Animal control officers rescue mailman from menacing pit bull

From the Modesto Bee:

MODESTO — Animal control officers joined forces Saturday for a sweep through southwest Modesto, the neighborhood where Tuesday’s deadly mauling by a pack of roaming pit bulls occurred. But a 911 call reporting a vicious dog in the northern area interrupted the sweep, with police going to the aid of a mailman trapped in a pickup bed.

Saturday morning, a call of a vicious dog sent Officer John Bear, MPD animal control unit supervisor, north to Sharon Way near Prescott Road. Neighbors who asked to not be named said the black and white pit bull regularly charges children in the neighborhood. A young girl described it attacking a man walking his dog, but his dog fought the pit bull off. The dog bit her aunt riding in a wheelchair, the girl said.

On Saturday, the dog surprised mail carrier Michael Smith, who fended off the attack with his leather mail bag and jumped into the bed of a nearby pickup. Bear arrived to find the pit bull and a small Chihuahua running together through the neighborhood.

Bear told Michael Smith to stay put and went after the larger dog, hitting it center chest with a tranquilizer dart. The tranquilizer had little effect except to send the dog back to its apparently empty house, where it scratched on a closed door to no avail.

That allowed Bear to angle his truck against the open gate, blocking the dog in until he could use a stick to pull the gate shut. The dog stayed at the rear of the walled front yard until the home’s mail box rattled, when it flew at the wrought iron fence, snarling and barking.

Mail carrier Michael Smith, who still has visible bite marks from a dog attack on the next block two months ago, said he knows the dog. “He’s usually behind the gate, but he’s really aggressive,” he said as he resorted an armload of mail dropped when the dog lunged.

The home likely will lose its mail service for 30 days because of the incident, Bear said.

Read more: MODESTO: Animal control officers sweep for strays, rescue mailman from menacing pit bull | Local News | Modesto Bee.

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