Blanchard man recovering from pit bull attack

Published: Apr. 18, 2011 at 11:26 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2011 at 11:25 AM CDT
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By Tracy Clemons - bio|email

BLANCHARD, LA (KSLA)- A Blanchard man is in a hospital recovering after he was attacked by two pit bulls while walking his dog. The attack happened on Roy Road just off of Highway One.

Philip Tatum tells KSLA News 12 he was walking his dog along the street, like he and his family did on a regular basis, when the pit bulls somehow got out of a yard, and attacked his dog.

"One of the pit bulls stuck its head out of the fence. We turned was in five seconds those dogs were on us," says Tatum.

He says they went after his Bichon Frise Cotton.

"The black pit attacked Cotton. I think he got him in the stomach area."

Tatum pried the dog's mouth open and got cotton out. His daughter was there and took Cotton into the gym next door.

"While that happened, the black pit turned his aggressiveness toward my arm. He clamped down on my arm. I couldn't get him off."

Cotton died at the vet's office Thursday morning. Today, Tatum counts his blessings that it wasn't his wife or daughter.

"If it would have been Jackie or Crystal, I would be making funeral arrangements for either one of them right now."

He's now in the hospital getting treatment for an infection presumably caused by the attack. He wants all pet owners to take a close look at their yards and their homes.

"You're going to have to make sure that you have control measures in place to insure that not only is your dog safe from the public, but more importantly, the public is safe from your dog."

Caddo Parish Animal Control explains what all dog owners must have in place- "Dog owners are responsible for rabies vaccinations, proper enclosures that consist of a minimum four foot fence all the way around the yard. Food, water, shelter," says Andy Seltz.

One dog trainer we talked to says she would have probably done the same thing, that Tatum did, even though it breaks a golden rule.

"We are told always, and we tell people at our obedience club do not try to break up a dog fight," says Joan Lowrey.

Lowrey tells us there are a few ways to break one up without putting yourself at risk.

"If you have water handy, either spray them with water hose, or you can throw wet towels to try to help break up the fight. But you should never try to reach in between whatever size dog.

After the attack Philip Tatum choked the main attacking dog to death, and the other pit bull was put down later in the week.

The owner of the pit bulls did not want to speak on camera, but tells KSLA News 12 that both families are agonizing over the incident because in all, three family pets have been lost.

Joan Lowrey, adds that every dog owner should consider obedience training to minimize the risk of these types of incidents no matter what the breed.

We've attached the entire interview with Tatum.

And you can check out the link below to get tips for dog owners.

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