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Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.

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Dogs Running Loose Kill a Pet

Today on Goodloe Drive, two large dogs attacked and killed a small Shih-Tzu/Chihuahua mix named Sammy who was sunning himself in his own front yard.  The two aggressors were a Pit Bull and a Pit Bull/Mastiff mix that got loose from their owner’s fenced yard on Twin Lake Drive.  The attack on 7-pound Sammy was reported by a neighbor who saw the dogs on the property.  Sammy’s owner was not at home during the violence.   Sammy’s yard is surrounded by invisible fencing, which kept him in but unfortunately does not keep other animals out.

When Animal Control Officer Tom Worthy was dispatched to respond to the incident, he recognized the description of the larger of the two dogs as one whose owner had previously been cited for allowing it to run loose.   After seeing Sammy’s remains, Tom found the two dogs back at the home of their owner, Celia Ventura, and she voluntarily surrendered the dogs to Officer Worthy for euthanization.  Ms. Ventura was also arrested for two counts of allowing dogs to run at large.

Owners of dogs have a legal responsibility to keep their animals under control, for the welfare of the dog itself and for the safety of the general public.   Owners of large dogs need to be particularly aware of their dog’s potential for causing harm, even unintentionally.   I am an animal lover and the owner of an obedient 50-pound dog who is a threat only to the resident City squirrels.   I have a 6-foot security fence around my back yard and when Hank leaves the property, he goes on a leash.  It’s the law.


  • ed newell

    ouch so sad for the smaller dog and that family. folks forget that invisible fence doesn’t keep others out

  • L Whitesell

    That is just horribly sad… My sincere condolences to Sammy’s owners. Invisible fencing at it’s worst… I am so very sorry…

  • http://facebook Belinda

    That’s so sad! I have two animals I can’t even imagine something like that happening to them like that! I feel so sorry for the owner of Sammy!

  • Mandie

    I don’t understand why people are so irresponsible when it comes to the control of their large pets. Especially pit bulls? I have a 9 yr old black lab and if he happens to get out I freak and get him in asap because he’s a dog, an animal, and animals are unpredictable especially if they’re already excited and spot a poor unsuspecting chihuahua! People, if you can’t contain your pets responsibly? Don’t burden the rest of the community by owing a pet.

  • adv1sor

    A life has been lost.

    Just the life of a dog, but so much more than that to the family from which he was taken.

    To hear that this women cared so little. She had already been cited before, but she still let her dogs run loose. Now her dogs have to pay with their lives for her carelessness.

    I know she will get off with a small fine or even less. But I wish they lock her away for at least a year for animal’s life that her carelessness has destroyed.

    Fredericksburg would be a better place without someone like this.

    Celia Ventura is not welcome at my place of business. If she worked for me, she would no longer have a job.

    The courts will fail Sammy. The community should not.

    I know we should forgive, but this is a hard one.


    Deleted by moderator.

  • hokisteph5

    I’m sad for all the dogs involved. All three will pay the price for one woman’s irresponsibility.

  • stacey

    Dumb owner!

  • VooDoo75

    Why fine the smaller dogs owner? It was on its own property. How horribly sad :(

    And “UNKNOWN” typing in caps doent make what you say more important than anyone else.

  • Tammy

    So Sorry for the lost of your animals. I wish people would take better care and responsibility of the animals. I no i live it every day with my neighbors dogs and i also have small dogs and i can not even take them in the back yard !!!

  • Adam

    How is the owner of the innocent dog (who was in his own yard) to blame? There’s no guarantee the same thing wouldn’t have happened even if the owners were in the yard, too. The Pit Bull owner is damn lucky her dogs didn’t kill a child. Then she’d be tried for murder.

  • Dawn

    SO So Sad that 3 animals lives will be lost today! A terrible loss to the owner of the small dog ( although I do not believe the dog should be left outside unattended with only an invisible fence) AND the other two animals lives who will be killed due to a irresponsible owner who should have had a stiff fine the first time! I am the owner of a staffy mix and I have a REAL fenced yard and my dog is only allowed out while on a leash. The same rules apply for ANY animal I have owned (previous dog was a small breed). Once again the breed will suffer from a headline while the OWNER will get a slap on the wrist. What a tragic thing but the dogs are not the ones to blame! Make the owner suffer FIGHT THE DEED not the breed. My neighbor has a mastiff that is kept by invisible fence and has crossed it many many times! the county should not allow that to be the only means of containing a pet! more and more of these type incidents will happen because people will leave their animals for the day unattended! I am sorry for the loss of all…

  • D.J.Brown

    This is very sad. But I too am puzzled as to why the owner of the small dog left the dog outside, unattended. That doesn’t make any sense at all. I have a small dog. Even though my yard is completely fenced, I go out with her each and every time.

  • opiniontoshare

    To Unknown – your blame-the-victim mentality is messed up.

  • charles

    look i understand the laws but im tired if hearing papers and people talk bad about pitbulls they are good dogs lets see more articles on other dogs that attack people and kill pets seriously everyone thinks pitbulls are the worst dogs u got dobermans german shepards labs beagles and other assorted dogs attacking people but u never see them in the new why is that cause yall wanna bash pittbulls i love the breed they are very loyal pets and very loving to the owners and kids in home and also with other pets i used to own 15 at one time never attacked anyone or anything so if ya could stop bashing the bully breed they are by far the best breed i have ever owned and will be the only breed i will own

  • FreeFall

    Both pet owners are to blame for carelessness in controlling their pets. An invisible fence in a subdivision is a no-go. And free roaming pitbulls are also a no-go.

    Now both owners are suffering the loss of their pets and it could have easily been avoided with proper care and PROPER FENCES.

    I feel sorry for the dogs. Not the owners.

  • Stanley

    I was never a fan of invisible fences, but this story perfectly illustrates how pit bulls have completely changed neighborhoods.

    See, invisible fences could never have become a feasible enterprise in a time when pit bulls infested neighborhoods.

    Once upon a time, my fence was supposed to keep my dogs in. You were responsible for your dogs not getting in my fence. Once upon a time before pit bulls, if dogs did get out, their purpose was not to seek out their own kind and attack them.

    Invisible fencing companies would have died within years if pit bulls had been menacing neighborhoods back when they were invented. And they will die out now because of them

  • Janet

    My heart goes out to Sammy’s family. I know first hand the pain of losing your beloved pet in such a way. On Jan. 4,
    while walking my little cocker spaniel on a double leash, he
    was viciously attacked by two German shepherds running loose. After suffering multiple serious injuries and making it thru surgery, he lost his fight for life on Jan. 8. His story never made it to the papers and the attackers were not pit bulls, but it’s a story that haunts me just the same.

    What all can be done to prevent such attacks in the future, I really can’t say, but responsible dog ownership would go a long way.