A 27-year-old Southbridge man was charged after two of his brother’s dogs bit three children in an accident Monday night in Southbridge.
Scott Shaffer, 27, of 17390 Sligo Loop, was charged with having no valid rabies certificate and released on a summons to appear in court in July, said 1st Sgt. Kim Chinn, police spokeswoman. Police are still investigating the incident.
However, the dogs belong to Shaffer’s brother, Matt Hogue, who was not home when the incident happened. Shaffer signed the dogs over to animal control and was charged with the crime, Hogue said.
The two dogs, a brown pit bull and a black and brown mutt, bit three children in two separate incidents in the Southbridge subdivision.
Two of the three children were taken to the hospital with minor injuries while the other child was treated on the scene and released, police said.
Hogue, though, felt that the two dogs, especially the pit bull, had to have been provoked to act how they did.
“We call the pit bull Dove because she’s so friendly,” Hogue said Wednesday. “She would never hurt anyone. When I heard that this happened I couldn’t believe that she could have done it.”
According to police reports, a 10-year-old and a 4-year-old were playing in the 17200 block of Wexford Loop when the dogs came up to them and attacked him.
The pit bull bit the 10-year-old on the leg, while the mutt bit the 4-year-old on the foot, before neighbors ran them off, police said.
The dogs then went to nearby Nugent Lane and the pit bull attacked another 10-year-old boy, who jumped on a car to defend himself. The dog jumped on the trunk and bit the boy on the leg.
Animal control officers then arrived and took the dogs into custody.
Hogue said the mutt, who is named Buddy, broke a gate in his family’s yard and ran off. He said the dog has done this in the past and the pit bull usually follows.
Hogue said he believed the pit bull possibly ran up to a person trying to be friendly and was hit. He cited a picture of the dog in Tuesday’s Potomac News where the dog’s right eye appeared swollen shut.
“I cannot believe this would happen,” Hogue said. “I don’t want people to think this is a typical violent pit bull attack. Something must have happened for these dogs to act how they did.”