LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A beloved neighborhood pet was mauled and killed by a pit bull. Neighbors in Port Charlotte call the dog a ticking time bomb. Now, they fear it's just a matter of time before a child is hurt.
When Russ Howard saw his neighbor's pit bull "Angel" running free in the backyard, he knew something wasn't right.
He said, "I don't know what the dog's going to do."
His worst fear was soon confirmed, "Pablo" a neighborhood cat Howard had grown very fond of, had been killed.
"I was very angry, to put it mildly. I would have killed the dog."
Now some neighbors on Kenyon Avenue want just that saying "Angel" is vicious and dangerous.
"I accept dogs chase cats, cats chase birds, but the fact is, I don't know what he'd do to something else that is his size."
Animal Control was called to the neighborhood, and "Angel" was given back to her owners.
Lt. Brian Jones with Charlotte County Animal Control said, "The report is indicating to me that they were bringing groceries to the home and the front door was open and the dog did escape through there. The owner was cited all the appropriate citations."
Neighbors say that's not enough.
WINK spoke to Lucy Camacho, "Angel's" owner, and she told us even she would like to see the dog put down but can't afford the 40 dollars right now.
Lt. Jones of Animal Control said since the dog is a first offender, at least in his agency's eyes, she remains the property of her owners.
Jones said, "If this is an ongoing problem and I really question the owners ability to confine the dog, those are some of the times I would be more apt to classify a dog as dangerous.
Howard says, he'll miss his furry friend.
"Pablo was a good buddy."
"Angel's" owner tell us that "Pablo" wasn't the dog's first victim. She says the dog has killed several cats over the past seven years. She says sometimes even she is afraid of the dog.
Animal Control says the investigation is ongoing.