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Scooter on the mend

Tom Jackson • Apr 25, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Scooter, the dog attacked by two pit bulls Friday in a Sandusky park, is slowly getting better.

The surviving assailant, being held at the dog pound, faces the accusation of being "vicious."

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Scooter was on a leash while walking at Battery Park with his owner, Paul Aviles, 64,  when he was attacked by two pit bulls. 

Police came to the rescue. One pit bull died after being zapped with a Taser and the other was captured. Scooter and Aviles both suffered dog bites.

Aviles, a retired Ford worker who has been driving to an animal hospital in Akron to check on his pet, said Wednesday that Scooter is improving. The Jack Russell may return home in a few days.

"He's starting to eat baby food and drinking a little water," Aviles said. "They said they need to keep an eye on him a couple more days at least.

"They said his progress is slow but he's gradually improving," he said. 

Scooter suffered bites and broken ribs in the attack.

"Yesterday he was more alert than the day before," said Aviles, adding that Scooter sat in his wife's lap and nuzzled her. "That's a good sign. We just hate to leave him."

The surviving pit bull, meanwhile, remains in the Erie County Dog Pound. 

His owner, Rebecca Hush, 42, of the 500 block of Reese St., faces two misdemeanor "dog at large" charges. Dog warden Barbara Knapp said her court date is 1:30 p.m. Aug. 29. 

In addition, Knapp has designated the surviving pit bull mix, Lola, as "vicious." If Hush contests this, a judge will decide if the label sticks.

If the dog is found to be vicious, it would have to be kept in a locked, fenced pen, and Hush would need to acquire $50,000 in liability insurance. The dog would also have to wear a tag saying it is vicious, and it would need to be neutered or spayed. When taken for walks, the dog would have to wear a muzzle and remain on a leash at all times. Finally, Hush would have to pay a vet to install a microchip in the dog.

Hush has indicated she wants the dog back, and if Knapp hears nothing further from legal authorities, the dog will be released Monday. Knapp said she plans to talk to city prosecutor Lynne Gast-King before then.

"In our opinion here, the dog goes after other dogs," Knapp said. "We have not had a people problem."

But that's still a potential for trouble. If a child is walking a dog, the child could become injured trying to rescue the pet from an attack by Lola, Knapp said.

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