WARREN — A male pit bull savagely attacked and killed a much smaller Pomeranian dog outside a popular Warren dog grooming business early Saturday morning.
Despite attempts by dog groomers and both owners to stop it, the attack in the parking lot outside the Animal House of Grooming at 654 Metacom Ave., severe wounds to the dog’s back and stomach area left the small male Pomeranian dead. Now town officials are investigating the incident and could call a vicious dog hearing to determine any penalties against the pit bull’s owner, Bristol resident AJ Giampietro. Mr. Giampietro owns Ace Towing in Warren.
The attack occurred early Saturday morning as the pit bull was being led out of the business on a leash by Michele Giampietro, the owner’s wife. Police said the dog spotted the Pomeranian being led in by its owner, Bristol resident Donna Medeiros, and went after it.
“The pit pull literally pulled Ms. Giampietro” in the Pomeranian’s direction, Lt. Joseph Loiselle said. “The pit bull bit and would not let go, pulling Ms. Giampietro, with Pomeranian in mouth, down Overhill Road.” The Pomeranian, too, was on a leash.
Both owners and dog groomers tried to pull off the pit bull as it attacked the smaller dog but were not successful until after it had bitten into the Pomeranian’s back and stomach. The Pomeranian was rushed to the Warren Animal Hospital a short distance away, where it was pronounced dead.
Animal Control Officer Heidi Garrity said she doesn’t know if a vicious dog hearing will be held. But if one is, she said, it will be the first in Warren in over a year.
Under state law, any hearing would be held by representatives from the SPCA and the police and animal control departments. Both sides would be allowed to give testimony about the incident.
Ms. Garrity said possible penalties range from forcing the owner to carry $100,000 in liability insurance to inserting tracking microchips, installing warning signs outside the owner’s home, requiring a six-sided enclosure, police notification when the owner moves, requiring a leash or muzzle whenever the animal leaves its owner’s property, requiring that it be spayed or neutered, and restrictions on selling or giving away the animal. The board can also call for euthanization.
The pit bull is being quarantined at its owner’s home. Bristol requires that pit bulls carry liability insurance, and Lt. Loiselle said the Giampietros are in compliance with that Bristol law.