Yet another story from last week:
Pit bull kills Yorkie at store
It took just one bite, and Pastina was dead.
Pastina, a Yorkshire terrier puppy owned for two weeks by Sue Belmonte, was lounging at Belmonte?s feet April 26 while the duo waited in line at a veterinary clinic inside the Arlington Heights PetSmart.
Dakota, an American Staffordshire Terrier, or pit bull, also was waiting.
According to the Arlington Heights animal warden?s report, Dakota?s owner was handing his leash over to a store employee and the pit bull got loose in the transfer. And immediately, Belmonte said, he made a beeline for Pastina.
?He just grabbed my dog in his mouth,? she said. And the little dog was dead.
Dakota?s owner was apologetic but told Belmonte she couldn?t afford to replace Pastina.
When the managers at PetSmart told her they also were not liable, Belmonte wrote to corporate headquarters.
A week later, on Tuesday, Belmonte said the PetSmart company called her and offered to pay $1,200 for the identical Pastina II she had just purchased. They added, she said, that they would not take responsibility for the incident.
?I?m not aware of anything like this having occurred before,? said Jennifer Pflugfelder, a spokeswoman for PetSmart. ?We?re just sad for (Belmonte) and just want to help her out.?
Arlington Heights police Sgt. Jerry Lehnert said Dakota?s owner was not ticketed because the dog had received all the appropriate shots.
?The dog just has to be observed by the dog owner,? Lehnert said. ?It?s an issue between the PetSmart people and the dog owners.?
Belmonte said she did not request Dakota be destroyed but wanted to warn other customers.
Pflugfelder agrees the incident is a good reminder to all pet owners to take care that their animals are on a leash any time they?re out in public.
PetSmart in Schaumburg had to deal with a similar incident in 2001, when a pit bull attacked a Labrador in the parking lot.
The Labrador?s owner, Kathryn Ruins, asked PetSmart to ban certain types of dogs, require them to wear muzzles or no longer allow pets in the store.
PetSmart corporate officials said they would not change their policy as long as dogs were kept on leashes and watched over by their owners. Pflugfelder said the policy is clearly posted at all their stores.