PORT TOWNSEND — A Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy is recovering from an attack by two pit bull dogs, one of which died after it was shot by his partner.
Sergeant Brett Anglin and Deputy Art Frank were called to a house Jan. 2 after a person there had made 18 calls that day to the county 9-1-1 dispatch center.
“The person was very paranoid, advising us he was coming down from methamphetamine,” Anglin said.
“We went there to intervene and take him to the hospital because it was obvious he was having some psychological problems.”
Anglin said it was the second time that deputies had gone to the house that day; both times, Frank went to the house. The dogs were reported to be outside circling, but were not considered to be a danger.
“When we were approaching the front door at around 5 p.m., the person called 9-1-1 again and said there were more people out in the woods,” Anglin said.
“That wasn’t true because we were there watching the area.”
As the man opened the door, two pit bulls raced out and went straight for Frank, Anglin said.
“Both dogs were jumping up towards his face and hands,” he said. “It became obvious they were attacking him, and they got hold of each of his hands.
“I approached them and when they saw me, they took off running.”
He said Frank’s hands were bleeding badly and his wounds needed immediate attention.
“We tried to get back to the car to get some gauze to stop the bleeding,” Anglin said. “I continually yelled at who I thought was the owner to get his dogs under control. We were able to get to the car and start first aid.
“When Deputy Frank was at the car, the dogs were crouched together by a bus parked nearby,” Anglin continued. “One of the dogs started growling at me. That’s when I shot the one dog. The other animal took off running and I never saw it again.”
Anglin said the shot stopped the dog from attacking him.
‘’I’ve done this job for 18 years and that’s the first dog I’ve ever had to shoot,” Anglin said.”Normally you can be calm around them and they will go away, but these two were obviously attacking.
“Deputy Frank and I are not small people, and we’re big targets for two dogs to take on.”
The animals’ owner, who was not at the home, was identified as a female acquaintance of the man who had called deputies to the house.
The dog was taken to a veterinarian in Poulsbo and was later discharged to go home. The owner took both dogs to the Jefferson County Humane Society shelter as dangerous dogs.
Later, the owner told the sheriff’s office that the dog that had been shot had died.
Deputies returned to the house later that evening and took the man to a hospital for treatment.
Sheriff Joe Nole said the owner has been cooperative, citing the taking of the dogs to the humane society.
“Part of this was that the the man’s demeanor elevated the dogs’ behavior and precipitated the attack,” Nole said.
He said it is important to keep animals under control.
“It could have been anyone coming to the house, a neighbor for example,” he said. “None of us want to have to shoot a dog.”
Frank, the former undersheriff — a position that has been eliminated — was back on the job after a few days of light duty.
“I still have my hands,” Frank said. “I had lots of stitches, but no tendon damage. The dogs’ teeth just pulled the skin all the way back. Yes, just stitches on both hands, but no motor function issues.”
And, he said he got another tetanus shot.
“I still can’t play the piano, but then, I never could,” he said.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at email@example.com.