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Neighborhood Stray Dogs A Concern After 3 Pit Bulls Attack

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - A Fort Worth neighborhood is stressing its concerns about stray dogs after a vicious dog attack.

Early Tuesday morning a father and daughter were mauled by three pit bulls. As the attack happened police were called. Officers from the Fort Worth Police Department arrived and ended up shooting and killing the dogs.

The incident happened in the 3300 block of N. Crump Street.

As of Tuesday afternoon animal control was still trying to determine of the dogs that attacked the family were stray – all of the animals were pit bulls.

When the first police officer arrived at the scene he found the dogs on the other side of a fence attacking the father and daughter. At one point the dogs even went after the officer.

George Torres heard screams and barking. By the time he went outside he says his neighbor was on the ground in his backyard. "He was just lying right there," Torres said pointing. "He couldn't move, just paralyzed -- the dogs were getting his hands."

According to Torres, his neighbor Ignacio Meza had bites on his body, arms, legs and face. Meza's 26-year-old daughter was also attacked -- but not as severely.

"When I came outside, trying to jump in on the fight, the dog… I just saw the black dog coming at me and closed the door," recalled Torres.

Aracely Maldonado also witnesses the attack. "I was like really scared, like 'oh my God somebody help him.'"

Police officers ended up shooting the dogs several times. Two died immediately. A few hours later the third was found dead several blocks from where the attack happened.

Fort Worth code compliance director Brandon Bennett speculated about the attack. "These were animals that had recently gotten out of their enclosure or were let out of their enclosure or some other circumstance," he said.

The attack happened just after Midnight and animal control officers were out again in the area later in the day, picking up another stray pit bull. Just to be safe they tranquilized the dog before picking it up.

According to city officials the number of stray dogs roaming the neighborhood, in the northern part of the city, are alarming.

The 76106 and 76164 zip codes have had dozens of animals loose every month. In September there were 69 strays picked up in the area. In October there were 81, and just last month some 70 animals were picked up.

Bennett said the situation is, "…very frustrating for the city and extremely frustrating for the residents."

Ultimately Bennett said the responsibility falls on the human. "There are animals for which there was an irresponsible owner out there, that either didn't properly enclose them or didn't give them the proper care and treatment."

The remains of all the dogs involved in the attack are being tested for rabies.

Meanwhile, Ignacio Meza and his daughter remain hospitalized. Sources tell CBS 11 News Ignacio is in serious condition and his daughter is doing much better.

The Meza family had been out looking for their missing dog when the attack happened. They still haven't found their pet.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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