This story contains graphic descriptions and imagery, which some may find disturbing.
A pit bull killed a dog and ripped off a woman’s fingertip in Lehigh Acres. The pit bull’s owner was walking her dog on a leash when a Bichon Frise escaped his house.
That’s when the dogs got in a fight.
Neighbors jumped in to help, but it took the pit bull’s owner and a hammer to finally get him to release the other dog.
It does not matter where you look on Colgate Avenue in Lehigh Acres. Dogs are a way of life.
“He was good. He loves to run in the yard. And I love to watch him because he had this prance about him,” said Judy Thackray, whose dog was killed in the fight.
Sometimes dogs can bark up the wrong tree.
It was late in the day on July 7 when Thackray’s Bichon Frise Baxter saw a neighbor and her dog, Eli, walking down the street.
Eli is a 90-pound pit bull.
“She was coming down the road with her pitbull. And I noticed Baxter running out,” said Thackray.
A fight broke out between the dogs in the middle of the street.
Holding back tears, Thackray recalled what happened.
“I came running out, and I started to hit to hit the pit bull as hard as I could,” said Thackray. “My dog was just tore up, his lungs are hanging out. Other organs were hanging out.”
Thackray tried so hard to get her dog away that she lost a part of a finger.
“He bit my finger. Her dog bit my finger off to there, to where to the tip of my finger,” said Thackray.
Thackray said she heard this, “The owner of the pit bull was saying, ‘just kill him, just kill him.’”
A neighbor grabbed his hammer and smashed Eli, the pit bull, over the head. The pit bull went unconscious.
Baxter, with his organs lying out on the street, died.
“I’m not doing very well. I’m very sad. You know, I can’t have children, and the dogs are my children. So it was like losing a child to me,” said Thackray.
WINK News was able to track down the pit bull’s owner to get their side of the story. She told a different story.
Marcy, the owner of the pit bull Eli, said she never yelled for someone to kill her dog to stop the attack. Instead, she said, “Punch him in the nose. Punch him in the nose!”
“I can’t even put my dog in my own yard,” said Marcy. “I honestly would like to replace her dog. It’s not a child. I’ve lost a child, and I know how that feels. And I know that baby was like one of her babies. I’m trying to find… I don’t have money for it. I’m gonna be honest with you. I really don’t.”
Marcy said Eli is now blind in his left eye after being hit over the head with the hammer.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Animal Task Force is investigating what happened but has not said if anyone will face charges.