Waterloo woman speaks out after fatal dog attack - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo woman speaks out after fatal dog attack


On September 10, Kandi Fleshner of Waterloo was out walking her dog Gracee. Gracee didn't make it home from that walk because three dogs, a mom and her two pups, attacked and killed Gracee.

It happened at the corner of Knoll and Falls Avenues in Waterloo.

"We were probably 10 steps away from rounding the corner, and before we made those 10 steps, those three pits just turned the corner," Fleshner said. "They weren't barking. They weren't making any noise, anything. We had no time to prepare ourselves. They just rushed into us."

She said, at first, the dogs appeared to just be smelling Gracee.

"I got scared they were so close and crowding her, I pulled back on the leash. At that point, one of the pits, which I assume now was the female, lurched up and grabbed her. I remember looking down and one of the pits had her in the mouth by Gracee's throat," Fleshner said.

She tried calling dispatch, but no one could understand her. Then a lady pulled up in a car, and she used a gas can to hit the three dogs.

"They weren't budging. They kept grabbing my dog," Fleshner said. "I remember my dog crying, barking. I remember her looking at me saying why aren't you helping me."

Fleshner ran home to try to get another cell phone, then quickly ran back to where Gracee was, but she says the dogs started leaving with Gracee in all of their mouths.

"I was screaming. I was frantic. In an instant, they were behind a house, and I couldn't see them," she said.

The same lady who stopped initially saw where the dogs went and took Fleshner near Englewood, where Gracee was.

"Someone was nice enough to wrap my dog in a sweatshirt," she said.

She said the pit bulls' owner then showed up.

"This guy came around and said that's my dog, and I said your dog just killed my dog," Fleshner said.

A stranger then grabbed Fleshner and Gracee and drove them to the vet.

"She looked at me a couple times, and I knew she was alive, but by the time we got to the vet, she died," she said.

She said she hopes this is a reminder to all pet owner's to be more responsible, especially when it comes to not letting dogs run loose.

"It's not fair. I don't even want to come home anymore because she's not here," she said.

Even though she's gone, Fleshner said she'll always love her Gracee.

Ralph Stephens, the owner of the dogs that attacked Gracee, said he is sorry about what happened, but Fleshner said she has yet to receive a face-to-face apology.

Animal control is holding the three pit bulls at the Cedar Bend Humane Society.

Kristy Gardner, co-director of the Cedar Bend Humane Society, explained the procedure and city ordinance followed when a person or animal is involved in an incident.

In this instance, the owner was present and did allow animal control to take the dogs. He was issued citations for his dogs running loose. It's required the three dogs are held at the shelter for a quarantine of 10 days.

The owner did call and request to get his dogs back. He must, first, pay for the cost of the quarantine for each dog and register each dog on the potentially dangerous dog list. This means the dog has to wear a micro chip, and a picture is kept on file through animal control.

The dog is required to be spayed or neutered, get a city dog license and have the current rabies vaccination.

In addition, the owner must purchase and show proof of liability insurance on the dog of up to $300,000. If the owner does not complete these tasks, the dogs will not be released and will be euthanized.

Gardner believes the main issue is owners not taking proper steps to secure their dogs.

This month alone, the animal control department picked up 91 dogs running loose between Waterloo and Cedar Falls. Also, 105 stray dogs were brought in by people who happened to find a loose dog.

Fleshner hopes the city code is changed to put tougher penalties on owners when their dogs are running loose, especially repeat offenders.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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