A pit bull will be euthanized after two men, including one from Tewksbury, were injured attempting to break up a fight between their dogs Saturday on Main Street.
According to police, the Tewksbury resident was walking his dog around Silver Lake when a pit bull broke free of its chain and began attacking his dog. The man was transported with significant but non-life threatening injuries to his head and neck, suffered while trying to stop the fight.
The owner of the pit bull also sustained injuries while trying to break up the dog fight.
Wilmington Animal Control Officer Ellen Sawyer said the injuries to each man came from his own dog as they tried to break up the pair.
“He knew enough not to get in the middle, but when you hear your dog crying and see it in distress, it’s hard not to get involved,” said Sawyer. “The dog doesn’t know the difference between you and who it’s trying to fight. Whoever tries to break up the fight often gets bitten, which is why we suggest never getting involved.”
Sawyer said the pit bull was involved in several other incidents with animals in the past. Following Saturday’s attack, it was set to be quarantined for 10 days.
However, the dog’s owner agreed instead to have the dog euthanized to prevent another violent incident from happening.
“I normally side with what’s best for the dog, but a lot of it has to do with public safety,” said Sawyer. “I just don’t want to see this happen again.”
The second dog, a lab mix, is expected to survive the attack. It was transported to a nearby veterinarian with some scratches on its face.
Sawyer said Wilmington has not seen many pit bull attacks in recent years, though there was one several years back on Salem Street. The breed of dog has received national attention as some communities have gone as far as banning residents from owning them.
Despite Saturday’s incident, Sawyer said she would not like to see a similar ban in Wilmington. The Animal Control Officer said that while many pit bulls are aggressive, there are some she’s seen that are good-natured.
Police said they do not believe any charges will be brought against the pit bull’s owner.
“Especially where the dog lived right on Main Street and right near the lake where many people walk, it is in the best interest of the public,” said Sawyer. “I feel bad for the dog, and I feel bad for the owner, but I believe it was the right decision.”