Pregnant dog dies shortly after pit bulls attack

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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) A Sheldon woman is asking the St. Albans City Council for justice after her dog was attacked by three pit bulls. She says the dog later died because of its injuries.

Angel Katon often left her two dogs, Lola and Pickles, with her uncle in St. Albans, but on Dec. 22, she got a call from her uncle. Her dogs had been attacked by three pit bulls living next door. The pit bulls' owner told police someone had left his door open. Both of Katon's Shih Tzus were hurt, but Lola, who was pregnant at the time, got the worst of it.

"She wouldn't really walk at all. I would try to lift her up and she would lay back down. You could tell she was in a lot of pain," Katon said.

A few days later, Lola died.

"She ended up delivering five of the puppies in one sitting. It was about an hour tops, it took her," Katon said.

St. Albans Police Lt. Ben Couture said this is a complex case.

"At least the vet's report -- that it passed away from septic due to unborn puppies that were left in the womb. Is there a cause for the dogs that probably did attack this dog? It's probably a contributing factor," Couture said.

The animal control officer issued ordinance violation tickets to Brian Ross for not showing dog licenses, not having the pit bulls leashed and for the dog attacks. The fines totaled about $500.

"I don't think he should have his dogs," Katon said.

She said the punishment isn't enough and doesn't protect other people.

Police said within the last year, there have been other dog-related incidents with the three pit bulls.

"Who's to say, you know, it doesn't happen with a child?" Katon said.

Police recommend all dog owners keep their dogs on leashes and have them vaccinated and registered with the city. This is also what police asked the city to mandate Ross do.

Some on the council questioned how recommendations for all dog owners can be considered punishment in this case. The council said it would discuss the issue and make a decision later.

Ross was not present at the hearing. Police said they served him a notice Monday afternoon.