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Pit bull attack probed in Spotsylvania County

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Spotsylvania County authorities say a dog is dead after it was attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull Sunday morning.

Deputies were called at 11:45 a.m. to Hastings Court in the Lancaster Gate subdivision, which is near Massaponax Church Road, for reports of a pit bull attacking another dog, said Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses told police that a pit bull got out of its owner’s yard and attacked a small dog that was being walked on a leash by a neighbor, Pearce said.

The neighbor attempted to keep the pit bull away by picking her dog up in her arms and calling for help, but the pit bull jumped out and grabbed the dog from her and killed it, Pearce said.

No one else was injured, he said.

Deputies and Animal Control officers responded and took the pit bull into custody, Pearce said. The dog will remain in quarantine until a Jan. 26 hearing in which a judge will determine if the dog is dangerous.

Animal Control Chief William Tydings confirmed Monday morning that the dog in question is a pit bull and is current on his rabies shots. He said the dog that was killed was a Maltese.

Tydings said the investigation is ongoing and deputies are trying to determine how the dog escaped from the yard.

No one has been charged at this time.

Tydings said his department investigates all dog complaints, not just those involving a specific type of breed.

“We handle every case on its own merit, whether it be a pit bull, a rottweiler or a lab,” Tydings said.

According to the dangerous Dog Registry, there are currently eight dogs listed as dangerous in Spotsylvania County. One is a pit bull, the others include a Great Dane, American Bulldog, a husky, a Bullmastiff, two German Shepherds and a pointer.