An unleashed pit bull attacked and killed a bichon frise in Gaithersburg on Wednesday evening, authorities said.
Jennie Kellogg, the bichon frise’s owner, said they were taking a walk when the pit bull ran over and bit her dog’s neck, not releasing it until after the 11-year-old purebred bichon frise was dead.
The 21-pound dog, called Ali’i, which means “royalty” in Hawaiian, was covered in blood, Kellogg said, calling her pet, “my baby and my best friend.”
The female pit bull, registered at being more than 50 pounds, was being watched by its owner’s brother, according to Jeanette Wright, an animal field services supervisor with the Montgomery County Police.
The pit bull is under quarantine at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Rockville. It will be released to its owner on June 30, Wright said.
The pit bull will probably be declared potentially dangerous, Wright said, and will have to be muzzled when off the owner’s property. The dog had a current rabies vaccination.
The owner will be fined $600 in unwanted contact and animal-at-large civil citations and can appeal the dog’s potentially dangerous designation
Attempts to reach the pit bull’s owner were unsuccessful.
Kellogg said she doesn’t plan to pursue legal action against the pit bull’s owner, but she wants to see the dog muzzled.
“I have a responsibility to my neighbors, too,” Kellogg said. “Now, I’m afraid.”
The Maryland Court of Appeals issued a “breed specific” ruling in March 2012 that designates pit bulls as “inherently dangerous” and holds owners liable for dog bites, regardless of whether the dog has a history of biting people. Landlords, in addition to owners, were also found to be liable if they knew tenants had a pit bull on their property.
The decision came down after a 10-year-old Crofton boy was killed by a pit bull in 2007.
The Maryland General Assembly did not address the court ruling during its last legislative session.