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Owner of dogs wanted in deadly attack comes forward

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Warwick police say the owner of two dogs wanted in connection with a deadly attack on another dog has come forward.

Police had been on the lookout for the two dogs since Sunday, when Michelle Noel says she watched her Papillon Stewie get attacked.

“We lost a little member of our family,” she told Eyewitness News. “We lost him in a tragic way. He was just taken from us.”

Noel says she was walking Stewie in Warwick near Woguagonet Avenue and Willow Glen Circle when a Pit bull and Husky approached, off-leash.

“The Pit bull just grabbed Stewie and took him by the neck and started shaking him,” Noel said. She tried to stop the attack, and eventually the dogs took off. Noel rushed Stewie to the animal hospital.

“He was severely, severely bitten,”  Noel said. “He had internal injuries, and he didn’t make it.”

Noel and Warwick Police both posted on Facebook about the attack, hoping the owner would come forward. Warwick Police Major Christine Kelley said he came to the station Wednesday afternoon with both dogs.

Stewie died from his injuries after being attacked by another dog.
Stewie died from his injuries after being attacked by another dog.

Kelley said the owner was cited for breaking the city’s leash law, and the Pit bull would face a vicious dog hearing. The Husky was not involved in the attack, but both animals are being held at Animal Control. It’s possible the dogs could be removed from the owner’s care.

Police said the dogs had been seen several times before the attack running loose in the area. Major Kelley said the Department receives multiple complaints a day about loose dogs.

Michelle Noel plans to identify the dogs on Thursday and then testify when the hearing takes place; she wants the Pit bull’s owner to receive the punishment, not the dog.

“The severest fine they can charge him with,” she said. “I don’t want the Pit bull to be put down.” She said she believes the Pit bull was following its natural instincts, and it’s the owner’s job to be responsible for his dog.

She’s urging all dog owners to keep their animals on leashes, before another dies.

“If it’s not my dog, it’ll be somebody else’s, or a small child,” she said.

Below is a Facebook post with photos of Stewie shared by Noel’s sister.

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