WESTFIELD, NJ — Nancy Rubin, who lives in Garwood near the Westfield border, worries for the safety of children in her neighborhood after her 8-year-old Bichon, Lucky, was violently attacked by two pit bulls near her home.
Rubin had just left the Village at Garwood senior housing with her dog at about 6 p.m. Saturday, July 22, when said she she spotted man walking to pit bulls. Lucky spotted them, too, and pulled on his leash to cross the street to the dogs.
“I don’t know what happened after that,” Rubin said. “He broke away from me and he crossed the street. He pulled the leash right out of my hand. I was thinking that when I saw the pit bulls I should have held the leash tighter.”
Rubin said that both of the pit bulls also broke free of their owner and began to attack 10-pound Lucky. Their owner worked to get them off of Lucky, she said, but she was too afraid.
“I thought they would either maul me to death or I would wind up in the hospital,” she said. “My dog was half alive and half dead when he gave him back to me.”
Her vet later advised her to “do the humane thing” and put Lucky down, she said.
During the attack, Rubin said she heard a neighbor scream at the man that this was the second time this had happened.
“This is the second incident involving these dogs,” Garwood Police Chief James Wright said. “The first was in March. Both incidents were reported to the Westfield Board of Health, who forwarded it to Animal Control. It’s an ongoing investigation with the agency.”
The police reports for both incidents were not immediately available. Wright said that the pit bulls were licensed and were being walked on leashes, and he denied a rumor that their owner was a police officer. He could not say what will happen for the dogs or their owner.
“It is an ongoing investigation. When I get a recommendation from Animal Control, we’ll take action on that,” he said.
Lucky was Rubin’s registered comfort dog.
“He was my life. The best, best friend. The best companion,” Rubin said. “The police said it was my fault because my dog broke away from me. I feel that he should have been able to control his dogs … I’m worried about the next little baby or little kid who goes over to these dogs.”
Additional reporting by Leah Scalzadonna.