CENTRAL POINT — Three weeks ago, Allen Burns watched as his two dogs were savagely attacked by a pit bull during an evening walk.

CENTRAL POINT — Three weeks ago, Allen Burns watched as his two dogs were savagely attacked by a pit bull during an evening walk.

The 52-year-old Cherry Street resident said he's got friends and neighbors on the lookout for the large, black pit bull, adding that he has grown increasingly concerned for the safety of other neighborhood pets and children.

The Sept. 21 incident happened along 10th Street, near Hazel Street, where Burns and his Weimaraners, Lady and Beaumont, walk every night. Burns said he was caught off guard when a young man frantically yelled, "Grab your dogs! Grab your dogs!"

Within seconds, a pit bull knocked the 70-pound Lady to the ground and sank his teeth into her neck.

As the pit bull reared back to lunge again at Lady, whose "gimpy" front leg is fused due to a previous injury, Beaumont stepped between the strange dog and his best friend.

"We've had him for two years. We got her in November, and he just instantly fell in love with her," Burns said, noting both dogs were adopted from a rescue.

"He's a pretty mellow guy, but since we got her they have been inseparable, and I don't know what he'd do without her. I honestly believe he saved her life."

After 10 minutes of biting and tearing, the pit bull had severed most of the flesh and cartilage between Beaumont's right ear and skull.

"The dog's owner, with a closed fist, was punching this dog for at least 10 minutes, and that dog didn't even flinch," Burns said.

"I didn't think I could do something to hurt an animal, but adrenaline kicked in and I started kicking him like a football."

Burns instinctively wrapped his arms around Beaumont to prevent the dog's ear from completely tearing away.

"The screaming sound he made was the most horrible thing I've heard in my life. I've had nightmares every night since it happened," Burns said.

When the dog released Beaumont for a split second, the men were able to separate the dogs. Without his cellphone, a blood-soaked Burns asked a witness to call his wife, Susan, to bring towels and his car.

Both Lady and Beaumont were on leashes throughout the attack, leaving Burns and his dogs tangled in leash cord and soaked in blood.

The man who identified himself as the pit bull owner said he would "take his dog home" and return, Burns said, but the man didn't return.

"The neighbor said she would watch for the guy to come back but he didn't come back that night," said Burns. "I wanted to believe he was going to do the right thing, but I checked a few days later and she said he never did come back. For me, that was when he really crossed the line."

Just days after a several-hour surgery that required more than 80 stitches, Beaumont wanted to go for a walk, Burns said. While they were out, Burns said he saw the man, whom neighbors have seen walking up to four different pit bulls, "but he ran when he saw me."

Neighbors have reported pets being chased and a cat being killed in the same neighborhood by a large, black pit bull.

Despite spending $1,500 for Beaumont's surgery, Burns said his main concern is that the pit bull is still at large.

Linda Wells, who witnessed the attack, said she's worried that the dog could attack again.

"It's scary to think that dog is still out there," she said. "The man had to know his dog would attack. Even when he brought the dog out to the street, it just kept pulling to go back."

Both Jackson County Animal Control and Central Point police are investigating the attack.

Animal Control Supervisor Brittan Whitmire said her agency would like to contact the pit bull's owner to discuss the incident.

"We don't automatically seize the animal. It is not an automatic thing," Whitmire said. "Basically, we want to talk to the dog owner, see if he's in compliance and get some information. A lot of what happens will depend on circumstances. There are always two sides to the story."

Burns, who carries mace and a knife on dog walks now, said he refuses to buy into stereotypes about pit bulls.

His 98-year-old grandmother owns a pit bull "and even sleeps with the thing," he said. "I don't dislike pit bulls. I dislike people who raise them to be violent. I feel bad because I hate to see any dog put down, but this dog, I really believe, needs to be.

"I couldn't live with myself if a kid got attacked and I hadn't done something to try to prevent it. This whole thing really rattled me, and I just can't shake the feeling that this dog is going to hurt someone else if we don't find him."

Anyone with information is asked to call Jackson County Animal Control at 541-774-6655 or Central Point police at 541-664-5578.