A pit bull removed from Marion’s city limits after biting a neighbor’s dog turned out to be a registered service dog and helped its owner through anxiety attacks.
“He senses the attacks before they happen and just clings to me,” owner Michael Darrow said. “It helps me calm down.”
He received a citation for having a prohibited breed in town following the incident March 11. Darrow didn’t receive any other citations because the other dog came onto his property in the 700 block of S. Coble St, Marion police chief Clinton Jeffrey said.
“As far as I know, this is the first instance of a pit bull attacking a person or another dog, because you’re not supposed to have them in town no matter what,” he said. “We’ve had other examples of pit bulls in town, but they were removed and that was the end of it.”
In past instances of dog-on-dog attacks in Marion, the injured animal’s owner sued to have vet bills covered, Jeffrey said.
While Darrow offered to help pay vet expenses, he initially didn’t know how serious the bite was.
“I didn’t think it was anything big,” he said. “Then they said there was a
broken rib and punctured lung. I couldn’t believe it.”
Darrow said Rebel was just defending his territory.
“That’s when my dog ran over there and bit it,” he said. “It happened in a split second.”
If the incident had occurred outside Darrow’s property, the pit bull could have been classified as a potentially dangerous or vicious dog, Jeffrey said.
While Rebel has to reside outside the city, Darrow said he hopes he can keep the dog in a different area of his yard. According to Darrow, he was allowed to keep his previous pit bull on a portion of his land outside city limits.
“I just don’t want them to say I have to get rid of him,” he said.