HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) – Layla, a border collie-husky mix, hasn’t been herself lately. The nine-year-old dog is recovering at home, with pain medication and antibiotics, after she was attacked.
Gary Crawford wants Catawba County Animal Services to do something about the neighbor’s pit bull that Crawford claims attacked his pet. But animal control officers say they don’t have the necessary evidence.
Crawford contacted WBTV after he said he found his Layla in his neighbor’s backyard last week – with a pit bull “on top of her, mauling her.” Crawford said after he rescued his dog, he called Animal Services, but no action was taken against the pit bull.
“How the dog got from his property to the neighbor’s property? We don’t know,” said Mark Pettit, Assistant Director of Emergency Services in Catawba County. “No one witnessed how it got from his property to the neighbor’s property.”
Animal Services said they went to the house and took pictures of Layla’s injuries. They said they couldn’t do anything about the pit bull.
“In this case we couldn’t deem the dog in question, because the dog was on its own property when this altercation occurred between two dogs,” Pettit said.
How could Layla have ended up in the neighbor’s yard?
Crawford believes the neighbor’s pit bull crawled under the fence and dragged Layla back. He said his neighbor’s pit bulls have been in his yard many times because the fence is not secure. He showed WBTV several spots where he said the pit bulls dug holes and separated the fence from the yard.
“They’re just barreling in under the fence,” he said. “Where that fence is loose, they can get anywhere they want. Just takes force.”
As WBTV talked with Crawford in his backyard, the neighbor came out of her house and told him, “Mr. Crawford, you need to get your own fence. That’s our fence. So all this could have been avoided if you had put up your fence.”
The neighbor declined to talk with WBTV, and said she had no comment. But she repeatedly told Crawford that he should have built his own fence.
In the case of Layla’s attack – Animal Services said nothing could be done against the pit bull because the dog was in its own yard.
Pettit said they need proof, such as pictures of the dogs off their property and in someone’s else yard, before they can write a citation for a nuisance animal.
Crawford said Layla’s attack wasn’t the first time he called Animal Services about the pit bulls next door.
Pettit confirmed that workers have responded to Crawford’s address several times because of complaints about the neighbor’s pit bulls.
“We’ve been out there every time we get a call,” Pettit said. “When we are able to observe a dog off his property or the complainant has proof that the dog has come off its property – the first time we issue a written warning. Every time after that they get a citation.”
Catawba County Animal Services said earlier this week they issued a citation to the pit bull’s owner because Crawford had a time stamped picture of the pit bull in his yard.
Crawford said he has taken pictures before. He wants the pit bull removed because, he says, he can’t leave his pets alone in his back yard.
“My concern is I have a dangerous situation that is ongoing. It’s gotta stop,” he said.