RACINE — A teenager is grieving the loss of her pet pit bull who was shot Friday afternoon by a neighbor in the 2800 block of Arlington Avenue.
Reyna, an 11-month-old black pit bull who belonged to Aundria Soto, 17, died Friday at WVRC, an emergency medical pet facility located at 4333 Old Green Bay Road in Mount Pleasant. Reyna was taken there after the incident, which occurred just before 5:35 p.m. Friday.
Police were notified by the man who shot the dog at about 5:35 p.m. According to Lt. Dave Wohlgemuth of the Police Department, the shooter identified himself as a licensed concealed-carry holder and said he shot Reyna after she attacked his dog and after he tried several times to kick Reyna away.
Police later confirmed that the man had a permit, Wogelmuth said.
Wohlgemuth said Saturday that while the investigation into the incident was still open, it appeared at that point that the man was within his rights to defend himself and his dog, which Soto alleges was slightly bigger than Reyna. She could not identify the breed of the neighbor’s dog.
“The firearm use was on the resident’s own property in the protection of his own dog. Further review will take place for this incident; however, initial examination of the facts indicate that the person who stopped the attack of the pit bull acted within the provisions of the law — Wisconsin Statute 174.01 — Restraining Action Against Dogs (allows for the use of deadly force in the protection of one’s own domesticated animal),” Wohlgemuth wrote to media about the incident.
“It’s a difficult situation,” Wohlgemuth said Saturday afternoon in a call to The Journal Times. “We have the word of one person and the word of another.”
Soto said on Saturday that her dog, which she has had since Reyna was a puppy, had never shown any aggression and had never been loose until she jumped the fence of the home where Soto resides at the southwest corner of Taylor and Arlington avenues.
“I have another dog — she’s small, she’s a pug; (Reyna) has never been aggressive with another animal, never,” said Soto, a senior at Park High. She just likes to play, so she’s very hyper and she likes to jump on people, she said.
“She jumped over the fence to play with his dog and he took it as she was attacking his dog. My dog never bit his dog or bit him. She was just jumping and he shot her,” Soto said.
Police did not identify the man who shot Reyna and Soto did not know his name. The Journal Times knocked at his door early Saturday night, but no one answered.
Soto said one of her cousins saw that Reyna had gotten loose and was running to get the dog when the shooting occurred.
“My cousin was right outside the gate when he shot her, so obviously we were coming to get the dog so there was no reason for him to shoot her,” Soto said.
Wohlgemuth and Soto said one round was shot into Reyna. The bullet entered her back, hit her spine and exited her abdomen, Soto said. The dog was seen crawling across the street dragging her hind legs. Soto said veterinarians said Reyna likely would have been paralyzed had she lived.
Soto set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the veterinarian bills: www.gofundme.com/bq7tdghh.