A Richmond beagle was brutally attacked and killed and his family said their neighbor's pit bulls are to blame. The pit bulls have been euthanized and the owner charged for not having them on a leash, but the family says it's not enough.
Scout was a Christmas gift to the DeMarco family's only child four years ago. Monday morning, one of his owners, Elaine DeMarco, says they were just coming home from a walk when the pit bulls ran into the yard and tore into Scout's body right in front of her.
"One was on one side of his neck and the other was on the other and they were just shaking and Scout tried to fight back- he was snarling and he was trying to fight, but he just- he couldn't," said Elaine DeMarco through tears.
Horrified, Elaine tried to help Scout by grabbing her son's lacrosse stick, but she says the dogs weren't even phased.
"And he just made some awful sounds," said Elaine. "and then he was on his back and then they were trying to drag him and I was trying to hold him."
The neighbor tried to fend the dogs off with a broom stick, when that didn't work Elaine grabbed a bat.
"I'm hitting them in the back, in the head, and at the same time I'm horrified that I'm hitting an animal with this bat and my poor dog is bleeding and he's so helpless," said Elaine.
But she says throughout the attack, the dogs didn't flinch, that they were solely focused on the attack and never responsive to their efforts to get them to drop Scout.
"Finally the neighbor turned to a pitch fork to try to get the pit bull off Scout. He hit him once, and nothing happened, then he hit him again and nothing happened, it took a third time with a pitch fork all the way through the dog's neck to get him to let Scout go."
"I scooped him up and he was all bloody and I lifted him up to take him to the vet," said Elaine.
But, Scout died on the way to the vet. He had a gaping hole on the side of his neck and his leg was mangled.
Police arrived and took the pit bulls. One had run back to the home. The other was being held by the neighbor with the pitch fork. And that neighbor said when he released the dog, it tried to attack again.
The DeMarcos say they don't think a misdemeanor citation is enough. Their dog is dead, their family is mourning his loss, and they had to witness his brutal attack. They say Scout didn't deserve this and neither did their family.
"It shouldn't' be a slap on the wrist," said Nick DeMarco. "You should be held accountable as a responsible adult for having an animal and if you don't obey the rules, you should pay the penalty."
NBC12 knocked on the neighbor's door. They declined to comment.
However, a spokesperson confirms she did receive one citation for an unrestrained dog X 2, meaning both dogs are listed on the same ticket. This is a Class 4 Misdemeanor citation with a fine of up to $250. The final total of the fine will be determined by the courts.
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