Family upset after their dog is attacked and they say state law doesn't protect them

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - It's a state law that has Suburban Lake Worth neighbors divided.

Should a dog have to attack twice to be deemed dangerous?

That's the law now, but after a Shetland Sheepdog named Angel was nearly killed, one family is fighting for change.

"Our dog was almost bitten in half," Phil Thornburg said.

His wife, Lori, was walking Angel last month when a bigger dog from down the block on a leash with its
owner walked up.

"I asked her...stop...please, don't come near me. I said my dog is afraid of other dogs," Lori Thornburg said.

Thornburg says before she could react, Angel was in the jaws of the neighbor's sixty pound Greyhound mix.

They called Animal Care and Control, but officers say a dog can't be deemed dangerous unless it attacks twice.

"It shouldn't take twice. It only takes one bite to kill a dog. My dog would have been dead and they still say the dog needs to bite again," Samantha Thornburg said.

Captain Walesky with Animal Care and Control says there has been an attempt to change the Florida law, but an appeals court rejected it.

Angel's family doesn't understand why.

WPTV tried speaking with the owners of the other dog, but they did not want to talk on camera. They did say there is more to the story.

"As far as I'm concerned, this dog is dangerous. To just go over and start ripping up another dog, that dog has problems," Phil Thorburg said.

They say Angel is expected to make a full recovery. They say her vet bill is about one thousand dollars.
 

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