WILTON MANORS, Fla. – A woman and her dog were mauled by an aggressive dog Sunday while walking in a Wilton Manors neighborhood. Now, Broward County Animal Control has removed that aggressive dog from the home.
On Monday, Wilton Manors police and Broward County Animal Control arrived at the house and Animal Control could be seen taking the dog.
Animal Control said the dog is now in quarantine after the dangerous and bloody attack. Neighbors said this isn’t the first time the dog has terrorized the neighborhood. A report from the Wilton Manors Police Department also showed that the dog’s owner had been cited previously.
Maria Zapata was walking her 5-year-old Australian silky terrier, Wufus, on Sunday morning just after 8 a.m. when suddenly, a bigger, more aggressive dog came running from a yard and charged at them.
Surveillance video from the neighborhood, just south of Oakland Park Boulevard near Northwest 9th Avenue, showed the terrifying moments as the dog began to jump and maul at them repeatedly.
“He come right away to us. As soon as I saw that, I take my dog with me. Then he attacked both me and my dog,” Zapata said.
In the video, sent to Local 10, the owner of the aggressive dog came out running after the animal who had slipped out from the backyard.
“I was very scared. You don’t want to go through what I passed through. It was very scary,” she said.
Midway through the attack a Good Samaritan driving by stopped to assist. She told Maria and her injured dog to get into her car, but the aggressive dog tried to jump in, too, the woman said.
“It escalated where I was out of my car and I just held it really tightly so it could get off the dog,” Victoria Geschleider said.
She said she held onto the bigger dog.
“I was trying to hold it in place, because the other woman who was the possible owner didn’t have any control,” Geschleider said, adding that she feared the smaller dog would be killed.
In the video, the aggressive dog’s owner can be seen trying and failing to control the dog.
“Thank God a couple of neighbors came to help me,” said Zapata.
Zapata’s injuries were so serious on her hand that she required several stitches after a trip to the hospital. She still had blood on her shirt and a rip in her pants from the encounter when Local 10 spoke with her.
On Monday, Zapata had to return to the hospital after she was having some problems with her injuries. According to her husband, her hand is swollen and infected. Wufus sustained injuries to its neck and on its leg, but is expected to be okay.
Local 10 stopped by the home of the aggressive dog on Sunday, where the owner was anything but remorseful.
“Is this the first time somebody has a problem with dogs like this? Millions of innocent people in this country and you need to do the drama for the dog?” Then, the owner shut her door.
Neighbors of the victim have been coming forward, showing relief that the dog is out of the neighborhood following several attacks.
Alison Berrios saw the attack on Zapata unfold, and she told Local 10′s Sanela Sabovic that she was attacked by the same dog in April.
“I screamed for bloody murder trying to get neighbors to come out,” Berrios said of Sunday’s incident. “It was really scary and traumatizing because I’ve been attacked by this dog already.”
Berrios had photos of her injuries from the April attack that she shared with Local 10.
Zapata does not fault the aggressive dog, but she does blame the owners for not properly controlling, training, or securing the animal.
“The problem is the humans. We are the problem, not the dog,” Zapata said.
Wilton Manors Police said that there were reports about two different incidents, one on July 26, 2020 and the other on July 30 2020, involving the same dog and that the owners were cited and fined for violations. They received a guilty verdict, paid fines and were advised that the dog needed to be restrained.
Local 10 has reached out to Broward County Animal Control to see if the aggressive dog has been taken temporarily or if it is a permanent removal. We are waiting to hear back from them. Wilton Manors Police said that the dog will be quarantined at a shelter for a minimum of 10 days.
Multiple people who live in the neighborhood told Local 10 that there have been seven or eight close calls in the past with the same dog. Police identified the dog as an American Staffordshire Terrier breed.