Skip to comments.Armed Neighbors End Dog Attacks
Posted on 03/05/2003 5:21:18 AM PST by 2nd_Amendment_Defender
TAMPA - Teresa Castellano knows that some folks saved her life. She just doesn't know who they are. Castellano, 25, her daughter, Alysa McBride, 6, and her daughter's friend, Kaitlyn Green, 8, survived a recent attack from two Rottweilers and a pit bull.
It is an amazing story of horror and heroism.
Castellano said it began while she was watching the girls at Kaitlyn's home on Jan. 18. Kaitlyn's father, Sean Green, had stepped out for 10 minutes to run an errand.
Castellano, of Land O' Lakes, said she and the girls laughed at something on television, and that apparently sparked the dogs to start barking and growling. She soon realized the dogs were not playing, and she sensed it might get worse.
She asked the girls to quiet down so the dogs would relax.
It never happened.
The dogs attacked.
``When [the Rottweilers] saw the fear, one of them started biting Kaitlyn,'' Castellano said. ``I told them to stop screaming because they were making the dogs upset.''
Castellano said she laid on the girls to try and protect them from the dogs. She then tried to block the dogs to give the girls a chance to escape to a bedroom.
Nothing was working. The Rottweilers were going wild.
So Castellano and the girls bolted outside the house at 8126 Bay Drive. The girls ran to safety in a neighbor's house while Castellano distracted the dogs. The pit bull, Petey, joined in the attack.
The commotion outside attracted the attention of neighbors and a motorist passing by.
John M. Anderson and his wife were in their car and leaving a friend's house nearby when they passed by and saw three dogs attacking Castellano, according to a Hillsborough County sheriff's report. Anderson drove into the driveway and began blasting the horn and yelling out the window, trying to scare the dogs and allow Castellano to get into the car.
It seemed to work. The dogs stopped biting Castellano, but she couldn't make it to his car.
Anderson, 22, was about to get out of his car when he looked over his shoulder and saw a man toting a pistol. He kept honking his horn and sped away to get his friend, Justin Turner, who lived nearby.
The man with gun was Winston H. Harr, a next-door neighbor. He had heard screaming outside and grabbed his Kimber .45-caliber pistol. His wife, Deborah, came, too.
Harr said he saw Anderson's car moving back and forth in the driveway, and three dogs attacking a woman. Harr fired three shots into the ground to try and scare the dogs. They screamed at the dogs, but it didn't seem to matter. Deborah Harr called the dogs by name, and they stopped momentarily.
Then, without warning, the dogs charged at Harr. The pit bull bit him on the leg before Harr trained his pistol and fired, hitting the dog in the head. He also fired at one of the Rottweilers, and it fell to the ground.
Harr, a librarian's assistant at Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library near Carrollwood, said he fired the rest of his bullets at the third dog, and it seemed to back away. He bolted for his house for more ammunition and a flashlight.
Turner, who had heard the screams and was told by Anderson of the attacking dogs, grabbed his Glock .40-caliber pistol and ran to the scene. He was told there were three dogs, and only one was dead.
Turner, 33, told deputies he positioned himself between the wounded Castellano and the Rottweilers. When one of the dogs made a move toward him, he fired. Deputies believe it was his bullet that wounded the dog.
At that point, both Rottweilers retreated into the house.
Also arriving at the scene was neighbor George Lease, a Tampa police detective. Carrying his 9mm pistol, he found Harr and Turner at the house with their guns.
While Deborah Harr and Anderson comforted Castellano, the three armed neighbors searched the house and found the dogs, one wounded and on a couch and other other laying on the living room floor.
The wounded Rottweiler was euthanized later that night at Florida Veterinary Specialists, said Dennis McCullough, an investigator for Hillsborough County Animal Services.
The other Rottweiler was placed under quarantine at Animal Services until Wednesday, when it was euthanized.
Alysa was released from St. Joseph's Hospital on Jan. 26; Castellano remained hospitalized this week due to infections from the bites. Both mother and daughter needed more than 100 stitches each to close the wounds on their bodies.
Kaitlyn's injuries required 20 stitches, said her mother, Jennifer Harvey of Town 'N Country.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said no one will be charged in the incident.
For Castellano, she said she doesn't know who fired the shots that spared her from the dogs.
``I thank them with all my heart. They saved my life.''
The good old .45 ACP is a very effective handgun round.
I wouldn't give up either my son's dog (a good even-tempered mutt who thinks he's a 45 lb. lap dog) or my weapons. With the dog there, my house is protected 24 hours a day whether I'm there or not. More importantly he serves as an early warning system at night when my family is asleep and very vunerable.
I'm not a breed bigot but stories like this cause me to think hard. (Perhaps I'm an over-bred bigot. ?)
I know this sort of breed has boosters on FR, but personally, I don't like the idea of a powerful breed of dog which occasionally goes crazy. Sometimes, it's the fault of the owner who abuses or deliberately trains the dog for fighting. And sometimes, it's just a family pet. THAT's the scary part.
I am most definitely a breed bigot when it comes to pit bulls, most rotties, and most dobermans.
OK. I lied. I am, too, when it comes to my kids.
Kimber 45 bump! My wife is eyeballing the Ultra CDP II for when we can legally carry.
I was thinking the same thing. I believe that the kids screaming worsened the situation. I know too many parents who let their kids run around shrieking at the tops of their lungs. I was a kid, and I know kids play and have fun, but there was a certain type of screaming I was taught from an early age was inapropriate, and one only did if they were in serious trouble/pain/danger. I'd bet the dogs reacted to high-pitched shrieking/squealing that is typical of kids of those ages. It hurts my head, so Im sure it bothered the dog. Not that I wouldn't have shot the dogs either, but people have to be smart around dogs - that is both the owner and house guests.
"That statement is about as intelligent as saying all blacks are lazy. I have a German Shepard and a Rot. My Rot is now and has always been the sweetest dog I have ever had. She has never attacked anything larger than the errant mouse that wanders through the house. Dogs are a reflection of the people who own them. They are like kids, you raise them to be violent, and that is what they will be. So please don't disparage a good breed simply because some moron did not properly raise his dogs, or trained them to be mean.