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Police seeking dog owner after 'horrific' attack

Monday - 7/16/2012, 6:05pm  ET

WASHINGTON - An Arlington man is recovering from a "horrific" pit bull attack in the Nauck neighborhood - an attack the man's 11-year-old son witnessed.

Arlington Police are now looking for the owner of the dogs, who they say lives in the 2000 block of South Oakland Street in Arlington.

The 62-year-old man was attacked by two pit bulls when he stepped out of his truck around 4:30 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and S. Oakland Street.

The man "essentially sustained injuries from head to toe," says Dustin Sternbeck, with Arlington County Police. He says the victim was bitten on his ears, armpits, arms, legs, ankles and feet.

"Someone call 911, the dogs are attacking my dad!" the boy screamed out of the truck's window, police say.

A neighbor called 911 and when the paramedics arrived the dogs charged the paramedics who managed to get back into the ambulance before the dogs could get them, Sternbeck says.

When police officers arrived, one dog charged and an officer fired "multiple shots," killing the animal, says Sternbeck.

The other dog was scared by the gunfire and taken to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

Susan Sherman, deputy executive director of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington says the public can rest assure that the dogs no longer pose any danger to the community.

She describes the dog, now in quarantine at the shelter, as a pit bull mix.

Sherman says they know who the dog's owner is, but they have not been able to make contact with him. Therefore they don't know if the dog had its proper rabies vaccine.

The dog could be in quarantine for as little as 10 days to several months. It will depend on several factors, including the up-to-date rabies vaccine.

The dog's outcome also depends on several factors. A judge could deem the dog dangerous which would put restrictions on the owner and dog.

The dog could also be put down.

Police are working with the Arlington County Attorney's Office to decide what charges to file against the dogs' owner.

WTOP's Darci Marchese and Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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