‘My best friend was dying’: Yorkie killed by neighbor’s dog, village takes action

NOW: ‘My best friend was dying’: Yorkie killed by neighbor’s dog, village takes action

STURTEVANT, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A dog owner is hoping his tragic story changes a village ordinance regarding vicious animals. 

The Attack

A German Shepherd dog got out of its gate and killed the small Yorkie named Samson that lives next door. Samson was killed back in November while he was outside the apartment building with his owner, Joe Villalpando. The German Shepherd belongs to a Mount Pleasant Sergeant. 

"His dog grabbed Samson in the middle of the body, crushed his ribs, punctured his lungs,” said Villalpando.

Villalpando said he tried to grab his Yorkshire Terrier but the dog bit him too.

“Samson needed protection and I couldn’t help him, he was screaming looking at me,” Villalpando said.

Villalpando says the dog brought Samson to its own yard and that’s when the owner got involved but Samson didn’t make it.

“My best friend was dying and he died right there with me,” said Villalpando.

The German Shepard

The German Shepherd's owner Dale Swart says he let the dog go out in the yard, but the wind broke their gate, which is how his 16-month-old German Shepherd got out.

CBS 58 met the German Shepherd, which was calm and friendly upon the meeting Tuesday night. Swart said his dog often chases rabbits and squirrels and must have thought the small Yorkie was a wild animal.  

“It was an accident,” Swart said. “Truly an unfortunate, horrible accident.”

Swart says the Yorkie was alive when he brought it back. That’s when Swart took the dog and put it on a towel in a box, which is where Villalpando said his final goodbyes. Swart’s wife was given two citations following the incident.

“I should be held responsible, absolutely,” Swart said. “But, it’s not his fault. He’s not a vicious dog.”

Swart has fixed his gate since the incident and he’s taken the German Shepherd to dog training classes. Swart tells CBS 58 he had a professional evaluate his dog who found it not vicious.

Change to the Ordinance

Swart's dog is still residing in its home because the villages' ordinance says a dog has to attack and bite twice before it has to be removed. Villalpando brought his concerns to the Sturdevant Village Board’s attention. The board met Tuesday night to discuss proposed changes like changing the wording from two to one attacks and having an expert evaluate dogs that bite someone, among other things.

"The goal is to try and see that if this happens again, take better steps to ban the animal from the municipality so it doesn't happen to someone else,” said John Johnson, Village Trustee.

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