Scooter, a dog attacked Friday by two pit bulls in a Sandusky park, is fighting for his life in an Akron animal hospital, his owner said Monday.
"The vet called this morning and said he's not out of the woods," said owner Paul Aviles, of Sandusky. "A lot of his vital signs are good."
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Late Monday afternoon, however, Aviles learned that Scooter has resumed eating, a sign the dog is feeling better.
Scooter, a Jack Russell who had found a good home after being abandoned as a puppy, was walking in Battery Park around noon Friday with Aviles when two pit bulls came up from behind Aviles and attacked the dog.
To save Scooter, Aviles got down on the ground with him and attempted to cover him.
"A couple of times I had to stick my hand in their mouths to break them loose from the dog," Aviles said.
Aviles said he even bit one of the attackers in the leg.
"I bit him as long and as hard as I could," Aviles said. "They were like demons."
A passerby called police. Officers put Aviles in a police car so he would be safe, then they set to battling the dogs. One dog was tasered and later died. Police captured the other dog and took it to the dog pound.
"As you can see, it's just dog bites," said Aviles, 64, whose hands were covered with bite marks Monday. "It wasn't important."
Aviles, a retired Ford auto worker, teared up when asked about the officers' efforts.
They were "great" and "very compassionate," he said.
While Aviles obviously was injured, he insisted that Scooter should be the top priority. Police drove him and Scooter to a local veterinarian, who treated Scooter while firefighters treated Aviles.
Aviles then took Scooter to a Lorain animal hospital, which told him Scooter needed 24-7, seven-day-a-week care and directed him to Metropolitan Animal Hospital in Akron.
Aviles, whose cell phone wallpaper is a photo of Scooter wearing an Ohio State sweater, said he and his wife have had Scooter for four years.
"My stepson brought him to me and said someone threw him out the window of their car," Aviles said.
Aviles' stepson's girlfriend saw Scooter being tossed from the car. She wanted the dog, but wasn't allow to have a pet where she lived, so Aviles and his wife were enlisted to take Scooter in.
Aviles' wedding ring, apparently lost in the attack, is still missing. Officers searched the attack site without success. Police then put Aviles in touch with a man who has a metal detector, who looked Monday morning but found nothing, Aviles said.
The two pit bulls had tags, which led police to owner Rebecca Hush, 39, 500 block of Reese St. The police issued Hush two citations for dog at large. Dog Warden Barb Knapp told officers that the dogs had a history of being loose, police said.
Knapp said the surviving pit bull mix, named Lola, is being held in quarantine at the dog pound. Hush has said she wants the dog back, Knapp said.