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Dog attacks walkers; one hospitalized

Jul 6, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

A Thursday morning incident on West Bend Avenue in Riverton resulted in a dead dog and an injured woman being taken to the hospital.

RPD Capt. Eric Murphy said the incident happened at about 7 a.m. Thursday, when two women walking in the neighborhood encountered two pit bulls.

The dogs were "out running in the neighborhood," he said.

The male dog attacked one of the women, 48 years old, biting her right elbow and leg and breaking her left elbow. She required transport to Riverton Memorial Hospital. The second woman was uninjured, Murphy said.

The female pit bull was not involved in the attack.

"From what the witnesses said, the aggressor was the male pit bull, and the female did not participate," Murphy said.

He said the aggressive dog, owned by Spencer Piplica, 22, of Riverton, had the victim down on the ground at one point, and her friend was able to get her back on her feet and behind a Dumpster. The friend grabbed items from the trash container and was able to fend off the attack, Murphy added.

He said a neighbor heard the women's screams for help and came outside his house to assist.

The dog reportedly turned on the neighbor and came after him in an aggressive manner. Murphy said the man shot the dog in the shoulder with a .44 magnum using birdshot.

"The dog ran off to another yard and laid down. We got there and called a vet to come up and put him down," Murphy said.

The female pit bull was taken to the PAWS animal shelter.

He said the dogs have separate owners who were attempting to breed the two. Piplica cited for a dog at large and for keeping a vicious animal.

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