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A Waddy resident has come forward to claim the dog confiscated last week in connection with some animal attacks.
However, officials at the Shelby County Animal Shelter refuse to release her dog, the owner said.
“They say they won’t let me have him until they are sure he is not the dog they’re looking for,” said Brenda Tillett of Waddy.
The pit bull is a suspect in animal mutilations that killed several animals in late November and early December and ripped off a cow’s ears as recently as Jan. 6.
Tillett said her pit bull, “Wacko,” whom she acquired from a rescue organization two years ago, is gentle and would not harm anyone.
“He could not be the dog that did all that last year, because he was chained up when that happened,” Tillett said, referring to attacks on livestock that resulted in goats being euthanized.
Animal Control Director Rusty Newton said the attack last Thursday on Speckles, a small, elderly dog, occurred in the yard of its owners, Robert and Elizabeth Tipton. Just before that, a pit bull was seen attacking horses at a barn a short distance away.
The dog was saved from injury by two sisters, who beat the attacking pit bull with a pipe to make it let go of Speckles, something that Tillett said was unmerited.
“Everybody knows that dog [Speckles] is loose all the time,” she said. “Those girls beat Wacko and tried to run a stick down his throat.”
The Tipton sisters were said to have jammed a stick into the pit bull’s mouth to get it to let go of Speckles.
Tillett said “Wacko” was not running loose that day, because he had been stolen the previous evening.
“The night before, we saw a mysterious car in the driveway, but we thought it was just somebody turning around,” she said.
The next morning, Wacko was gone, she said.
She said her 10-year-old daughter is inconsolable over the loss of the pit bull.
“She can’t understand why her dog can’t come home,” Tillett said.
Do authorities think Wacko is responsible for the previous carnage that had the entire community near panic?
Newton said that at this time he only could say that it’s possible.
“I don’t want everybody to jump to conclusions yet,” he said, adding that all is known at this point is that the pit bull did attack the horses and Speckles.
His plan right now is to keep the dog confined for a while and see if the attacks stop or if they continue.
“But that’s not necessarily conclusive either,” he said. “The attack in January was a month after the other attacks.”
Newton said the animal has not shown any aggression toward the animal shelter employees.
He added that Tillett lives on Hickory Ridge, which is just a short distance away from Kings Highway.