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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington family continues to grieve a week after losing their dog. The Romano family says a neighbor’s pit bull forced its way into their backyard and killed their Jack Russell. The family says the dog has attacked before and now they want authorities to hold the owner responsible.

“Lucy was my constant companion,” said Melanie Romero. “We lost a family member for sure.”

Romano says on November 1, she came home and discovered a circle of blood in her backyard.

“The neighbor next door told me there had been a lot of commotion earlier. He thought I had a dog visiting because there was a black pit (bull) in my backyard,” said Romano.

Another neighbor told Romano that John, another neighbor, had ran out of his home calling for his pit bulls earlier in the day. Romano says she tried to get in touch with her neighbor John Tooker; hours later he returned home with Lucy’s remains in the back of his jeep.

“I saw her face. I smelled death in his (Tooker) car when he opened his door,” Romano said. “I was very upset.”

Romano says Tooker told her that he took Lucy, who was still alive, because he did not want the Romano kids to see the dog in that condition. Romano says Tooker did not even take the dog to the veterinarian instead he went to class. She wants her neighbor to be held responsible for his dog’s actions.

The Wilmington Police Department says there are no charges filed against Tooker since there are no eyewitnesses to the attack. New Hanover County Animal Control has stepped in, recovering two pit bulls from Tooker’s home. Animal control says the dogs have been deemed dangerous due to a prior incident. The recent attack means the dogs may soon be euthanized.

“It is unfortunate but we do see repeat offenders in these situations,” said Jean McNeil, Animal Control Services Manager. “It is one of the most discouraging things we deal with.”

Tooker says he is sorry for the Romano’s loss, calling the incident a freak accident. He plans on appealing to animal control in order to save his pit bulls from being euthanized. Tooker says animal control recovered two of his dogs but only one was involved.

Romano believes Tooker should not be allowed to own any animals but according to the county Tooker would be allowed to own other pets even if the board denies his appeal involving the pit bulls that were recovered.

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83 Comments on "Family dog killed by pit bull"

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guesty
2016 years 2 months ago

I have had nothing but Rottys and one Doberman in my life. They all were wonderful, sweet dogs because I took the time to train them, have then socialize with other people and dogs. Not only could I take their toys, food or “prize” away from them, others could as well. You can make any breed dangerous, it is all how you train and treat them.

Guest
Commonsensenotcommontoday
2016 years 2 months ago

…the Wilmington Emergency Clinic is open.

If he was a Marine for fifteen years, he was trained to think fast on his feet and out of the box. He finds one vet closed and simply gives up? He lets the dog die, scared, hurting, and all alone in a strange car?

Absolutely inexcusable conduct!

Guest
ILM NATIVE
2016 years 2 months ago

let us just hope this piece of humanity(hehehe) is not going to BLET class!! Just what we need another off the rocker cop on the streets to contaminate the force, well he could go to work for Leland though. I am sure he’d fit in right there.

Guest
ILM NATIVE
2016 years 2 months ago

this goober does not have the correct hands and Lucy paid for it.

Guest
mom
2016 years 2 months ago

TO THE PEOPLE THAT ONLY READ ONE SIDE TO THE STORY. JOHN DID NOT LEAVE HIS DOGS OUTSIDE UNATTENDED.HE BY LAW HAS A PEN FOR HIS SO CALLED DANGEROUS DOGS. HE HAS A PEN BUILT WITH CEMENT FLOORS AND PRIVACY FENCE WITH A ROOF BUILT ON SO THEY CANNOT JUMP OVER. THE DOGS WERE IN THE HOUSE WHEN THIS HAPPENED. HIS YOUNG CHILD WHO PLAYS WITH THESE DOGS ,OPENED THE DOOR AND THE DOG RAN OUT. WHEN JOHN HEARD THE DOOR OPEN AND SAW WHAT HAPPENED HE RAN TO HIS NEIGHBORS HOUSE WERE HE LEFT HIS SON WITH HER AND… Read more »

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