Dog attacked and killed by three other dogs in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)- A Gainesville pet owner is distraught after her dog was attacked and killed by three other dogs in her neighborhood.

Now, the owner of the dogs is apologizing.

The director Of Alachua County Animal Services says they've been called out to the residence before.

The owner of the dog that was attacked is heartbroken and explains why something needs to change in her Northwood Pines neighborhood.

"You know they say we pick our dogs when we adopt them, well she chose me,” Linda Swinburn of Gainesville, said as she recalled sweet memories of her dog, Bella.

Everyday with Bella brought a smile to Swinburn's face whether it was a play date or an evening walk

On Saturday, Bella's life was cut short."

"She was so innocent, and to be dragged like a doll,” Swinburn said.

Swinburn was walking Bella on her leash in the neighborhood when three of her neighbor's American Staffordshire Terriers approached them and attacked Bella.

"They just pulled her and I kept pulling her and pulling her back, they were just too strong,” Swinburn said.

Bella was rushed to the vet but unfortunately did not survive.

A TV20 reporter was able to interview the owner of the three terriers, Thomas Pettiford.

He says he is willing to pay for the vet bill and that his dogs got out of the house because his doorknob failed to latch.

"It was bad, my fault, won't happen again,” Pettiford said in an exclusive interview.

The director of Alachua County Animal Services says they are looking to take the three dogs from the owner to classify them as "aggressive".

“If the dogs were to get out and do something like this again, once classified as aggressive, it could mean criminal charges for the owner,” Ed Williams, with Alachua County Animal Services, said.

With bruised ribs, scrapes, and a broken finger from the incident Swinburn says she is disappointed in the lack of remorse from her neighbor.

She says her injuries are nothing compared to the feeling of her companion being gone forever.

The owner of the terriers old a TV20 reporter animal services will be back to his home on Tuesday to take one of the dogs.

He also says he relocated the other two dogs to Georgia.

We reached out to Alachua County Animal Services to find out what will happen with those dogs but have not received an update.