PITTSBURGH — A Carrick man and his dog were injured after being attacked by loose dogs running lose down the street.
Jeff Langstraat and Justin Mingus say they’ve spent weeks trying to get justice for their dog Omar.
“Omar was sitting right next to me and all of a sudden he barked because there were dogs running down the street,” Mingus said. “And they saw him and came flying up the stairs.”
And that’s when they attacked.
“And they just started trying to pull him apart. It was absolutely terrifying,” Mingus said.
Langstraat tried to step in.
“I came running out of the house, tried to pull the jaws apart, and that’s why I’ve got all these wounds on my hand from the teeth,” he said.
Neighbors called the police. Both owners and their dog were left injured. And they say animal control couldn’t take the dogs away.
“The way that the laws set up, animal control’s hands are really tied,” Langstraat said.
So they reached out to local leaders. State representative Jessica Benham responded in an email that dogs are legally considered property and there are some constitutional constraints when it comes to dealing with someone’s property. She said she’d look into legislative changes to propose to prevent attacks like this from happening again.
“That’s been really the frustrating part of it, is the system isn’t working,” Langstraat said.
In the meantime these owners tell us yet another dog has been a victim. Neighbors even tried to record videos of the dogs running around in the neighborhood. For now the only solution they say is to take matters into their own hands.
“We’re going to put a gate on our porch to keep ‘em out. And we’re keeping a baseball bat and mace on the porch with us now,” Langstraat said.
But there is a silver lining. They say neighbors have started warning each other about the danger.
“That’s been I would say a positive out of this is we probably know more of our neighbors now than we did the entire three years we’ve lived here,” he said.
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