Pit Bull Owner Speaks Out Following Death of Louisa County K-9 - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Owner of Pit Bull Speaks Out Following Death of Louisa County K-9

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The owner of the pit bull that killed a Louisa County Sheriff's Office K-9 says his dog was only trying to protect his property.

Alfred Bennett, the owner of 4-year-old Coco, says his dog is not vicious or dangerous, and he's worried about what will happen to his pet next and whether he could face criminal charges. If the sheriff's office has it their way, the dog will be declared vicious and could be put down for taking the life of one of their officers.

Bennett misses Coco, taken by animal control officers from his house, and put behind bars at the Louisa County Animal Shelter. "Coco is a very good dog, He doesn't bite anybody, We've never had any problems out of him.  I'm thinking I might never see my dog again," said Bennett.

Coco broke free from a brand new harness, snapping the chain, and attacked Sheriff's Office K-9 Maggie. "It was a strange animal to him. It was on his territory," explained Bennett.

Sheriff's deputies and Maggie were out in a field off Courthouse Road trying to track a suicidal man. It was 2:00 a.m. Saturday and the field was pitch black. They say the pit bull came out of nowhere, knocking Maggie over and biting her several times.

"It took two deputies to pull the pit bull off," explained Major Don Lowe of the Louisa County Sheriff's Office. Maggie's handler, Lieutenant Patrick Sheridan, said that his four-legged crime-fighting partner suffered puncture wounds, tissue and muscle damage.

The six -year veteran of the force died Monday of an infection brought on by Coco's bites. "It's just like losing an officer," said Lowe.

On his first night in the shelter, Coco chewed through a cage. Now, the sheriff's office plans to petition a judge to declare the pit bull "vicious".

Lowe said, "If the dog was capable of doing this and has shown a history of doing this, then it's very capable of doing this again."

Bennett has expressed his sincerest apologies to Lieutenant Sheridan and the sheriff's office as they mourn Maggie. "It's just unfortunate. Words can't express how I feel," he said.

But now, Bennett is left pleading to have the pet he loves returned, before it's too late. "The only thing I've been told is that I'm either going to jail or they're going to euthanize my dog," he said.

The sheriff's office says this is a case of irresponsible pet ownership. Bennett admits, deputies picked up Coco one other time for roaming free.

The sheriff's office is currently planning a memorial service for Maggie.

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