Family fears neighbor's dogs after attacks

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. -- A family is living in fear after a second fatal attack on their property reportedly caused by a neighbor's dog.

The first victims were 24 chickens inside a chicken coup at the Getz family home on Gadara Road.

"They [dogs] just ripped through the chicken wire so we had to put the chain linked fence to keep them from getting in there because they come over here all the time and go after them," said Belinda Getz.

On Friday, reports indicate the neighbor's dog got over the fence and came into the Getz family yard and attacked the family's 10-year-old St. Bernard named Blizzard.

"It's devastating to our whole family, our dog is dead," said Getz.

A Clay County Animal Care and Control report says complaints are repeatedly made against one dog owner on Gadara Road in Keystone Heights. The residents of the home did not answer their door or return calls to First Coast News. Their black, brown brindle Bulldog 'Dozer' was impounded Friday after Clay Animal Care and Control says it killed the St. Bernard.

Clay County Sheriff's Office reports show officers have responded to the Getz home five times, they usually collect data and documents and forward the investigation to Animal Control. Animal Control has responded nine times in the last year and left notices for the dog owner and one citation.

"They've been called and called and they haven't done anything," said Getz.

Clay Animal Care and Control says it cannot impound a dog once officers respond to find the dog is back on the owner's property. The incident with the chickens, they say, had no witnesses and they could not prove which dogs were involved in the attack.

The Getz say although the owner of the dog did apologize for the death of their family pet. They say they want the neighbor to either fix their fence or tie up their dogs just as they do for theirs on their own property.

"Today I wished I would have owned a gun because I probably would have got it and shot it to get it off my dog," added Getz.

Clay County Animal Care and Control is still investigating and could not say if there are any charges at this time.

First for you, Animal Control says if this is happening to you document the issues with pictures and video which will help during an investigation.

The owner of any dog picked up by Animal Control can be cited $25 to $50 for a reclaim flee, plus a daily fee of $15 for every day the dog is in Animal control custody.

Anyone needing to make a complaint that requires immediate assistance such as a contained animal, sick animal, cruelty or dog bite should call 904-269-6342 or 904-269-1047.


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