Repeat dog attacks in Renton have neighbors fearing for safety

May 1, 2019, 12:34 PM | Updated: 8:12 pm
Dog attack, Renton...
(Brittany Arend)
(Brittany Arend)

A disturbing attack in Renton has police on the lookout for a dog with a history of violence, broken out of Animal Control two years ago.

RELATED: Seattle among top cities with dog attacks on postal workers

The latest incident involved Renton resident Brittany Arend’s one-year-old chihuahua-dachshund, Larry.

“I reached into the dog’s mouth to get my dog’s head out so that it wouldn’t be crushed and unfortunately, I sliced my finger up pretty bad,” described dog owner Brittany Arend.

12-stitches later, Arend said that Larry wasn’t so lucky after this terrifying encounter with a bigger dog, said to be a repeat offender in violent incidents.

It happened in an instant, and it was all captured on a home surveillance system. Arend uploaded the footage herself here (warning: video contains graphic content).

“The neighbor took his dog — or whoever’s dog it was — and I noticed that my dog’s leg was broken and he was bleeding everywhere,” said Arend. “I rushed to the nearest veterinary hospital, and it was just a terrifying moment — I was just shaking and crying and bleeding all over my car, and my dog was limp and I wasn’t sure if he was gonna make it.”

Doctors would either need to amputate her dog’s leg, or Arend could opt to pay for an $8,500 reconstructive surgery.

“I thought long and hard about it and we set up a GoFundMe campaign for Larry, to see if maybe the community would help us cover the cost difference between amputating his leg, which was not necessarily in our price range, but doable, with putting a couple of credit cards together and fixing his leg, because he’s only a one-year-old puppy.”

She chose reconstructive surgery.

Next on her priority list was to warn her neighbors. But as it turns out, they already knew, and had their own attack stories related to this same violent dog.

“Two years ago, this dog had actually killed another dog, a poodle, in the neighborhood, and then at that point animal control was trying to take the dog,” said Arend. “I’ve heard from several sources that the dog was actually broken out of the facility where they hold dogs at animal control, and stolen and taken back, and now it’s returned to our neighborhood once again.”

Renton Police has since confirmed that the dog had indeed been broken out Animal Control’s facility after a 2017 investigation involving the death of the poodle. It had not been seen by authorities since.

Her neighbor, Diane Dobson, talked about this dog and its owner in front of Renton’s City Council two years ago.

“Multiple neighbors have complained about this dog, but nothing has been done,” said Dobson. “Your animal control office gave reason after reason as to why he couldn’t go after this dog, including the city attorney’s office, who won’t take cases like this.”

She said that at the meeting, people are scared to come forward for fear of retribution.

“It’s not just a scary dog, it’s a scary residence,” she continued. “And I say this knowing they’re sitting behind me right now. It’s a scary residence, and for 30 years, our neighborhood has been terrorized: Drug deals, stolen property, SWAT team raids — you name it, they’ve done it. They’ve had alcohol related deaths and overdoses. We’ve reached out and begged the city attorney for help with the nuisance property laws.”

The dog’s owner, Clint Bridwell, also testified at that city council meeting, but told a different story.

“I seen[sic] a poodle in the yard ahead of me,” described Bridwell. “So I turned around and I crossed the road and I went in the opposite direction and the poodle chased me down. And my dog grabbed it, shook it, and it did die. And I’m very, very sorry to the owner and I’ve tried to express that. The bottom line is there’s a leash law in Renton. I can control my dog to the best of my ability, but if the other people are not controlling their dogs it doesn’t do any good.”

Arend says Bridwell’s dog was not on a leash when it attacked Larry.

Disappointed with the city’s response — and Animal Control’s own lack of response — she’s hoping at this point, the owner will do the right thing.

“I, in fact, delivered them a vet bill just to try to say, ‘hey this is kind of what your dog did, you know, if you’d be willing to help out,’ type situation,” she noted. “If it was me and my dog did that, I know that if someone gave me the opportunity and the benefit of the doubt, I would of course do my best to help. So I guess that’s what I was trying to do, and I haven’t heard back.”

We’ve reached out to the owner of the dog for comment and are still waiting for a response. We’ve also contacted the Renton Police Department and Renton Animal Control multiple times about the status of the dog and her owners responsibility in this matter.

Renton Police responded to the incident on Nextdoor, asking for witnesses who can aid in confirming the identity of the dog. If probable cause can be established, “a warrant will be applied to seize the dog with charges pending on the owner.”

For now, Arend has hired a personal attorney.

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Repeat dog attacks in Renton have neighbors fearing for safety