Neighbors helpless as pit bull kills cat

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COAL TOWNSHIP – The owner of a pit bull that killed a cat Friday afternoon on a porch in the 1000 block of West Montgomery Street, despite efforts by neighbors to save the feline, will be cited for allowing her dog to run at large.

The unprovoked attack scared and outraged the cat’s owner and neighbors, who will have to wait until Monday for the dog to be removed from its home a block away.

Kristine Raser, 27, of 949 W. Montgomery St., Coal Township, about a block from where the attack occurred, will be cited by Patrolman Matthew Hashuga for violating a township ordinance in connection with the incident, which was reported to police at 12:05 p.m.

Richard Dilliplane, of 1033 W. Montgomery St., said a brown pit bull came onto his

porch and attacked and killed his pet cat, Smokey. Several neighbors witnessed the attack and attempted to intervene by striking the pit bull with the flat end of an ax and shooting at the dog. However, the dog continued its attack before fleeing with the cat’s remains toward a wooded area south of West Fern Street.

The cat was never found and is believed to have been eaten by the dog.

Friday evening, Raser contacted police and state dog officer Allen Fegley to inform them that she had the pit bull secured in a cage at her home, where the dog will remain until Monday when Fegley is scheduled to pick it up.

Dilliplane, who attempted to stop the dog from killing the 3-year-old male cat, was distraught about losing his pet, which he has owned since it was a kitten.

‘It was horrible’

On Saturday, Dilliplane didn’t care to say much about the incident except that he was glad to hear police were going to cite the dog’s owner.

Dilliplane’s sister, Susan Hughes, who lives with her brother and husband, William, stated, “I heard a thump and when I came outside onto the porch, I saw the dog with the cat in its mouth. I yelled for my brother to come out and he attempted to get the dog off the cat, but it was too late.”

Hughes, who just got home Friday from Sunbury Community Hospital after undergoing surgery, was transported back to the hospital by ambulance after collapsing shortly after the dog attack from stress and anxiety. She was back home again Saturday.

Tim and Cathy Neary, of 1028 W. Montgomery St., who witnessed the attack, said it wasn’t pretty.

“It was horrible,” said Mrs. Neary. “This is a quiet neighborhood to have something like that happen. I saw it from my window and started screaming to my husband to do something.”

Tim Neary said he grabbed the ax, ran across the street and hit the pit bull in the head, which stunned the dog and caused it to bleed.

“I wasn’t trying to kill the dog. I was just trying to save the cat,” he said. “But by the time it got off the cat, the cat was already dead. The dog ripped its guts right out. It wasn’t a pretty thing to see.”

The Nearys, who own a German shepherd-lab mix and a sheep dog-Great Dane mix, believe the pit bull isn’t being taken care of properly and can be very imposing when its free.

“There are kids in our neighborhood and having a dog run free like that is scary,” Cathy Neary said. “It already killed a cat. Thank God it didn’t attack any kids.”

‘In fear’ for weekend

Mrs. Neary said she was disturbed the dog couldn’t be removed by the state dog officer until Monday.

“I don’t like the way the situation was handled. We have to live in fear the whole weekend,” she said.

Michelle Pauzer, of 1034 W. Montgomery St., Coal Township, who did not witness the attack, was upset by the delay as well.

“I’d love to know why the dog warden didn’t take the dog because there have been reports that it is not secured in the cage and was out in the yard,” he said.

Pauzer said she heard reports that the dog attacked two other cats in the past, but she couldn’t confirm that information. Pauzer said she has not experienced any problems with the pit bull.

Gun confiscated

Another neighbor, who preferred not to be identified, said the dog approached her before mauling the cat.

“It was near me coming down the street, but then someone yelled and it took off, spotted the cat on the porch and killed it before running away with the remains of the cat in its mouth. I feel sorry for Mr. Dilliplane,” she said.

Neighbors said Nick Graboskie, of 1025 W. Montgomery St., initially used a pellet gun in an attempt to scare the dog off, but after that didn’t work, he retrieved a handgun and fired at the dog. Neighbors said they didn’t know if the dog was struck.

Graboskie, who was away for the weekend, was unavailable for comment. His gun was confiscated by police.

Neighbors commended Graboskie and Neary for their efforts to save the cat.

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