A stray pit bull stormed into a Winnetka woman's kitchen Tuesday morning and attacked her golden retriever as she hurriedly moved two small children from the room.
Jennifer Armijo frantically called Los Angeles police, who then summoned an animal control officer who tranquilized the attacking dog and impounded it.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday April 23, 1992 Valley Edition Metro Part B Page 4 Column 1 Zones Desk 2 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Pit bull attack--A story in Wednesday's Times about a pit bull attack in Winnetka inaccurately reported the relationship of Los Angeles Animal Regulation Officer Dennis Kroeplin and Martha Bumgardner, who owns a golden retriever attacked by the pit bull. Kroeplin does not live with Bumgardner.
Anthony Perez of Canoga Park, owner of the pit bull, stopped outside the Armijo home as he searched for his stray dog and was arrested on unrelated outstanding warrants, police said.
Armijo, who lives with a friend in the 19900 block of Covello Street, said she was caring for five children for friends when she heard her golden retriever and her friend's cocker spaniel barking in the back yard about 10:15 a.m.
She looked out and saw a pale-colored pit bull nudging open the gate, which was held shut by a brick.
Her friend's 6-year-old son opened the kitchen door and the pit bull chased the golden retriever into the kitchen, where a 3-year-old girl was playing. "I heard the pit bull growl, so I grabbed the 6-year-old and as I picked up the 3-year-old, the dogs started attacking," Armijo said.
The children were unharmed, but the pit bull chased the retriever under the house and began repeatedly biting it, she said.
Police officers arrived and tried unsuccessfully to separate the dogs by spraying them with a fire extinguisher, police said. They called Animal Control Officer Dennis Kroeplin, who fired a tranquilizer dart at the pit bull, but it bounced off, Kroeplin said.
Not knowing if the dog had absorbed any of the drug, Kroeplin crawled under the house and dragged the pit bull out with a noose attached to the end of a long metal pole, he said.
The attacking canine was taken to the West Valley Animal Control Center in Chatsworth, where it will be impounded until a hearing before an examiner--which could take place in a month--to determine whether it will be put to death. Kroeplin took Armijo's retriever to a veterinarian, who treated the dog for missing teeth and cuts on the head, ears, mouth and legs.
Martha Bumgardner, the woman Kroeplin lives with, said she had seen the dog in the neighborhood and that it had barged into her back yard but had never attacked.
"It could have been a kid," Armijo said. "There would be no way we could pull the dog off a child if that had happened."