Animal Control investigates dog attack in North Austin

AUSTIN -- Travis County Animal Control is investigating after a man said three dogs attacked him on Friday. One of the pit bulls was brought in and quarantined by Animal Control officials on Monday night.

The incident happened on Pointer Lane, near Payton Gin and Highway 183. Willie England says he was walking to his car Friday evening when he saw three pit bulls across the street.

"I didn't provoke them. I didn't stomp at them or anything, they just [came] over and started attacking me," he said.

He claims he tried to get back inside but couldn't move fast enough, so he fought back, and one of the dogs bit his face.

"One of them jumped up and latched on to me, and I went and hit him and knocked him away from me," he said.

The dogs live a few doors down in the North Austin neighborhood. England says they escaped from the backyard.

"He got me pretty good on my jaw here, and of course, my cheek here," England said, pointing out where the dogs attacked him.

The man who lives at the home where the dogs escaped said the pit bulls are one-year-old puppies and good animals. He also says the day after the attack, a new fence was installed to make sure the dogs didn't get loose again.

Animal Control said when a dog bite is reported, the owners often surrender their dogs for further investigation so officers can determine if it's dangerous. That pit bull that England said attacked him is now at the shelter along with a pack of seven others from another case. Officers say the attacks happen across the county with all types of dogs.

"You have a live animal that is responsive to the way it was raised, to the way it's treated. There are so many variables to that," said Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer Chris Noble.

Noble says actually small dogs like Chihuahuas and terriers bite more often. However, those injuries are much less severe than injuries involving larger dogs like German shepherds or pit bulls.

"I think it's just more notable because of the attention that particular breed gets," Noble said.

Noble said on Monday another owner surrendered seven pit bulls after they ripped through a fence and attacked a Great Dane and its owner. Those dogs are in a rabies quarantine for evaluation.

"Dogs need to be taught their limits, and these haven't been," said England.

He said hopes someone is held accountable so it doesn't happen again.

Noble said if you encounter any animal that appears aggressive, make sure you have something between you and the dog or even offer it something you have in your hand like a water bottle. You can call 311 to report it or 911 if it's an emergency.

Of the more than 26,000 calls to Animal Control every year, Noble said about 1,500 are dog bites. The highest number of calls come from Northwest Austin with 223 last year. 192 dog bites were reported in Southwest Austin last year.


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