A pack of four vicious pit bulls has been terrorizing Gift Hill residents for the past few months, and with three pet cats killed in the past two weeks alone, residents are now worried about the safety of children in the neighborhood.
Although the owner of the pack of dogs has been instructed to keep her three brindle pit bulls and one black and white pit bull on leashes, neighbors are not relieved.
“We have more than 100 children over there at Bellevue Village and even more at the Gifft Hill School,” said a neighbor who watched the dogs kill her cat. “These dogs are killers — they have blood in their mouths. They should be put down, period.”
“Going for Blood”
“They are going to go for blood again,” said the long time Gift Hill resident, who wished to not be identified. “They have been terrorizing the neighborhood.”
The dogs seem to be getting even more violent, according to another neighbor whose cat was a victim of the pack.
“It’s heartbreaking and it’s escalating,” said the Gift Hill resident, who also wished to not be identified. “They haven’t attacked a person yet, but they went after an adult male neighbor who was walking down the street the other morning. They circled him, but luckily he was able to fight them off.”
“Their territory seems to be escalating and we are all really worried about the kids,” the neighbor continued. “There are children all over and especially at that hour in the morning when they are at the bus stop by Bellevue.”
While officials at the Animal Care Center are aware of the situation, they do not have the jurisdiction to take action, according to ACC director Connie Joseph.
“We are just a shelter to pick up unwanted animals,” said Joseph. “We can check things out but we have no jurisdiction to take animals. The police must do that.”
Neighbors say they have made numerous reports with the V.I. Police Department, and were pleased with the officers’ response.
“The police did come out and they canvassed the neighborhood looking for the dogs,” said a Gift Hill resident. “Their response was very good, but I do think something more needs to be done.”
Despite the lack of authority in the matter, Joseph was able to contact the pit bulls’ owner and request she keep her dogs on a leash, the ACC director explained.
“I found the owner and spoke to her about keeping her dogs on a leash,” said Joseph. “Right now it’s up in the air to see if the owner keeps her end of the bargain. If anyone sees them loose from now on, I’ll get the police and the vet and go up there and put them down.”
While the V.I. Senate last year passed legislation outlawing animal abuse and holding owners responsible for their pets’ actions, there is still a reluctance to act when it comes to vicious animals.
“No one follows through with these things,” said Joseph. “Everyone likes to pass the buck. We do what we can do, but the police have to do something in this case.”