Two people are recovering after being badly bitten by a dog in western Martin County.
Both men are employees of Superior Water Works in Okeechobee.
The dog, a pit bull mix named Angus, is home under a 10-day quarantine to make sure it is not harboring any illnesses that could pose an additional threat to the bite victims.
Chief Deputy John Budensiek says the two employees were in the neighborhood on Adams Street servicing a home. While they were already in the area, they decided to service another the home they regularly service where they were attacked.
“So they went in the yard without knocking on the front door. They had been in the yard before so they disregarded the signs that say beware of dog. Went in there and thought they were good to do the service that they generally do,” Budensiek said.
However, the owner of Superior Water Works says his employees did speak to the owner to make sure the dog was inside before beginning the service. He says his employees have not yet given their full side of the story to law enforcement.
Budensiek says the dog, unbeknownst to the elderly owner, got out through a dog door.
A neighbor heard cries for help.
“The 911 caller was saying that they could see the victim’s bone through the dog bite,” Budensiek.
Neighbor Amanda Silvas says her fiancé’ ran across the street to try to help them, and says a younger victim tried beating the dog away with a pipe or stick.
“That dog turned his attention on the second victim and did bite him but is in better shape than the first victim,” Budensiek said.
Silvas’ finance’ tried to render aid.
“He grabbed a leash to help put a tourniquet while he dialed 911,” Silvas said. The man was rushed into emergency surgery and might have to undergo multiple surgeries to a severe leg injury.
Now, employees of Superior Water Works say they are uneasy about coming back.
“The company called and said that the workers are scared to come here because they’re scared of the dog across the street,” Silvas said.
The owner of Superior Water Works said his employees are trained to recognize hazardous situations with animals, but the dog was inside when they entered the yard. They will be in contact with the owner to discuss preventing this in the future.
Budensiek says the dog will not be seized, euthanized, or labeled as dangerous.
“While yes the bites are severe, the dog really didn’t do anything wrong. The dog was in its own yard, the yard was posted, and the dog was doing what dogs do- protecting their space,” Budensiek said.