Three dogs quarantined after attack

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A dog attack last Friday afternoon left one man with pieces of his scalp missing and three dogs impounded.

Victor Sarracino, who lives on Paul's Place in Valencia, says he had just begun his bike ride when two of his neighbor's dogs bolted out of their yard and attacked him.

"I'm training for an endurance race, so I was going for a training ride. I was going pretty slow, adjusting my equipment and bike, when their two pit bulls come out of their yard," Sarracino said.

He says he couldn't take off quickly on the bike, so he kicked one of the dogs in the face. An action, he says, that only seemed to anger the dog more.

"I got off the bike and put it between me and them. I was backing away trying to fend them off," he said. "They were biting the tires, the bike. One of them got under the bike and grabbed my foot.

"As I fell, the third dog went behind me and ripped off a two-inch piece of scalp," he said. "I didn't feel it, but I heard it. It sounded like Velcro."

Sarracino said as he fell to the ground, he remembered thinking, "'I can't believe I'm being attacked by dogs.' I blacked out and the next thing I know, the dogs were gone."

He was transported to an Albuquerque hospital by ambulance.

Sarracino said he had a puncture wound under one of his biceps and three large lacerations on his scalp, which took three hours to suture closed.

"I could feel the wrinkles on my head," he said. "I knew this wasn't just go home and take a shower."

The owner of one of the dogs, a female pit bull named Xena, said the other two dogs weren't pits.

"The other two belong to my parents and they are just mutts," said Steven Dullhoph. "There was only one pit bull, my female."

Dullhoph said he was returning home on Friday and opened the gate to his parent's yard to drive in.

"I'm not sure what happened. By the time I realized something was wrong, they (the dogs) were back in the yard," he said.

Dullhoph said all three dogs were up-to-date on their shots, including rabies vaccinations.

The three animals were impounded by Valencia County Animal Control and will be held in quarantine for 10 days, Dullhoph said. After that, he and his parents can reclaim the dogs if they want.

When asked if he would reclaim Xena, Dullhoph said he wasn't sure. Dullhoph said the dog has bitten someone else in the past — a friend who walked into the yard without warning.

And Sarracino said he actually witnessed that incident. Sarracino said he was doing yard work about a month ago when he heard screams coming from nearby. He looked down the street and saw Dullhoph's dog attacking a man in their yard.

"He jumped in his car and took off," Sarracino said. "Whenever I go riding down the road, it's a gamble. It's a gamble for everyone. I told my fiance, one of these days they were going to get me.

"I've seen them chase people down the road several times. Maybe it was my job to get bitten before some kid," he said. "Maybe it took them biting me to get rid of them."


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.