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Family dog killed by pit bull

READ MORE: Family dog killed by pit bull
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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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Do I understand correctly

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.

Yes, he says that the vet

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

Yep

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?

pit bull

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.

Pitbulls and trainers...Don't buy it

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!

Dogs are not genetic blank

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?

I've had one Peke killed

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.

Put them down. Their a

Put them down. Their a useless breed.

PIt Bulls

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...

Your statement is useless.

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!

Pit Bulls

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

YOUR statement in meritless...

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????

If you think that bites are

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.

Amen to that

and the useless owners too

Too bad the Jack Russell owner wasn't there with a firearm

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.

get both sides

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.

TOOKER

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.

WELL IF HE WENT TO THE VETS

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

Yeah, right

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.

The dog was dead and there

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.

People Like Mr. Tooker

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...

WHAT DOES HIM BEING AN

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.

He did not actually go to

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.