UPDATE: Sunny has returned home from the animal hospital and is recovering.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — The owner of two large dogs that attacked a small dog in Chesapeake on Sunday fled the scene, Chesapeake Animal Services says.
The attack happened around 1 p.m. in southern Chesapeake near the Edinburgh Parkway/Scone Castle Loop, at the entrance to the Edinburgh Meadows community. Animal services says Sunny, a five-pound Pomeranian, was on a leash when it was approached by two boxer/pit bull-type dogs and seriously wounded.
Authorities say the two attacking dogs, each about 60 pounds, were off leash and roaming free.
One of the family’s sons, Mel Sofroniou, was walking Sunny. The teenager was still too upset for an interview on Tuesday. 10 On Your Side talked with his older brother.
“It was traumatizing for him and Sunny,” said Phanos Sofroniou. “The dogs just came right at him and there was nothing really he could do.”
Sunny is 12 years old, and as of Tuesday was critical but stable with multiple injuries. The Sofronious’ vet bill was already $4,000 and climbing.
He’s a beloved member of their family — part of the holidays, the days at the beach, and more. A video shows him riding on someone’s lap behind the steering wheel, looking down the road.
A neighbor got there in the middle of the gruesome attack.
“When I drove up, they were all still down in a tangle,” said a woman, who gave her name only as Sandy. “It was hard to know what was really going on.”
“We were just in a panic and trying to get the dog to the vet as quick as we could, because then you could see all the blood on his back and I knew that he was injured,” she said.
Sandy says it’s likely the man was running the two dogs at the time in a nearby field that is posted as private property. She says he actually helped load the bleeding dog into her car, “but he never said a word, he never said anything.”
He just drove off with his two dogs.
“This guy needs to get caught. We need to find him because he can’t keep doing this,” Sofroniou said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, animal control authorities were still looking for the man who owns the two dogs.
He’s described as a middle-aged white man with reddish/blonde hair, facial hair, and about 5 feet 8 inches tall, to 5 feet 10 inches tall with a stocky build. The dogs were about 60 to 70 pounds, either dark brown or gray, with white markings on their faces and paws. They had floppy ears and semi-curled tails, and one possibly had a purple collar.
Any witnesses or those who live in the area are asked to contact Animal Control Officer Bradley at 757-382-8091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.