Family dog killed by pit bull


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Submitted: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 11:52pm
Updated: Thu, 11/10/2011 - 2:56am
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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.

83 Comments

  • MAILMAN says:

    pitbulls can be nice and calm for years until one day they turn,then they want to kill,will it be your child or pet next

  • Guest20 says:

    John apparently knew his dogs were dangerous, or he wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to have cement floors and a privacy fence with a roof over it. These dogs were waiting for an opening to get out, and they found it.

    They could have just as easily attacked a child, instead of another dog. Just because they get along with John’s children doesn’t mean others are safe. Eventually, they might have even turned on John or his kids. It’s happened to others.

    If John’s vet’s office was closed, he could have taken the dog to another vet’s office or the animal hospital. But he chose to leave a suffering, dying little dog in his car while he went to a class. That’s what really bothers people about this is that he just let this small dog suffer and die in the back of his car while he just went to class. How can anyone be so heartless to do that? How would John feel if he, himself, was injured, torn apart and bleeding, and left to die in agony in the back of someone’s car?

    I have no sympathy for John. He got this dog knowing it’s a dangerous breed. And when the inevitable finally happened, he didn’t man up and take the responsibility for that small dog like he should have. He could have been that dog’s answer to dying a peaceful, painless death. Instead, he was the poor animal’s worst nightmare.

    God didn’t tell us not to judge others. He said not to judge others UNTIL we remove the speck in our own eyes so that we can judge clearly. It’s necessary for us to judge others in order to be able to judge good from evil. John is probably not evil, but he did a bad thing. He needs to man up and take responsibility for it. If anyone ever deserved jail time for cruelty to animals, it’s John.

  • Guest3 says:

    Ceasar would be the first to tell you what a dangerous breed a Rotty is, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Ceasar is a professional. You said it yourself, “When in correct and knowledgeable hands, they are a great breed!” But there are many people who buy the Rotty as a “status symbol”. They’re not professionals, and they don’t know what they’re doing. In their hands, Rottys are a dangerous, violent breed.

  • Guest55555 says:

    This man should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, which I’m sorry to say isn’t strict enough for animal cruelty cases.

    He could have taken the little dog to the animal hospital if the vet’s office was closed, instead of allowing it to die an inhumane death. He should never be allowed to have an animal again…ever. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case.

    What a heartless S.O.B.

  • GuestAngry says:

    “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.”

    Personally, I don’t think Tooker was concerned about his kids seeing the little dog in that condition. He could have made the kids stay in the house, and they never would have seen the extent of little Lucy’s injuries. I believe Tooker needed time…to think about what to tell the owner, and how to talk his way out of a lawsuit. He wasn’t man enough to deal with the situation head on up front, so he was trying to think of a good story to get himself out of trouble.

    Character, not circumstances, makes the man. Tooker’s character was revealed in this situation. He’s going to have to live with that result the rest of his life.

  • GuestAngry says:

    If it was me, I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate in class after being involved in this situation. All I would be able to think about would be my dog tearing another animal apart and trying to get that animal some help so it wouldn’t suffer. If John really was able to concentrate, then that DOES make him heartless.

    But I believe John was trying to think his way out of the situation, and going to class gave him time and a good excuse (in his mind) to do that. John made a bad decision buying a dangerous, violent breed of dog. He made a bad decision to go to class, allowing Lucy to suffer and die in agony in the back of his jeep. And he’s making another bad decision trying to get his animals back.

    One bad decision after another. John needs to grow up, acknowledge his wrong, stop trying to get his dogs back, and make amends to the owner for the loss of her pet. It’s the right thing to do.

  • Melanie Romano says:

    This happened between 3:30 – 4pm on a Tuesday…none of the area vets were closed at that hour.
    John was asked by his neighbor what had happened, if his dog(s) had been chasing her cats. His reply as he picked up his son was that he hadn’t seen any cats and he needed to get to class.
    John did not go directly to any vet. He did not do all he could to help Lucy.
    Lucy had a collar on containing the owners phone numbers. John waited 4 hours to call.
    Just look at the facts…

  • Emilee Draper (Melanie's daughter) says:

    I would like to disagree. There are atleast 3 vets within minutes from our home. If John was actually trying to save lucy he would have tried a different vet. Class is not as important as saving an animal that your dog attacked. He then, instead of informing us of what happened, left her in the back of his car to die for 4 hours. 4 hours of us searching and worrying trying to find our beloved dog. If i had not looked on whitepages and got a hold of John’s brother i believe we would have never gotten lucy back. John is a heartless man who didnt even have the dignity to call us;, lucy had on a collar with two numbers he could have reached us on. We now have to live with the fact that our dog was practically murder. Try to put yourself in our shoes.

  • Concerned Mom says:

    Nothing else he could do? The dog had a number on her collar – Nothing else he could do? He went to class? He let that poor little dog die a slow painful death in his car while Lucy’s owners frantically searched for her? Thia ia the third incident involving these dogs, yet he called it a “freak accident.” My son went trick or treating on that street the night before this happened. I can’t even imagine to think what would happen if that animal had attacked a child. If something isn’t done now, that’s exactly what will happen. You call those animals “so called” dangerous dogs – he had to go before animal control after the first two incidents and agreed to abide by the restrictions – it’s obvious that he is incapable of doing that and incapable of taking the proper action when “the freak accident” occurred. Those “harmless babies” killed two dogs and injured a woman who was trying to protect her dog. We do have the right to judge in this case. The facts speak for themselves, and hopefully he will be judged in a court of law.

  • Guest6858 says:

    Do you mean to tell me that he had that dog in his house when a young child lives there? That’s irresponsible and stupid.

  • Guest20 says:

    I knew it. No one just goes to class after something like this happens and has any kind of a heart. My guess is that he was trying to figure a way out of all this whole situation without getting sued.

    Four hours for poor Lucy to lay in that car suffering and in agony is disgusting. And to have two numbers on her collar where he could have contact you is unforgiveable. I hope the law punishes him to the severest level possible, but even that won’t be near enough for what he did.

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. It’s heartbreaking for us who love animals, but your pain must be almost unbearable. I have an animal who is old and has kidney disease, so he won’t be here much longer, but when he goes, it will be without pain and with love and comfort in my arms. I’m so sorry that you didn’t have that opportunity with Lucy. But I’m so glad that, for a while, you were able to give her the all the love and attention she could possibly hope for. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • ILM NATIVE says:

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

  • ILM NATIVE says:

    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.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …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!

  • guesty says:

    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.

  • Guest461 says:

    The pitbull or the pistol in the “wrong” hands is usually deadly!

  • Guest666 says:

    The Dog Whisperer is nothing but baloney for entertainment purposes.

  • Guest20 says:

    My guess is that he never went to the vet at all. I think it was just a lie to try to convince the owner that he was doing something to help little Lucy.

    He’s a worthless piece of trash.

  • guesty says:

    I’m thinking he tried and failed BLET and has been bitter ever since.

  • Guest2020 says:

    People who insist on keeping these dangerous breeds of dogs should take more care to keep them locked up so that they don’t hurt others. As much as I hate that the poor little dog got hurt, it would have been a much sadder story had it been a child who was harmed or killed. If you cannot be a responsible dog owner, then you should not have a dog.

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    You’re obsessed with cops. Way over the top. But yet you claim you have never been in trouble with the law. I think you are one of those bone heads that hate all the attention cops get. Be it negative or positive. Some people love them, that drives you nuts. You are jealous of them. I take it that at sometime in your pitiful past a cop took your woman? Maybe just maybe you will find another. Just keep her away from the men in blue. Try to remember that cops are just people, it’s just a job. Just like the guy down the street that works at wally world.

  • just the facts says:

    You dumb people its the owners who train them

  • Kim Thore says:

    So sorry to hear this story. I lost my best friend to an attack this past Easter Morning. This week I appear in front of the Forsyth Animal Control Board to present Jackson’s Law to hopefully stop these attacks from occurring or re-occurring. (www.jacksons-law.org)

    My thoughts go out to the family- unfortunately, I know what they are going through.

  • Animal Lover says:

    So, how would do you feel about these dogs knowing they have done this before. This is NOT their first incident.

  • Pet Lover says:

    How do you make ammends for repeat irresponsibility?

  • mom says:

    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 RAN AFTER THE DOG. WHEN HE SAW THE LITTLE DOG HE PICKED UP THE DOG AND HIS SON AND BROUGHT HIS SON TO MY HOUSE AND WENT TO HIS VET. THE VET WAS CLOSED HE SAW THERE NOTHING ELSE TO DO THAT IS WHEN HE WENT TO CLASS. JOHN IS NOT HEARTLESS.HE WAS A FORMER MARINE FOR 15 YEARS AND FOUGHT OVER IN IRAC, TO GIVE PEOPLE LIKE YOU THE FREEDOM TO BE ONESIDED AND TO SPEAK THE WAY YOU DO.LIKE THE ROMANO’S THOSE DOGS ARE ALSO THIER BABIES,AND BASICALLY THEY ARE HARMLESS. THEY ARE JUST LIKE SOME HUMANS THAT CANNOT GET ALONG WITH OTHER HUMANS.HE HAS NEVER TAUGHT THOSE DOGS TO BE FIGHTERS HE TRIED TO TEACH THEM TO GET ALONG WITH OTHERS. HE TAUGHT THEM JUST LIKE YOU WOULD TEACH A CHILD TO GET ALONG. SOMETIMES THEY JUST DON’T LISTEN. HE IS SICK OVER THIS AND YOU DON’T KNOW HOW BAD HE FEELS. SO PLEASE DON’T JUDGE. GOD ONLY HAS THAT RIGHT.

  • Guest1986 says:

    I want to know why this man is not being charged with aggravated animal cruelty. He has apparently admitted to police he took the dog, still alive, and put it in his car – cruelly letting it lie there and suffer (for hours???) until finally dying of her injuries. How long did she lie there crying for her family? Could she have been saved? We will never know. Denying this dog needed veterinary care – or contacting authorities to have them come and get the dog and take it to the shelter for immediate care – shows that he KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY allowed this dog to die a horrific, painful death.

    The police need to step up and do their job — prosecute this man for a felony.

  • Human being says:

    So, all the people here that stereotype this breed, a question. Have you ever seen the Dog Whisperer? Ceasers main side kick and “calm dog”, is and has been, a pit. When in correct and knowledgeable hands, they are a great breed!

  • Guest55 says:

    There is a 24 hour vet in this town and many others who would come is called.

    Sometimes you have to make an effort.

  • ILM NATIVE says:

    I am sure there is MORE than I vet in Wilmington!! The fact he fought in Iraq has no bearing in this matter whatsoever, it is noble he did but does not excuse his negligence in getting help for this animal. I served during Vietnam but I do not use it as an excuse for negligence. Why not miss class and seek help? Class that important? Just uncaring and no sympathy for the dog that was mauled by his dogs.
    He’s probably sick thinking he will be sued over this.
    Sorry I feel NO sympathy for him at all, hope they out his dogs down as they are a menace to others.
    Maybe he should have exercised some care and locked the door so his son could not open it or have kept them in the pen as he was supposed to do..NO EXCUSE FOR HIM MOM

  • John says:

    The article stated that there was a pool of blood in the back yard and that the neighbors saw the man looking for his dog…. No way in hell he could have played dumb about it….

    Also, to the guy that mentions his service in IRAQ… well on veterens day i say my thanks for his service… but no way in hell do you get excused if you didn’t take my dog to a vet..after your dog ingured it…. their are emergency vets in town if you call 411… your dog would not be living long if it attacked and killed my family member/pet.

    also… if these dogs were taken to the dog park when they were young and had the chance to interact with other dogs then they would not be agressive.. i have seen several pits at the dog park they get along fine with small dogs… dogs that kill other dogs get this agression from somewhere other than just their genes…. mr. tooker should not be allowed to own any dog that has a reputation for agression period!!

    John.
    Wilmington, NC.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    How you dorks are pulling things like this from my comment is hysterical ! (Inserting sarcastic remark now)…Yeah a KID is the same as a DOG, ok then.

  • Melanie Romano says:

    John Tooker only returned the dog because the Romano family did there part investigating and knew to much…he never planned to bring Lucy home.

  • concerned dog owner says:

    you know based on the fact that most and all vets office’s in the sourrounding area are open till 6 pm he had no intentions of taking her to the vets to have her checked out and given a chance to live. its sounds like if the owners of the killed dog had not persued trying to find her that he would have not called them back or even considered bringing her back and they would have to be left feeling like she just cralwed off and died on her own. so all he can do now is lie about what really happened and what he says he tried to do

  • Guest55555 says:

    I didn’t say a kid is “the same as a dog”, idiot. That’s YOUR stupid quote. I said it could have just as well been a kid. Understand the difference, or is that too deep for you?

    But you did prove one thing today…you’re not woman or man enough to admit when you’re wrong. Sounds like you have about as much character as Tooker. Loser.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    Wrong? About what? I can read and comprehend unlike most of you trolls. I am not the one who got my panties in a wad over this. Hahahaaa

  • Das Weibstück says:

    I don’t see how my comment makes me stupid, its the truth. Tooker could have easily played dumb. I imagine the dog would not have survived either way.

  • Guest20 says:

    Maybe the dog wouldn’t have survived either way, but he could have died peacefully and out of pain in a vet’s office and in his owner’s arms. But I can see I’m wasting my time trying to explain it to you. You’re clueless.

  • Guest20 says:

    Are you serious? The guy placed this small, helpless animal in his vehicle, went to class, and that dog died a slow, painful, horrible death in the man’s car. And you think he’s honest? He didn’t even act human!

    Geeezzzz. Everyone has a right to be stupid; some people just abuse the privilege.

  • Guest3 says:

    What makes you think he was talking about you? Maybe he meant the neighbor……Naaahhhh. It was you.

  • Guest55555 says:

    Soooo…if the neighbor’s dog had killed a child instead of another dog, as long as the neighbor fessed up and was honest about it, it would be OK?

    Good grief!

  • John says:

    You need to wake up lady. You are a complete dumb A if you don’t realize this is the owner of the pitbulls fault…

    He should be charged with negligence and harboring a dangerous animal… if i understand correctly this isn’t the first time their has been a problem with this dog…. Next time if may just be a little child… It happens all of the country everyday….

  • Melanie Romano says:

    Really, the owner is to blame for having a beautiful backyard for their dogs to play in?? Shame on you!

  • emilee draper says:

    My mom left the dogs out in our FENCED IN backyard for 30 minutes tops to pick me up from school. They were safe and protected until the pitbulls came into our FENCED IN BACKYARD. We are no where near responsible for the pitbulls attacking our dog.

  • Linda Ferrell says:

    People that leave their animals out in the backyard unattended are allowing these innocent victims to be attacked and killed whether it be by another animal, human looking for bait animals, a wild animal, the road, when they dig out or jump the fence.

    THE OWNER is responsible for these senseless attacks. You are blaming a terrier that is a dog. You are supposed to be protecting them not setting them up to be killed. YOU ARE TO BLAME…..

  • Guest22222 says:

    You are blaming the victim for leaving their dog in a secure backyard. Your comment is disgraceful.

  • Kevin S says:

    You are some kind of idiot to blame an owner for leaving the animal in their enclosed back yard. Next you’ll be blaming someone for leaving their animal inside their house for someone to break and steal them or harm them.

  • Guest11221 says:

    You have got to be kidding me. A family has a dog in their yard that is attacked and you blame the family. I am curious if you are a pitbull owner. That is the only reason I could think of that would make you write something as ridiculas as this.

  • Guest1456 says:

    for leaving THEIR dog in THEIR backyard on a nice day. Naive yes, but to blame, no. Tooker’s dogs escaped and harmed another dog on another person’s property. Even though the police can’t charge him, I hope that the Romanos open up the legal equivalent of a pit bull on him. I hope there are civil options they can pursue for pain and suffering and damage to property.

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    So if it were a car, you’d be setting it up to be stolen because you left it in the drive way?

    I guess the pit bull had every right to come onto someone’s property and attack and kill a pet?

    Put down your “occupy” sign long enough to think.

    The pit bull owner had the responsibility to ensure the safety of neighbors property and pets, especially if this was not the first incident regarding his dog. Put the responsibility where it belongs.

    People have a right to be secure in their homes and property. This owner did nothing wrong, leaving the pet to play in the yard.

    “You are supposed to be protecting them not setting them up to be killed. YOU ARE TO BLAME…”

    Yours has to be the most ignorant comment I’ve seen, regardless of the subject, period.

    The owner is responsible….THE PIT BULL OWNER. I smell a civil suit, and if i were on the jury, Mr. pit bull owner had better have “deep pockets”.

    “Tooker says he is sorry for the Romano’s loss, calling the incident a freak accident.”

    Somehow, i don’t think Mr. Tooker is as sorry as the Romano’s.

    If your a landlord, don’t allow pit bulls.
    If your a homeowner, think about the lawsuit that it invites.
    If your an insurer, don’t write a homeowners policy for this breed.

    Thank God it wasn’t a small child.

  • Guest7969 says:

    maybe because pets AREN’T HUMANS…and they belong OUTSIDE….I sit back and wonder how all those foxes, bobcats and deer make it in this world….

    STOP MAKING ANIMALS HUMANS…THEY AREN’T!

  • virgogirl says:

    Poor Lucy was just hanging out in her own backyard. It might have been a pretty day and as long as she was contained in her own fenced yard, just chillin’ at the house, why would that make it the owners fault? Why keep her cooped up in the house all day as long as she wasn’t a danger to someone. The pit bull entered HER yard. If this was a person, it would be trespassing. From what I can tell from the story, this happended while Mr. Tooker was home, otherwise, how would he know the dog was injured and put her in his jeep? It’s discusting to me that he took her to just die in the car without seeking a vet. The need to put the pit bull down…. second offense as I can tell.

  • Guest55555 says:

    I’m not a big fan of leaving dogs outside for most of their lives either. Dogs love to be around people, and some of them turn mean when left alone too long without human companionship. I’ve seen some people leave their dogs out in all kinds of weather where the animal could die from heat stroke or freeze to death in the cold. However, that being said, I think the majority of folks are just giving their pets some time outdoors.

    I totally disagree that it’s the owner’s fault. The dog is on their own property, and the owner has every right to believe their dog should be safe while confined within their own fence. If it was me, and a dog was attacking my animal, I’d grab my .357 and it would be a dead neighbor’s dog. There’s no excuse for this happening. It could just have easily been a small child.

  • emilee draper says:

    He did not actually go to the vet. we called every single vet in the area and none of them reported that lucy had been brought in. whether he was panicking or not, he still handled it extremely wrong.

  • ILM NATIVE says:

    Iraq vet have to do with any of this?? NOTHING
    If he was such a great person then why did he not do the right thing by the dog that his pitbulls killed? If he is so educated why did he not have enough sense to find a vet to care for the dog? If he went to the vet as you say why did he not have the dog put down to put it out of his misery…toal BS is why…quit covering for him it isn’t working.Hopefully his dogs will be putdown and problem solved..he is a heartless SOB.

  • Guest3 says:

    Is that the story Tooker told you? And you fell for it?

    He didn’t take the dog to the vet, or the family would have been called. Lucy had TWO phone numbers on her ID tag, so why didn’t he call them? He NEVER called them, because, like you said, he panicked. He was worried about the fines he’s going to have to pay, having his dogs taken away from him, and being sued. His concern was NOT for Lucy; it was for himself.

    This horrible situation was caused by Mr. Tooker’s negligence. He knew the dogs were dangerous because of previous offenses. He knew they were unpredictable. But the fact that he was negligent doesn’t bother people half as much as the fact that he let Lucy lay in his car for 4 hours to die a long and painful death. She suffered, and now her family is suffering. Mr. Tooker needs to man up and take responsibility for that. And you need to take off your blinders and see him for the piece of crap that he is.

  • DAD says:

    WELL IF HE WENT TO THE VETS WHY DID THE OWNER NOT GET A PHONE CALL FROM THEM STATING THAT THEY HAD THERE DOG. AND HOW IS IT THAT THE VICTIM GOT TOOKERS PHONE NUMBER AND CALLED HIM AND LEFT VOICE MAILS TO CALL THEM BACK ASKING WHERE THERE DOG WAS. OH AND ALSO CALLED HIS DADS HOUSE WHICH IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER AND HIS BROTHER MIKE ANSWERED AND COMMENTED THAT HE HAD BEEN WATCHING HIS SON SINCE 1:00 PM AND THE INCIDENT HAPPENED AFTER 3:30 PM. IT SOUND LIKE YOU DON’T HAVE THE WHOLE TRUTH AND THAT SOMEONE MAINLY THE TOOKERS WERE TRYING TO COVER THINGS UP. SO GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT BEFORE COMMENTING

  • brother says:

    The dog was dead and there was nothing else he could have done. no one knows how long the dog was lying there and NOONE saw what happened, there was nothing else to do. he probably picked up the dog so any of the kids would see it dead. its evident he took responsibility.He brought the dog back otherwise he could have got rid of the dog and denied being there. so he didnt plot anything. he probably knew the vet could not save the dog anyway. im sure he feels horrible and for the name calling it only makes you look like a “piece of crap”. If you dont know him personally then do not judge him. until you understand what he was trying to do and know what he was feeling. at least let him tell his side of the story. and for the comparison “what if it were a child”. It was not a child it was a dog and you cant compare apples and oranges. A dog is an animal . its that simple. One more thing. It seems also evident that John has a family. For all you sue happy people. What will that solve? the dog is gone. not to sound harsh but we have become people who have lost the sight on the differnce between animals and humans. granted they are part of the family at times and loved but when it comes down to brass tax they are animals and are unpredictable, i myself have been badly bitten by a jack Russle in the face and needed numerous stitches as a child. they all are unpredictable. but a civil lawsuit would only hurt another family and possibly hurt him in a way they he couldnt take care of his own child and put him in a place he shouldnt be. granted it is a terrible circumstance and i feel for The Romano family but it doesnt seem they are in need of money so by them gaining any restitution over this would not bring the dog back. its a sad case and hopefully both parties grow from it and live civil. The Tookers did not want this it seems and in no way acted moliciously in any way. Jail time and restitution seems like it would only work negatively. there is other ways for him to help. time will tell.

  • Whitewollff says:

    It’s people like Mr. Tooker that makes it so hard on the rest of the Pitt Bull owners. My Pitt has been raised around 7 cats that he loves and never gets rough with as a matter of fact he does that bit where he looks like he’s fleaing them with his teeth..I take him to the dog park and he gets along great with other dogs…..My next door neighbor on the other hand has 2 chows that whenever they are out chase my cats and on 3 different occasions have attack my pitt yet he ‘s still a gentle dog with other dogs and gets along great with kids but all because of people like you my pitt will pay just because he’s a pitt and that is so not fair..what happened was completely your fault and you reacted badly…you really didn’t try hard enough to get the dog to a vet so you let the poor little dog lay in a strange car all alone and die slowly..How cruel can you be to let that happen. I couldn’t live with myself if I did that to anybody’s dog.. I love my dog but if he did that to another person’s dog I’d do all I could to make it right…

  • Pet Lover says:

    Dear NUNYA-
    FROM WHAT SOURCE DID YOU GET YOUR INFORMATION CONCERNING ‘PAST OFFENSES BEING M.I.N.O.R ???????
    YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, DEAR.

  • nunya says:

    the News as always only likes to show one side of story, with a total lack of truth. Tooker is someone i know personally , he is a great father and person, he is educated and is at Iraq war veteran. He did not go to class with the dog. he went to the vet and the dog died , he panicked and tried to do the right thing by that Family. he had no way of knowing that his dog was going to kill that other dog..the past offenses were minor and he built a huge fence house for the animals and tried to do all in his power to keep them contained..it was an accident ther dog got out and a shame the incident occured but it did and learn from it. His dogs were also like family and were good around people. it was an accident. animals are and always will be unpredictable animals.

  • Emilee Draper says:

    Lucy and our other dog were only left outside for atleast 30 minutes while my mom Melanie went to pick me up from school. They are never left outside ALL the time. Just wanted to clarify

  • Guest20 says:

    They aren’t human, but they deserve to have a warm place to sleep in the winter, and cool shade and water in the summer. They shouldn’t be left outside ALL the time because they need human companionship sometimes. Why even have an animal if the owner never interacts with it? (I’m not speaking about you, I’m just trying to get a point across.)

    It’s horrible that this happened at all, but it’s NOT the owner’s fault. If a dog is in an enclosed fence behind his owner’s house, and another dog jumps the fence and attacks it, it would be the owners right to destroy the attacking animal with whatever means necessary.

  • Emilee Draper says:

    Yes, he says that the vet “wasnt opened” so he just left her in his car where she died. Absolutely appalling.

  • Guest55 says:

    Do I understand correctly that Tooker didn’t take the alive but injured dog to a veterinarian but instead went to class while the alive but injured dog lay in his car? Is this correct? This is not a criminal offense?

    I’m sorry the law does not ban (of course with appropriate due process) someone like this from owning dogs in the future.

    Very sad story.

  • Guest20 says:

    Yes, you understood it correctly. This heartless b*st*rd took an injured, suffering, dying little dog (that his dog attacked), and put that small dog in his vehicle, went to class, didn’t take it to a vet, and returned it to the owner just in time for her to see it suffering and die right before her eyes.

    Doesn’t everybody want a nice guy like this as their neighbor?

  • JKL says:

    Put them down. Their a useless breed.

  • Guest4357 says:

    The dogs should be shot and the neighbor held legally responsible for not controlling them. If you can’t keep your animals from harming others and what belongs to them, you deserve a stiff fine at least along with hefty restitution to the owner of the dog that was killed. If an animal of any kind is on our place harming my livestock or pets, I will deal with it appropriately (for us the problem is almost always wild animals, but we have the occasional pack of feral dogs to deal with). Too bad the owner of the Jack Russell wasn’t there to be able to shoot the pit bulls.

  • RSimmons says:

    and the useless owners too

  • Dog Lover says:

    Sorry, too many incidents involving pits, it’s all over the web and allowing these dogs into residential areas is an “accident” waiting to happen. Any dog can bite but it is well documented that pits commit well over a 1/3 of all attacks and many of these involve serious injure and death.
    Rottweilers #2 and these 2 breeds alone account for an overwhelming # of attacks on other dogs and humans.

    http://www.dogsbite.org/dangerous-dogs-pit-bull-myths.php
    http://dogbitelaw.com/dog-bite-statistics/the-breeds-most-likely-to-kill.html

  • human being says:

    Your statement is useless. Very generalized, don’t you think. Let me guess, you have what, a chihuahua? Aside from being in purses, what point do they serve? As a dog trainer, I’ve encountered more mean chihuahuas, then mean pits. Yet, because theyre small, it is somehow ok. Be informed before you speak!

  • bAwesome says:

    I’ve had one Peke killed years ago by a Pit and I almost had my puppy Peke killed recently when a Pit jumped over my backyard fence and tried to run it down. I managed to tackle the Pit about 1 sec before the dog bit my pup in half. I don’t care who raises these dogs, it’s in their nature to kill smaller animals if given the opportunity. You should have to have a special permit to own them and there should be no ownership inside of city limits. And the most important change needed, is holding the owners accountable, not just the dog.

  • sachane cook says:

    It’s not the dogs that are the problem, its the people who own and train them the wrong way. If someone has a dog that is deemed dangerous, nine times out of ten its because they were either trained that way, neglected, or did not take the time to take care of them properly. It is a damn shame that someone let’s their animals run loose without leases, or collars, or a runner, and its obvious these dogs are not getting the attention they need. If u can’t take care of an animal the way they need to be taken care of, you shouldn’t have animals in the first place.

  • Guest8768686 says:

    Dogs are not genetic blank slates. Behaviors OBVIOUSLY vary by breed. It so happens that pit bull breeds were not in any way, shape, or form created by man to be companion animals. Now misguided knuckleheads insist on bringing fighting breeds into populated areas with predictable results. Why are all the other mistreated, poorly socialized, and irresponsibly kept non-pit bulls attacking animals/humans at such a relatively low rate?

  • Guest461 says:

    They are an aggressive breed due to their genetic makeup and historical use of the breed. On top of that, they are very powerful, bite to kill and usually do!

    The problem IS the DOG! The ONLY thing an owner can do to prevent their pitbulls from murdering other animals and children is to keep them FULLY CONFINED at all times. It is their nature and it’s what they were bred to do.

    If I owned a chihuahua and it bit the face of a child, that would be the dogs last breath! When a chihuahua bites it leaves a mark. When a pitbull bites, it removes an entire face.

    I have no idea why people feel thay need that kind of power walking around in their back yard. It must be a testosterone thing…or lack thereof.

    You owners of these killing machines constantly attempt to justify pitbull ownership and nullify their destructive potential…no matter how many children are forever maimed or murdered. Absolutely amazing!

  • Concerned Mom says:

    Freak accident, Mr. Tooker? This is the third “freak accident” involving your animals. Will a child have to be injured or killed for something to be done?

  • John says:

    Mr. tooker you are piece of ….. for not taking this dog to a VET!!!! If it was still alive they could have tried to save it or either put it down and end the suffering it was going through.
    I have a feeling you will face your Karma soon.

    You should be fined by law enforecement and the owners should sue your butt for negligence.

    John
    dog lover
    Wilmington, NC

  • Das Weibstück says:

    He could have dumped the dog and act like he had no idea what happened. Least he was honest about it.

  • Guest20 says:

    I totally agree. This could have just as easily been a small child. This guy isn’t even human to leave an animal to suffer and die the way this one did. He shouldn’t be allowed to have an animal. He doesn’t deserve one. What a piece of total sh*t!

  • Guest87686 says:

    If you think that bites are of concern and not specifically serious attacks and if you think that the probability of serious attack is just about being mean, then you do not need to be training dogs.

  • Guest858 says:

    Your statement shows your lack of education and your grammar shows the same. Pit bulls are animals BRED TO KILL. That is the long and short of it. Most people who have them have them to protect something inside their home or protect THEM from the law when they’re doing something illegal. This animal is akin to a lethal weapon. And to that other poster…..DON’T TELL SOMEONE THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE LEFT THEIR DOG OUTSIDE. That is the prerogative of any pet owner. That is, those that are sensible and educated. What is it about the twisted people in our society that always wants to blame the victim????

  • Concerned Mom says:

    When dogs that fit in purses start mauling and killing animals and people, then you can talk about them. You just sound ignorant.

  • Guest1456 says:

    and I agree with that. Unfortunately, it seems more common than not that the breed of people who feel compelled to own vicious dogs seem to be the last people who should own such breeds. It’s as reckless as giving a gun to a child.

    The sort of people who own these breeds of dogs seem to be the people who, with one glance you know that if they finished high school, they spent a lot of time eating paint chips in the back of a class that had paint over the classroom door window so no one could see who took the less than remedial courses. I guess what I’m saying is that the type of people who own these dogs seem to have substandard I.Q. scores and lack responsibility and that’s why this type of story seems to repeat itself over and over. I would honestly feel more comfortable with a convicted felon living next door to me than the owner of a pit bull or Rottweiler.

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