Sunday, September 19, 2010

Southeast Austin Pastor prays for his dogs -- attacked in their own yard by pack of pit bulls


Posted on September 19, 2010 at 5:56 PM
Updated today at 9:21 PM

Pastor James Cunningham and his wife Emily came home from church Sunday morning to a terrifying situation.

“I walk in my backyard; my two dogs are gone,” said Pastor Cunningham. “I'm scared because I know it's those pit bulls.”

Cunningham says a pack of pit bulls has been running loose through his Southeast Austin neighborhood on a regular occurrence.

“They run in a pack and that's the dangerous part,” he said. “This is the fourth time that they’ve gotten out.”

Sunday morning just before 10:30 the dogs chewed their way out of their fenced yard and ran up the street to Cunningham's house, where they ripped up the cable and chewed through his gate. The pack then started attacking his two dogs.
“These are blue heelers,” said Cunningham. ”These are frisbee dogs. They [pit bulls] just chomped on the wood until they tore the gate off.”

A neighbor sitting on her porch saw the dogs and called 911. When police arrived, they say they found one pit bull outside the gate. It turned and ran toward the officers.

They used a Taser, and the dog ran away. The officers then headed to the backyard, where they saw the four pit bulls mauling one of Cunningham's dogs.

“When my officers entered the yard, the dogs stopped the attack on the blue heeler dog and came at the two officers,” said Sgt. Phil Linsalata with the Austin Police Department.

They opened fire, killing two and injuring two.

“They were very lucky,” said Linsalata. “They were fast enough to take care of animals before they themselves were attacked.”

The owner of the pit bulls would not talk to KVUE, but we did notice his fence had already been repaired.

Cunningham’s two dogs were injured in the attack. Animal Control Officers had to use a net to catch one of the dogs named Michael. He was attacked on his face, neck and head and had to undergo surgery for his injuries. Ruth, a second dog, is still missing.

“I pray for my dogs,” said Cunningham.

Now Pastor Cunningham hopes his prayers will be answered.

If you have any information about Ruth's whereabouts, give Pastor Cunningham a call at 512-922-0576.

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