A Milford man was injured and his dog was killed after they were brutally attacked by two pit bulls.
The incident occurred on President’s Day as Bruce Lawton, 76, was groundskeeping the backyard of his home on Southeast 4th Street in Milford, next to the Little League complex.
Lawton was cutting away overgrown branches at the time when he heard his dog, Fox, a mixed terrier, utter a blood curdling yelp. When he turned around to find out what was happening, he discovered that two pit bulls had jumped the fence and were viciously attacking Fox.
“My dog, I had my back to her, she yelped and I turned around and I saw that she was being laid upon by two pitbulls,” Lawton said recalling how the horrific incident unfolded.
The next 7 to 8 minutes were a life and death situation for Lawton as he fought off the pit bulls who then started attacking him.
“I immediately intervened, and I didn’t have any weapons other than the pruning shears in my hand and they were no good, and over the next 7 to 8 minutes it just unfolded,” Lawton said. “It was terrible what was happening.”
During the attack, Lawton gathered Fox between his legs on the ground as the two put bulls were on both sides of him, aggressively pursuing the small dog.
Fearing the dogs would lunge at his throat, Lawton grabbed Fox and stood up in an attempt to evade the attack. It was at that time that the two pit bulls set their sites on Lawton, viciously lunging at him, biting his arm and head, in an attempt to get to Fox who he had wrapped in his arms.
Lawton sustained several injuries during the attack, including a deep puncture wound on his inner right forearm, a puncture wound on the top of his head, and multiple scratches.
Desperately trying to save his pet, Lawton ran to the backdoor of his home and went inside with Fox still wrapped in his arms.
Following the attack, Lawton rushed Fox to the nearest animal hospital where the dog was treated for severe injuries. Unfortunately, Fox did not make it through the next 48 hours and died as a result of the attack.
“I wasn’t able to really save the dog,” Lawton said somberly. “She sustained somewhere between 33 and 36 bites, her rear leg was damaged greatly and six of those bites required drains from the veterinarian. The next day she was dead within 36 hours, and it was very painful to watch her agony, she was crying the whole time and it was very bad.”
Ironically, this is not the first time Lawton and his dog were attacked. Fox was attacked by two loose dogs back in August, 2018 as Lawton was walking her near his home, the Dover Post reports.
WGMD News spoke with the Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) who was made aware of the incident and said Delaware Animal Services officers took custody of the attacking dogs.
“The officer was able to locate and make contact with the attacking dogs’ owner, and citations were issued for dogs at large,” a spokeswoman with OAW stated. “The dogs were voluntarily surrendered by the owner, therefore a dangerous dog filing was not required.”
Moving forward, Lawton said he plans to leave Delaware and the horrible memories behind in order to be closer to family who live in New York and Connecticut.