4By Heidi Bunch and Sheri Samson

Charges are pending for two pit bull owners in Mineral County after calls to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) were received.

A 911 call was placed to MCSO regarding a two dogs verses a single, tethered dog at Walker Lake.

The caller stated that he heard laughing from children in the lot beside their home, in the early evening of Monday, March 16.

The caller told the Independent-News, “In a matter of minutes it [laughing] changed to screaming and chaos, enough that I thought they [the children] were being attacked.”

The caller’s husband retrieved a pistol to save the screaming children to find out that two pit bulls were attacking the neighbor’s Labrador Retriever, Blackie.

Tethered at his residence, Blackie, was pinned to the ground while one grey pregnant female and brown/white male pit bull attacked.

Firing a round at the attacking dogs, the brown/white male was struck running around the side of the home, where he later died. The female ran off.

In speaking to the sheriff, he stated it was legally determined that the shooting was appropriate in protecting the tethered dog.

Suffering from extreme wounds, Blackie was taken to Lahontan Valley Veterinary in Fallon and treated for puncture wounds around the ears and center of the chest. He would receive 20 stitches, drain tubes, pain medication and antibiotics.

The families of the dogs met to come to an agreement and Blackie’s owner Vearl Lehre stated to Independent-News employee, Sheri Samson, “Her pregnant dog [grey pit bull] was given back to her and she’s had two puppies. This wasn’t the dogs fault and I don’t mind that the puppies were born and nursed for eight weeks until they can be weaned off, but after that I let her know that dog cannot stay around here – it has to go. I don’t think it can be trusted again. We also made it clear that all out of pocket costs must be made by her, as the dog owner.”

Currently the female pit has been returned to its owner.

One week later, on March 23, the MCSO received another 911 call from an upset citizen stating that a dog tried attacking her outside of her residence located in the 200 block of C Street in Hawthorne.

When the MCSO deputy arrived, a brown colored pit bull charged him. Fearing that the dog was going to bite, he fired two rounds at the dog with his service pistol.

The animal retreated then charged the deputy once again.

The deputy fired one more round, striking the dog in the right shoulder area.

A backup deputy arrived to find that the injured dog had jumped the fence into the yard of its owners. The dog was taken to Fallon for veterinary care of its injury.

The owner of said dog had been previously cited on Feb. 5, 2015 for dog at large and had another pit bull shot in the past by a parole and probation officer during a home visit.

Nevada law states that animal control was within legal rights to return the dog[s] to their owners as the law states two aggressive incidents are allowed within 18 months.

Local dog owner and canine specialist, Pat McKay of Walker Lake stated, “Responsible ownership of a pit bull or any potentially aggressive dog requires proper care, socialization and a secure, well-maintained fencing to allow exercise and movement. They need to be walked on a leash and always owner-controlled, without exception.”

According to statements by Sheriff Randy Adams, “Charges are pending for the owners of the animals pending review by the District Attorney.”