Officials provide tips to protect people, pets in a dog attack - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Officials provide tips to protect people, pets in a dog attack

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COLONIE, N.Y. – Capital Region dog experts warn residents to take precautions during a dog attack after two dogs died in Colonie on Monday.

Colonie Police said a dog got loose on Nelson Avenue around 9:30 a.m. and mauled a neighbor's small dog while it was out for a walk.

"The dog had him in his mouth shaking him back and forth," Kevin Henault said.

Henault ran outside to find an American Bulldog mauling a smaller dog on a leash being walked by a neighbor. Henault said neighbors tried to break up the two dogs.

"Trying to get the dog away, throwing water on him, the hose, just everything, and it wouldn't work," he said.

The Watervliet Town Court Clerk said the dog had attacked a person in 2013. A city judge ordered the dog out of town and mandated the dog wear a muzzle and be fenced in.

"Then the dog finally did drop him," Henault described. "It was too late then."

According to Colonie Police, the aggressive dog jumped a fence, broke out of its muzzle and bit the smaller dog. An off-duty Albany police officer fired his gun to try and scare the dog away.

Kevin McDonough is the Animal Control Officer in Troy. He said dogs can be unpredictable.

"One minute they are great, and the next minute, you just never know," he said.

McDonough said similar situations may occur because more pets are outside due to the warmer weather, but a victim could be a person.

"Do anything you can to defend yourself," he urged. "Basically, get them off you."

But if a pet is being attacked, McDonough said to try and break up the dogs.

"Get something in between them to break it up," he advised. "A stick, anything. Anything that is available. Don't ever put your hands or feet in there, though."

McDonough also said to not run or back down.

"When you run, a dog will chase you," he said. "If he's coming at you, go back at him. And most of the time – not all the time – they will back down."

Troy has a dangerous dog law. If a dog attacks a person or companion animal, it can be put down. McDonough said to make sure your home and property is secure to prevent a possible dog attack.

"Bottom of the fences, tops of the fences, make sure they are high enough, so the dogs can't jump over," he said. "Anything, they can't dig underneath the fence, anything."

In addition, keep your dog on a leash, make sure the dog's shots are up to code and never walk your pet alone, McDonough said.

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