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Dog attack in Mishawaka leaves one dog dead and owner injured

Courtesy of Chris McLaughlin

Concerns in a Mishawaka neighborhood following a dog attack that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

Her poodle was killed by a pit bull in that attack.

Now, the City of Mishawaka and the Humane Society have deemed the dog "dangerous."

When a dog is labeled dangerous it requires the dog’s owner to take a number of safety precautions to make sure another attack it prevented.

Bernadette Burns got her dog Coco three-years-ago after her husband died unexpectedly.

"Coco was real special to me. He was my friend,” she said.

Coco was killed two-weeks-ago after Burns noticed her neighbor's pit-bull jump the fence while she was walking the dog in her backyard.

"I tried to protect him. I put my arms around him and did my best to keep him from killing my dog,” said Burns.

Coco suffered a broken rib and had several punctures to his skin. He spent four days in emergency care at a local animal hospital while Bernadette recovered from bruises and punctures to her skin.

"Every time my mom looks out her backyard and she sees this dog, it's constant emotional terror,” said Burn’s daughter, Wendi Burns.

John Roggeman is the city's attorney. He says the owner is complying with the city ordinance.

"Which required them to get increased insurance up to $300,000 for a future incident. They also have to have an escape-proof dwelling and that would have to be inspected by the Humane Society of St. Joseph County,” said Roggeman.

The dog will have to be muzzled and be tethered from now on when it's outside it’s home.

The Burns say the pit-bull's owners helped pay for some of Coco's medical bills which totaled more than $5,000.

They hope the city and the owner keep a closer eye this time.

"If it happens once, obviously it's gonna happen again. and the next time, they're not going to stop and that's exactly what happened,” said Wendi.

The owner of the dog did not want to speak about this story.

Several of her friends reached out to us and said they have never seen any of her dogs go after someone or act aggressively.

According to the rules of the Blair Hills neighborhood, dogs have to be on a leash when they're not in their yard.

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