RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Tammy Groome stands in the front yard of her rural Louisa County home with tears in her eyes wishing she could take back the past 24-hours.
“Just hearing the screams; it was not nice at all,” Tammy said. “I’m lost without her.”
She and her husband Mike Groome’s cat “Girlygirl” was violently ripped away from their lives Thursday morning by a neighbor’s pit bull.
“He got her in my driveway and attacked her,” Tammy said. “This was not the first time. This dog has killed before."
It was a nightmarish moment this couple wishes they could have prevented.
“The only reason (Tammy) didn’t get bit yesterday is because the cat was in the dog’s mouth,” Mike said.
This was the couple’s third run-in with the dog. In the first two instances, the dog nearly got Tammy and her cat, chasing them into their home. The third time Tammy let the cat out to use the bathroom when the pit bull returned to their yard and mauled her.
They say the dog has also been reported multiple times to Louisa County Animal Control for terrorizing the neighborhood for nearly a month.
In one instance, they say their neighbor’s chickens and ducks were attacked by the pit bull, chasing that neighbor into her home during that attack.
After the attack on the couple’s cat, the pit bull was captured and taken to the Louisa County animal shelter.
“I just want answers why this dog was not taken off the street last week, last month,” Tammy said.
At this time, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said it could not comment on the investigation. However, it also said in Virginia for a dog to be deemed a dangerous dog, it has to have bitten, attacked or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat, or killed a companion animal that is a dog or a cat.
The attacking dog will not be deemed a dangerous dog if no serious physical injury, as determined by a veterinarian, has occurred as a result of the attack or bite.
County leash laws wouldn’t have helped either because Louisa County only enforces them in specified subdivisions in the county, and throughout the entire county from April 1 through June 30.
“This shouldn’t have happened to nobody,” Mike said. "You shouldn’t have to bury your animal because of somebody else’s animal.
“She was my rock,” Tammy said. “She was my buddy.”
As Tammy and her husband mourn the loss of Girlygirl, they say they will fight to change the law.
“Something needs to be done besides the way it’s written,” Mike said. “I’m holding the law at fault for this the way it’s written. Or the owner of the dog.”
At this time, the owners of the dog have not been identified.
A court appearance has been scheduled for Sept. 10.
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