Breeder's dogs put down after two kill neighbor

Thirty three Rottweilers seized from a Saint Clair County home will be euthanized after two of the animals wrongful death an 82 year-old neighbor last month. Police and animal control officers sent out to collect the dogs say they were met with fierce lunging and barking as the Rotweilers tried to break out of their cages and attack. The county prosecutor asked a court to order the dogs destruction because, "they were raised in an environment that created basically a murder weapon."

The story of the victim's death is heartrending. The elderly man was brought down by two of the dogs and viciously mauled as he went to get his mail. One witness said the man's legs were "shredded down to the bone." His wife found him, still clinging to life, but he died within minutes. Police shot the two Rotweilers that attacked him.

The owners haven't said anything in public yet but they have been ordered into court later this month for a hearing on whether they will have to pay the estimated $4,000 it cost to take care of the dogs. Meanwhile, the prosecutor's office continues to investigate and may bring the case before a grand jury. News reports say the dogs regularly escaped from their owner's yard and roamed the local streets. The victim's wife thinks a couple of them nudged her husband as he walked to the mailbox, wanting to play. He may have used his walking stick to shoo them off but then, "they just got excited." When the animals knocked him down, she said, "he probably tried to fight them off with that walking stick and they attacked." She knelt down next to her dying husband. "He looked up at me," she said, "and he knew I was there with him."

Source: Birmingham News, "33 dogs ordered put to death after fatal attack on Leeds man," Mike Cason, Oct. 2, 2012

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