Pit bull owner who claimed chihuahua attacked first is cited

Norman Hanley helps his "best friend" Snowball make her way to her food dish after he says a neighbor's pit bull attacked her. (KOIN 6 News, June 2, 2013)
Norman Hanley helps his "best friend" Snowball make her way to her food dish after he says a neighbor's pit bull attacked her. (KOIN 6 News, June 2, 2013)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The owner of a pit bull involved in a fight with a chihuahua in Southeast Portland May 29 is being fined.

The woman, who refused to go on camera with KOIN 6 News, claimed June 3 that “The little dog came running after my big dog.”

As of Wednesday, Multnomah County Animal Services wrapped up its investigation into the attack. And it has ruled that the pit bull owner failed to “comply with conditions for keeping a potentially dangerous dog.”

The dog’s owner was given three notices of infraction, along with potential fines of up to $475, said Mike Oswald with Multnomah County Animal Services.

KOIN 6 News brought you the story of Snowball as the chihauhua’s owner, strapped for funds, tried to save her life — and the life of her puppies — following that attack. She was hurt when the pit bull got loose from a leash, said Snowball’s owner Norman Hanley.

“All of a sudden, I heard this guy hollering ‘No, no, no,” he told KOIN 6 News at the time. “And before I could do anything or move, this dog came running around the car out of nowhere, and just grabbed Snowball up.”

Snowball nearly had to have her leg amputated and couldn’t nurse due to the antibiotics, Hanley said. Hanley –who is on a fixed income — was worried he would be charged with animal neglect if he didn’t bring the dog back to Banfield Pet Hospital to have her bandages changed, at $75 a pop. He had been changing her bandages himself, and feeding her litter of new puppies by hand.

A vet with the Town and Country Animal Hospital has now volunteered to provide her care for free. Snowball is recovering.

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