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Longboat Key Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 4 years ago

Pit bull fight frighten neighbors

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

A fight broke out Thursday morning in Joan M. Durante Park, causing one brawler to get a ride home in a police cruiser.

His name was Arlo then, although he’s been renamed Apollo, and he’s a 6-year-old pit bull.

According to a Feb. 21 report, Christine Regal was walking Apollo in the park when she saw Frederick Emrich and his 3-year-old blackmouth cur mix, Gustie. Both dogs were on leashes.

When the dogs came together, Apollo bit Gustie and wouldn’t let go, the report states.

“It probably lasted just a few seconds but it seemed like forever,” Emrich said. “The dog just latched on.”

Regal, who had just adopted Apollo the night before, fell on the sidewalk when she tried to pull the dogs apart.

“With assistance from good Samaritans and a small dose of pepper spray, Apollo finally let go,” the report states.

Emrich took Gustie to his veterinarian’s office, where the dog was treated for open puncture wounds to the left side of his throat.

After Apollo returned to his home on Gulf Bay Road. Manatee County Animal Control followed up to investigate, but no further action was taken.

But, according to reports, Apollo was involved in another incident Saturday.

Gulf Bay Road resident Alvan Kamis wrote an email to Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming that another incident occurred when Apollo nearly attacked a small dog. Kamis urged police to take action to remove the dog from the Key.

Cumming told the Longboat Observer that police follow state statutes about aggressive dogs. Those regulations, however, are limited to animal attacks on humans.

“As far as anything goes statutorily, it does not address dogs biting dogs,” he said.

Police can document incidents, such as the two that were reported, to build a future case and enforce existing restrictions, such as leash laws, but can’t act on a dogfight alone.

Regal, who agreed to pay Gustie’s vet bill, said that she had just adopted Apollo 12 hours before the Durante Park incident and that he was still agitated. In the second incident, the smaller dog came into her yard and the dogs simply barked at each other, according to Regal.

She said that she has found Apollo to be obedient since adopting him and is keeping him away from other dogs.

“At this point, my dog will not leave the house without a muzzle and a 30-pound leash,” she said.

Emrich said that Gustie is recovering well with antibiotics and doesn’t seem fazed by the incident.

“His attitude toward life is as good as usual,” Emrich said.

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