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Gun helpful in ending vicious dog attack

Originally ran here as:
"Family pet attacks baby-sitter"
By MARGOT MOHSBERG, The Capital Staff Writer

July 23, 2001

STEVENSVILLE, MARYLAND -- A large pet dog attacked a baby-sitter and the Kent Island fire chief Saturday, sending both to the hospital with severe lacerations.

Jody Shulz, owner of the 2-year-old male Akita named Casper, shot the 100-plus pound animal several times in an attempt to kill him after the attack at his home. A state trooper finally killed Casper with his shotgun, according to Queen Anne's County Animal Control Officer Chris Hatch.

The attack occurred around midnight Saturday outside the Shulz home in Stevensville. Casper turned on Jessie Phaneuf, who was baby-sitting Mr. Shulz' children. The 19-year-old Stevensville woman was bitten several times on her head and stomach.

Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tracy T. Shulz, the owner's brother, heard the 911 call for help and was the first to arrive. He pulled the dog off of the young woman.

While he was taking Casper back to his pen, he bit Chief Shulz on the arm.

"I wanted to get the dog away from her and put (him) away so I could help her. But after walking about 10 feet, it turned and bit me. That's when I knew it was crazy," Chief Shulz said.

He hit the dog with a flashlight and managed to get everyone inside his brother's house.

A woman at the house with Ms. Phaneuf, whose name was not available this morning, called Mr. Shulz, who came home and shot the dog several times. State Trooper Brian Gill, who also responded to the 911 call, shot the dog once more.

"It was still alive. These are very big dogs," Officer Hatch said.

Both victims were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. Chief Shulz spent the night at the hospital, but went home yesterday.

"I'm doing all right," he said. "(My arm) aches some."

Ms. Phaneuf was treated and released yesterday morning.

Mr. Shulz could not be reached for comment, but Chief Shulz said his brother is disturbed by the attack.

"It's upset him," he said. "The baby-sitter had been sitting for him for a long time. And he also wonders what would have happened if the dog had turned on his children."

He said Casper had never shown any signs of being dangerous.

"We've never had any problems with it," he said. "I guess it's like the guy you work with for 10 years who suddenly comes in one day with a shotgun."

Casper was up to date on rabies vaccinations, but Officer Hatch said the animal will be tested for rabies. No citations were issued against Mr. Shulz.

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