Woman Fights for Dog in Court, Neighbor Says the Dog is Dangerous

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY -- Helen Brackenridge was reduced to tears as she told WHSV how important Oz, her pitbull, was to her autistic son. She said Oz is therapeutic, but Brenda Snell, her neighbor, said the dog is dangerous.

“We were in here watching TV and my grandson came down the hall there and hollered, 'Something's after Buster.' Dennis jumped up and ran out the front door, and I ran out the back and the dog had him again,” said Snell.

A member of Augusta County Animal Control said they have responded twice for calls about Oz attacking Buster, Snell's dog. Buster was a 16-year-old Eskimo Spitz, who couldn't escape because of an underground electric fence. Oz has been in the custody of animal control since the incident.

The first attack left Buster seriously injured and the second call was even worse.

“By the time I got out there, he done pulled him out almost at the end of the porch right there. About the time of that, I knew Buster was gone.”

Snell says broom handles and metal poles wouldn't get Oz to stop attacking Buster.

“I kept telling him to leave him alone and he wouldn't do it. About that time I just took the pole and hit on porch down there. And when I hit, the dog growled. I thought he was going to bite me.”

Helen Brackenridge said her dog has been known to help other neighbors out and is very kind to not only her son, but to her neighbor's grand kids.

“I think that they're trying to give my dog, or pit bulls in general, a bad name. They are not bad dogs, or a bad breed. It's all about the owner and the handler and how they were raised,” said Brackenridge.

Snell said she can't understand why anyone would want a dog back and around children after how viciously she said it killed Buster.

Another hearing for the case is scheduled for March 14th.

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