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Dog accused in attack is euthanized

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

The dog accused of attacking and killing a Chihuahua in Spotsylvania County on Tuesday night was euthanized Thursday.

Owner Karen Joos confirmed that her chow mix “Linkin” was put down.

While she declined an interview with a Free Lance–Star reporter, she did say that she is a responsible pet owner.

“It was a tragic accident that the gate was left open. But that doesn’t excuse Linkin’s unacceptable behavior,” she wrote in response to an article. “That’s why I decided to have him put down [Thursday]. As a pet owner, I accept full responsibility for his actions.”

Joos faces a misdemeanor charge of having dogs running at large after the chow mix was apparently running loose and killed her neighbor’s Chihuahua, named CoCo, Tuesday night.

The incident occurred on Eisenhower Lane in the Sheraton Hills East area around 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office.

The owner of the Chihuahua told deputies that she was walking her dog on on a leash in the subdivision when she saw two dogs running toward them, Pearce said. She told police that one of the dogs, described as a chow mix, attacked the Chihuahua and killed it.

The subdivision is located off State Route 3 and Salem Church Road.

The owner of the Chihuahua was not injured.

This is at least the third case in Spotsylvania County this year of a dog attacking and killing a small dog.

In January, a pit bull mix grabbed a 10-pound Maltese from its owner’s arms and killed it in the Lancaster Gate community.

The pit bull’s owner was convicted of failing to keep her dog on her property, a misdemeanor, and fined $50. She was assessed another $560 to cover the cost of holding the pit bull in the county animal shelter for three months. That dog was declared dangerous but allowed to be released to its owner.

In March, a 10-pound Shih Tzu was killed in the Leavells Crossing neighborhood by a pit bull that got loose in its neighborhood. The owner of that dog surrendered it to county authorities to be euthanized.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419



Here are tips compiled from local dog experts for protecting your family and your pet if ansupervised dog approaches.

Call authorities about any dog that is roaming freely.

React before a dog gets within striking distance.

Carry pepper spray (or something similar) or a large walking stick when walking in case a loose dog appears.

Speak loud, firm commands to order a dog away before it gets close.

Use a stick, rock or anything handy to scare off or strike an aggressive dog.

Scream for help.

Don’t step in the middle of a dogfight.

If in the midst of a fight with a dog, punch its nose, poke its eyes with your fingers or choke it.

If all other options fail, curl up on the ground and protect your throat.