pit bull attacked and killed a small Yorkshire Terrier named Jill at Pooch Pines Dog Park inside Okeeheelee Park on Saturday afternoon, according to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.
Vincent Johnson of Lake Worth was injured while trying to protect a young woman from the violent pit bull.
“This is so terrible that a dog was lost,” said Leslie Schwettman of West Palm Beach, while walking her 8-year-old dog, Vegas, Sunday morning at the park. “My dog is small, but she’s mouthy, so around bigger dogs, I don’t let her go start something.”
At 3:58 p.m. on Saturday, Animal Care and Control responded to the attack.
In its case report, Johnson said he saw a young woman walking her dog near the handicapped parking spaces. As her dog was pooping, Johnson said he saw the pit bull running loose and started to attack the brown and black Yorkie, eventually killing it.
Johnson tried grabbing the 8-year-old Yorkie and punch the pit bull, but he couldn’t. Johnson said he was bitten on his finger during the incident.
Jennifer Levy, the Yorkie’s owner, said in the case report that the pit bull was shaking her dog like a rag doll and wouldn’t let go.
The pit bull was brought to the park by Fernando Matta Gonzalez and Estephany Marquez, according to the case report. Gonzalez told Animal Care and Control that he found the dog on Saturday at Pooch Pines and that he took the dog to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League to surrender it.
Gonzalez said he was told the dog had to be current on vaccinations, so he left and returned to Pooch Pines.
The case report says Animal Care and Control contacted Peggy Adams and were told they had no record of Gonzalez or the pit bull visiting the facility.
Animal Care and Control gave Gonzalez a citation for, among other things, failure to properly confine the pit bull and failure to vaccinate the dog against rabies.
The agency impounded the pit bull. Ownership will be under investigation.
Roy Lander, 80, said he got to the park after Saturday’s attack. “It was so grim here,” he said.
Debbie Coppola, 62, said there have been a few dog fights at the park, but no dog was killed. “This is horrible,” she said.
Schwettman said she does her best while watching Vegas. “I watch her so closely,” she said.