3 hospitalized after dog attacks family in Safety Harbor; dog stabbed to death

The pit bull was attacking two other dogs, and when the family tried to stop it, the dog turned on them.

A pit bull attacked three members of a Safety Harbor family on Friday, and the dog had to be stabbed to death to stop.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said it received a call about 4:07 p.m. from a house in the 700 block of West Gate Drive. At the home were Heidi Cooper, 45, and her two daughters, Sierra Wilson, 22, and Meaghan Tokay, 14.

Deputies said the family had three pit bulls in the home. One was named Buster, who was known to be aggressive and was kept in a separate room. Buster got loose, however, and attacked the other dogs.

Nikki Cagen says Buster was her boyfriend’s pit bull. She says her boyfriend is deployed with the Marines and left Buster in his family’s care.  

“He was the sweetest dog ever. I would come in the house and he would sit in my lap like a little puppy. He was so sweet,” she said.

She said the family kept Buster in a separate room as a precaution.  

“They just tried not to have him in the same room in case anything happened. Normally nothing would happen,” she said.

Once the attack happened, Cooper and Tokay intervened and Buster turned on them, biting them numerous times, deputies said. Wilson saw the attack and rushed to their aid, stabbing the dog several times with a knife.

Neighbor Joe Goulart ran to help after hearing screams.

“As soon as I could go down there It sounded like she said get away, get away, the dog is loose and would attack," said Goulart.

Buster died shortly after he was stabbed and was picked up by Pinellas County Animal Services.

All three victims were taken to Bayfront Medical Center with non-life threatening wounds. Cooper's wounds were described as serious.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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