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Pit bulls attack family pet

By Sarah Campbell
scampbell@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — A 1-year-old Labrador retriever will be coming home today after spending a night at Salisbury Animal Hospital recovering from injuries sustained when two pit bulls attacked her Saturday morning.
Kathy Rusher said her husband, Bobby, let their golden lab, Belle, out about 7:30 a.m. and minutes later they heard her barking turn to yelps.
The couple ran outside their Confederate Avenue home to get the pit bulls away from Belle, but it took several attempts before the dogs backed down.
“My husband first went at them with a trash can, but that didn’t faze them,” Rusher said. “It took my husband driving into the front yard with his truck honking to finally get them off of her.”
Belle was not seriously injured in the incident, but she did receive some abrasions and had to get staples in a few spots.
“Dr. (Charles) Steinman said she’s very lucky,” Rusher said.
Rusher said the incident could have been much worse if the family hadn’t been at home when it occurred.
“If it would have happened when we were at soccer practice later, we probably would have come home to a dead dog,” she said. “It’s very scary.”
Rusher said she’s also relieved the dogs didn’t show up a day earlier when the weather was warm and children were outside.
The Rushers’ front yard has an invisible dog barrier, which means although Belle cannot go out other dogs can get in.
Rusher said the dogs were not aggressive toward her and her husband and they left their yard after he scared them off with his truck.
Immediately after the incident the couple phoned 911 to get in touch with Rowan County Animal Control.
Rusher said a woman from animal control caught one of the dogs in Eagle Heights. She believes the other dog is still on the loose.
“My neighborhood doesn’t connect to Eagle Heights so somebody must have reported it there,” Rusher said.
Rusher said she saw the second pit bull later in the day roaming around her neighborhood, but it seemed “scared and lost.”
“I don’t think she was the aggressor, I think she was just a partner in crime,” Rusher said. “But she still could be a threat.”
She described the pit bull as solid charcoal gray.
Rusher said animal control did a “great job” handling the situation, getting to her home promptly.
The Rushers have lived on Confederate Avenue for more than 15 years and never had a problem with other dogs.
Rusher said she had never seen the two pit bulls before Saturday and isn’t sure where they came from.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.

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