CLARKSBURG, Md. - It's not uncommon to see neighborhood dogs walking off a leash, but the practice could be a deadly decision. A Maryland family is now mourning the loss of their longtime dog after an attack they believe was preventable. It all happened at a playground for children in Clarksburg.
"I love dogs and I think they are angels,” said Firooz Mizaffar. “That dog took my angel.”
His 9-year-old Chihuahua named Lucy was inseparable from his 3-year-old daughter and their other dog, a Doberman.
“Eleven days after we got married, it was her wedding gift I got [my wife] and since then every single day, [Lucy] was with us,” Mizaffar said.
Mizaffar said he took his dogs for a walk Friday morning. While on their walk, Mizaffar said an unleashed pit bull mix was running loose inside a playground. The pit bull mix escaped the playground and charged at Mizaffar’s leashed dogs, according to Mizaffar.
"I just went to grab the dog and then it came between my legs and ran and grabbed Lucy … broke the neck,” Mizaffar described. “Then I grab the dog and I was punching, punching and punching, let it go and I saw the blood was coming out of Lucy's eyes and mouth.”
Lucy was rushed back home as commotion and panic ensued inside. She did not make it.
The signs in the neighborhood are clear – all pets must be on a leash. But for Lucy, it was too late.
"They did not even one time apologize,” said Mizaffar about the owner of the pit bull. “They didn't say anything. They just offered to give me a ride to take the dog to the vet.”
No one answered the door when FOX 5 went to the home where the pit bull resides. Montgomery County said the dog was adopted from one of its shelters in Dec. 2015 and there had been no issues reported with the animal since then.
However, Mizaffar’s family said what happened to Lucy is a cautionary tale and an important reminder.
“If she had her dog on a leash, this wouldn't have happened,” Mizaffar said.
The pit bull mix is now in Montgomery County custody. It is being quarantined while the case is investigated and reviewed.
In Montgomery County, you can incur a $100 fine for having your dog unleashed for the first offense. It is a $500 fine for every subsequent violation.