• Woman, service dog attacked by other dog; owner sorry

    By: Maria Guerrero

    Updated:
    A King County woman says she thought she was going to die when she and her service dog were attacked by a neighbor’s dog.
     
    The owner of that dog spoke with KIRO 7 News and was asked if he feels responsible for the attack.
     
    “Definitely to a point, yeah," said T.J. Moore of Maple Valley.
     
    Moore admits he made a mistake on May 30.
     
    "I started talking to my neighbor, I walked over there and somehow my door didn't get shut or something," he said.
     
    He says his dog, Eddie, a pit bull/boxer/mastiff mix ran out of the house, toward Witt Road Southeast right into Heather Acker and her pit bull named Brindle.
     
    "I was terrified,” said Acker. “I literally thought that like we were going to die."
     
    Acker showed KIRO 7 injuries she says she and her dog suffered while simply trying to cross the road.
     
    "The dog ran for him, bit [Brindle] twice, flipped him upside down," she said. “When he bit my hand it went so deep all the way down to the bone, it has a bone spur."
     
    She says Brindle is her service dog for anxiety.
     
    She’s had him for three years and says her dog did not provoke the attack.
     
    “If he would've died I would lose it," she said tearing up.
     
    We asked Seattle attorney Tom Budinich at Bernard Law Group about dog owner liability in Washington.
     
    “If you're bitten by a dog you're entitled to be paid for your pain and suffering, for your medical bills, any wage loss," said Budinich. "Challenges can be finding the owner of the dog and finding recoverable assets against the dog owner." 
     
    Acker, a mechanic, says she can't work because of the injuries to her hand.
     
    She expects doctor and vet bills in the thousands of dollars.
     
    She’s also worried about the dog attacking children in the area.
     
    “It could’ve mauled a 2-year-old,” she said. “That’s the only thing that worries me.”
     
    Moore insists the dog has never bitten anyone.
     
    “He’s very friendly,” he said. “I’ve got a 13-year-old daughter and all of her friends come over.”
     
    Asked if he is willing to pay for Ackers medical bills, Moore said “I mean I want to help."
     
    In the meantime, Moore said his dog was ordered to be quarantined inside of his house by King County Animal Control.
     
    He also added a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign on his house after the attack and wanted to say this to Acker:
     
    “I'm truly sorry. I mean, I do want to make things right."
     
    Acker said she intends to look into possible filing a lawsuit to cover medical costs.
     
    She will need surgery on her hand.
     
    But the pit bull owner was clear, she does not want the other pit-bull mix to be euthanized.
     

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