The assault — along Hil-Mar Drive in the Forestville area — prompted nearby adults and teenagers to try to fend off the dogs using sticks and trash cans. “These were vicious attacks by the dogs,” Donelan said.
The other victim, 52, was thought to have sustained less serious wounds to both legs and one hand, she added.
Responding police officers shot and killed one of the dogs. They contained the second animal with a catchpole, after which the dog strangled himself and died, according to Donelan.
The American bulldog mixes were 8 months old, each weighing 60 to 70 pounds, said Rodney Taylor, chief of the Prince George’s Animal Services Division. Taylor said their owners were issued $100 civil citations for violating the county’s leash law. They were issued $50 civil citations for the same violation several months ago, Taylor said.
“Things like this can happen when you have dogs running loose, especially dogs that are ignored and not cared for,” Taylor said, though he stressed he was speaking in general and not about this particular incident.
The Animal Services chief wants tougher laws designed to allow criminal charges to be levied against the owners of dogs that attack people. Such legislation, which he proposed, is pending before the Prince George’s County Council, Taylor said.
Officers were called to the scene at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday and arrived to find paramedics treating the 72-year-old man. He’d been at a bus stop, Donelan said, when the two dogs attacked and dragged him down the street and pinned him against a wrought iron fence. Donelan said the residents “appear to have played a critical role in halting the attack.”
The animals moved on to their second victim, who had been walking down the street, forcing him to scramble onto the car. “These dogs kept ripping the man off the car and down into the street,” Donelan said.
The officers used a pole to restrain one of the dogs away. The second dog ran into a nearby yard before coming back toward the officers, she said. He tried to attack the officers, backed off, and tried again. “That’s when they were forced to open fire,” Donelan said.
“The dog, meantime, who was on the pole strangled himself. He was acting in a very aggressive way,” she added.
Animal Services officers spoke with the dogs’ owners and ended up removing a third dog from the home, according to Taylor. That animal, a pit bull, wasn’t involved in the attacks, Taylor said.