SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Walking around downtown Sarasota feeling lost, Lawrence Grampp says he’s missing his service dog “Champion” that accompanies him daily.
“When I have seizures and I smack my face on the ground, my dog knows to get up underneath me. He alerts to someone who can call the paramedics. That dog is a working dog. He’s not vicious,” said Grampp.
But Sarasota County Animal Services is saying otherwise. They are declaring Champion “vicious” after two documented attacks on other dogs in downtown Sarasota over the past three weeks - which includes one in July and an attack on a poodle Sunday night only a block away from the previous incident.
The poodle, named “Reese,” suffered multiple injuries after the bigger dog held on to its neck.
“Fortunately most of it was skin and there were probably five of us trying to get the dog off. After about three minutes, his jaws were clenched down and he wasn’t letting go,” said Richard Rostant, Reese’s owner.
Rostant says he is concerned the pit bull may attack other dogs. “The whole issue is that the leash should have been much closer. I really think they should keep the dog for a couple weeks and observe him and see what his demeanor is," said Rostant.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office says they’ll work closely with the county attorney to figure out what the next step will be in determining what to do with Champion.