Bella -San Jose, California- Shiba, still at large

    And an update on the trial:
    Cross-posted from Shiba-L:

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 (SF Chronicle)

    Felony charge in San Jose dog mauling

    Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

    (09-22) 16:00 PDT SAN JOSE -- The owner of a pit bull in San Jose has been charged with a felony after the animal badly injured a neighbor as he
    tried to protect his dog, authorities said Monday.

    Ivan Batinich, 22, of San Jose is to be arraigned Sept. 30 on a charge of allowing a vicious animal to be at large, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.

    The incident happened about 7:30 p.m. April 11 as Steve Belsley, 57, was walking his Shiba Inu dog, Bella, on Edenbury Lane, around the corner from his home in south San Jose.

    Batinich's pit bull, a 10-month-old unneutered male named Brutus, was running loose nearby and attacked Belsley and Bella, authorities said.

    Belsley picked up his dog to protect it from the attack and was bitten more than 20 times in both hands and his left arm. Belsley, an engineer at
    Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, suffered injuries to his left hand that are likely to be permanent, his wife said.

    Bella ran off and hasn't been found. The dog is the subject of a search by Belsley and his wife, Terri, who have been posting reported sightings of
    their dog at

    The couple have no children and considered Bella, who turned 3 years old on April 1, "like our child," Terri Belsley said.

    They took camping trips with Bella and brought the dog to canine-friendly restaurants and neighborhood events. During the day while the Belsleys were at work, Bella went to "doggie day care" to play with other dogs.

    Terri Belsley cried as she recounted how her husband, bleeding profusely, came back home screaming and in a panic after he had been attacked. "To follow a trail of blood through your own house is a horrifying experience," she said.

    Even though he was in pain, her husband dashed back outside to look for Bella, she said.

    The criminal case against Batinich will be an opportunity to emphasize that pet owners need to be responsible for their animals, Belsley said.

    She said she has nothing against pit bulls, but said that "irresponsible ownership will not be tolerated. This should never have happened. We just never anticipated being charged head-on by an aggressive animal."

    Batinich could not be reached for comment. His pit bull has been euthanized.

    Copyright 2008 SF Chronicle
    shibas, beagles & more!
  • How sad! For all (except the pit owner). I cant imagine having Niko missing for 5 months!
    Im glad they state that it is not the pit's fault.
    That poor shiba has to be so traumatized!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • How sad. I just went to the website listed in that article. The owner's must be so upset. I can't even imagine how I would feel if Honey was gone for so long. :(
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • I hope that Bella gets home soon! The good news is that there was a sighting on Sept 20th!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Considering it was a 10 month old unneutered male isn't much of a surprise. Raise it to be nasty, breed it, then get into some illegal fighting. Its really terrible what people are doing with Pits. They don't deserve to be raised or treated like that. :( It's upsetting they had to euthanize the dog, but if it attacked for no reason at all and was off leash, all the blame falls on the owner. If anything, the owner should be euthanized. >>; No one deserves to live if they train a dog to be like that, just so it can hurt other people and then in turn, be killed for doing so.

    It's upsetting that the Shiba ran off, poor thing. :( I'd be heart broken if that happened to Toby.
    Owner of Sesame Shiba Inu (Toby) 8yrs old | Illustrator & Graphic Designer | My Website - Twitter

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    I'm bumping in case any new members live near the San Jose, CA area and can help bring Bella home.
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

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