Local

Shih Tzu Dies After Encounter With Neighbor’s Pit Bull

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

John Shumway John Shumway
John Shumway joined KDKA-TV in October 1988 as a General Assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Angry residents of Carrick gathered on Alries Street today in what they described as a rally for Isabella.

Isabella was a Shih Tzu that belonged to their neighbor Al Gallagher, but let’s go back to where this story begins.

It’s Memorial Day Eve and the Gallagher family is returning to their Carrick home after enjoying a pig roast with friends.

As they are approaching home on Brownsville Road, they see their Rothweiler Sasha running loose down the street.

They stop and get Sasha in the car anxious to get home and figure out what happened.

The Gallagher’s arrived to a bloody scene in their home with their 12-year-old Pit Bull holding down the neighbor’s small Pit Bull on the floor.

Al Gallagher believes the neighbor’s dog named Mister had gotten loose and come across the street to his home.

It was hot that day and the Gallagher’s had left their storm windows open so their five dogs could get air through the screen windows.

Gallagher says Mister jumped on the couch on his front porch and launched himself through the screen and into his living room.

Bill Johnson who owns Mister says once inside the young Pit Bull found itself in a five on one fight.

Isabella got the worst of it and died seven days later, only one dog came out unscathed (Herman hid under a bed). The rest were cut up or nicked to varying degrees.

Johnson believes someone in the Gallagher household let his dog in the house. Al Gallagher says that’s not possible because they were all together.

Gallagher and the people who live on Alries claim Mister has been involved in another incident in another part of Pittsburgh, but Pittsburgh Animal Control says there is no record of the dog being involved in any other incidents.

Bill Johnson says Mister has been sold to a friend who has taken the dog to Florida. Johnson has been cited for not having proof of rabies vaccines for his two dogs, letting Mister run loose, and having a dangerous dog.

A judge will decide whether Mister should be classified as “dangerous” and if that happens Florida authorities will be notified.

Al Gallagher who gets choked up every time he sees a picture of Isabella says not only has he lost one of his dogs, his family is out almost $5,000 in medical bills for the dogs as a result of the attack.

Animal Control Director Gerald Akrie says while unusual it is far from unique that a dog would go through a screen window – going in or coming out – to get to another animal or a human.

Akrie says he’s even seen a dog knock an air conditioning unit out of window to get to something outside.

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