SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota County Animal Services has seized a dog after witnesses say it attacked someone in downtown Sarasota - for the second time.
Witnesses tell ABC7 that the attack happened just before 9 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Lemon Avenue and Main Street. Lawrence Grampp, a homeless man, is the owner of the dog, who is named Champion. He tells ABC7 that the attack started as a dog fight.
“I had my dog in my lap,” Grampp said. “Somebody was petting him and the people walked across the street with their animal. Just kind of came up and sniffed my dog and spooked him. It started a dog fight."
Grampp says that his dog is a service animal and helps him deal with his seizures. But this wasn’t the first time Champion has been in custody of Animal Services.
In July, Champion attacked another dog and the two people walking it.
"It felt like it lasted forever, it was terrifying, I never screamed like that in my life,” said Alex Alfonso and Dana Laag.
Champion attacked Fig, a husky mix, while Dana Laag and her boyfriend Alex Alfonso walked him in downtown Sarasota.
“I thought immediately that I wouldn’t have my dog anymore, who I’m really, really close with and I love a lot,” said Laag.
Laag says Fig suffered six puncture wounds. Both Laag and Alfonso suffered minor injuries as well.
“While they were trying to pry him off, I was bit on my pinkie finger and Dana was bit on her index finger trying to scoop Fig up,” said Alfonso.
Both dogs were quarantined. Fig was put on a home quarantine while Champion was impounded at Animal Services, making sure neither has rabies.
Fig’s owners were cited for not having tags for their animal while Champion’s owner was cited for having a nuisance animal. He was released back to Grampp at that time because of his service dog status.
At this time we don’t know if that will be the case this time. As for the attack Sunday night, it remains unclear the extent of injuries and who was involved.