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Little dog’s terrifying ordeal as Rottweiler attacks

Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal

Betty Reeves’ 11-pound terrier mix named Angel ran for her life the morning of May 6.

Reeves, 73, was taking her little dog for a walk a few blocks from home when she saw a large black and gold Rottweiler loose in the front yard of a nearby house.

The Rottweiler charged at Reeves and Angel, according to a report by the city’s Animal Welfare Department.

Betty Reeves' dog Angel was 6 years old when she was fatally attacked by a neighborhood Rottweiler while on a walk. Reeves said she felt victimized again by the city's handling of the case. (Courtesy of Betty Reeves)

Betty Reeves’ dog Angel was 6 years old when she was fatally attacked by a neighborhood Rottweiler while on a walk. Reeves said she felt victimized again by the city’s handling of the case. (Courtesy of Betty Reeves)

The little dog, who was still on her leash, started running circles around Reeves’ legs trying to avoid her attacker. Reeves, who has severe back problems, said she couldn’t pick her up in time. The Rottweiler caught Angel by the neck and shook her.

“She looked up into my eyes, like to say, ‘Do something,’ ” Reeves told the Journal.

Reeves carried a walking stick, but said hitting the Rottweiler had no effect. She estimated that the Rottweiler was more than 100 pounds.

Angel managed to break free and head for home. The bigger dog chased her three-tenths of a mile before catching her at Reeves’ front wrought iron gate.

Neighbor Mike Lucero said he heard Reeves’ screams that morning and came outside. He said he ran after the dogs, but wondered “what am I going to do when I catch them?”

When he approached Reeves’ house, the Rottweiler had Angel down and in its mouth, Lucero told an Animal Welfare officer. Lucero yelled at the Rottweiler, who let go of the little dog and ran off.

Angel, meanwhile, managed to squeeze through the gate into an enclosed courtyard.

“The little dog was by the front door,” Lucero told the Journal last week. “Its hide had pretty much been ripped off, up one side and down the other.” Angel had multiple puncture wounds to the top of her head, and a large cut at the bottom of her neck, the report stated.

Another neighbor, Tom Carrion, told an Animal Welfare officer that he was outside his house and heard screaming and a dog squealing. He saw Reeves trying to fight off the Rottweiler.

Carrion noticed a little dog running away and ran inside for his car keys. He got into his car, picked up a distraught Reeves, and drove around to look for the dog.

When they pulled up to her home and found Angel on the doorstep, Carrion tore off his T-shirt to wrap around the little dog’s body. Angel was rushed to the veterinarian.

Meanwhile, another neighbor who learned about the attack drove around the area to warn other people out walking that a dangerous dog was on the loose, Reeves said.

Reeves said she had Angel put down after her injuries proved too extensive. The little dog, who was about 6 years old, had been Reeves’ companion for five years.

Reeves, who is a widow, said she didn’t know any of the “good Samaritans” who came to her aid that day but now has become good friends with several. The outpouring from the neighborhood included cakes, cards and flowers.

One neighbor tracked Reeves down to give her the phone number of a woman who was walking her two standard poodles in July 2009, when the same Rottweiler attacked. One of the woman’s dogs suffered two bite wounds in that incident.

The owners, James and Marilou Cochran, apologized back then to the owner of the poodle and paid the woman’s vet bill. The woman didn’t report the attack to Animal Welfare.

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