A man and the dog he was walking were both injured seriously enough to require medical attention after they were attacked by two dogs on Friday evening near the intersection of Figueroa Drive and Casitas Avenue.
Ken Hayashi, a neighborhood resident, told Patch he was walking an elderly neighbor's dog that he regularly helps with and never saw the animals coming. He said the dogs that attacked him were two pit bulls that are usually locked behind a gate near his home. Hayashi said he never saw them coming.
"The dogs came from behind and they surprised the heck out of me," Hayashi said.
Lt. Duane Allen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed that deputies were called to the scene and that Hayashi was transported to the hospital following the attack, which took place around 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
Hayashi said he is now feeling OK, but did need stitches in several areas where he was bitten. The dog he was walking, a dachshund mix named Sammi Jo, had serious punctures to her neck which required stitches. A photo of her injuries can be viewed above.
According to Hayashi, the owners of the dogs have given the animals over to the Animal Control Department since the attack. A department spokeswoman was unable to find record of the dogs or the attack when contacted by Patch, but said she would continue to try to find out more about the dogs.
Lois Todd, a neighbor of Hayashi's who brought the attack to the attention of Altadena Patch, said she has been concerned about aggressive dogs in her neighborhood for a long time.
Todd, a dog owner herself, said she feels like the neighborhood is not a good place for smaller dogs.
"It seems like there is a pit bull at every house," Todd said.
Todd brought Sammi Jo to a clinic in Eagle Rock following the attack. She said the dog is a rescue and is nervous around people, which made it hard for the vets to take care of her wounds. She said Sammi Jo had two wounds on her upper neck and back that needed to be drained, as well as punctures in the ears.
Todd said she was unhappy with the response of the Sheriff's Department, and wished someone had taken away the attacking dogs immediately following the incident.
Lt. Allen said department policy with dog attacks is to contact Animal Control and have them handle the dogs. He said the department will intervene if they witness an attack, but if the dogs are secure behind a gate, as the attacking dogs were by the time deputies got to the scene, then they contact Animal Control to follow up.
Sometimes that can take several hours or longer, Allen said.
Hayashi said his understanding is that the pit bull owners contacted Animal Control to have the dogs taken away.
Additionally, Hayashi said he was unhappy with comments that deputies on the scene made to him when they arrived: he said that the first thing the deputy said was to ask him if he spoke English or not. Hayashi, who is Asian-American and was born in California, said he took offense, especially because he was bleeding and clearly needed medical attention.
Hayashi said he has not filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Department, and Allen said he has no record of anyone in the neighborhood filing a complaint about how the department handled the incident.
Patch will update this story with more information from the Animal Control Department if it becomes available.