Dog who captured heart of Suncoast accused of attacking another dog

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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 6:38 pm

BRADENTON, FLA. – A dog that captured the heart of the Suncoast last year is back in the news again. You may remember Axel, a brown and white pit-bull mix who was found wondering the streets Bradenton in November 2012 with serious head lacerations.

Axel made a full recovery from his injuries and was adopted by Rico and Trish Antonelli last September.

According the Manatee County Animal Services, Axel attacked a dog-named Kona while his owner, Rico Antonelli was walking Axel and his two other dogs off leash at his apartment complex.

“We don’t know what happened exactly but it was suggested that the three dogs broke away and got into it,” said Manatee County Animal Services Supervisor, Joel Richmond.

The Antonelli’s live at Vista at Palma Sola Apartments off 75th St. West. Hailey Wheeler says it was her dog that was attacked. Wheeler told ABC 7 her roommate Tommi Mitchell was walking Kona when the attacked occurred.

“They were coming around the corner of the apartments and they got ambushed by three dogs,” said Wheeler.

Richmond said Mitchell was injured by the Antonelli’s dog-named Phoenix when she tried to stop the attack.

“During the melee Mrs. Mitchell was kind of scraped and suffered some bruising while separating the dogs. Any time skin is broken animal to human contact we do a standard quarantine for rabies exposure. It is a ten day quarantine from the bite,” said Richmond.

Phoenix was allowed to serve a home quarantine but Animal Services gave the Antonelli’s a $500 fine for dog causing injury to another dog. Animal Services did not site them for a leash law violation because they were on private property.

Wheeler said the apartment complex requires residents to keep dogs on a leash at all times.

“I think it could have been prevented if every dog was on a leash.” She said her dog Kona is always on a leash.

Wheeler’s roommate Tommi Mitchell and Trish Antonelli were both reached by phone on Monday and both women had no comment.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • lilrock48 posted at 10:36 am on Tue, Jan 14, 2014.

    lilrock48 Posts: 7

    This whole terrible ordeal could have been prevented if these dogs were on leashes. Now the poor dogs get to suffer for one mans ignorance. Maybe he should be quarantined for 10 days and the apartment complex should fine him for not having on leashes. This type of human behavior is why pit bulls get such a bad rap. [wink]

  • KaDNYB posted at 7:43 pm on Mon, Jan 13, 2014.

    KaDNYB Posts: 1

    If it's the owners then why haven't Michael Vick's dogs killed anyone? Wasn't he the epitome of a bad owner? Why was this guy who was PRAISED for his excellent treatment of his pit bull mauled by it? Why are pit bulls mauling and killing the people who breed, rescue, and advocate for them? Because it's NOT the owners, it's a BREED problem:


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