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Pit bulls attack other dogs, two women

Several pit bulls attacked and bit two women last week, with both injuries requiring medical treatment, Medford police reported.

A 50-year-old Medford woman was getting into her car at 3:44 p.m. Jan. 21 in the 500 block of Austin Street, near the Kids Unlimited parking lot. She had been preparing to put her two pit bull dogs in the car when two other pit bulls belonging to 51-year-old Shannon Wells escaped from his Austin Street yard and attacked. The woman tried to break up the fight and received a bite on her arm.

A 44-year-old woman witnessed the attack and tried to intervene, throwing a cup of water in one of the animal's faces. That caused the animals to turn on her and bite her twice on the arm. She ran to get help and found the animals and the woman had disappeared by the time she returned.

The 50-year-old woman who was first attacked was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her dog bites, which required several stitches. The 44-year-old woman also received treatment for her injuries, police said.

Wells was cited on a municipal code violation for not having control of his animals, police said. Jackson County Animal Care and Control seized his two pit bulls. Both animals are in a 10-day quarantine at the shelter to make sure they are not rabid. At the end of that period, officials will reassess and decide on the next steps to take.

The city of Medford had been mulling restrictions or a ban on pit bulls within city limits. Of the 89 dog attacks reported in the past three years, 45 were from pit bulls. The consideration has drawn sharp opposition from numerous pit bull owners. They have said a breed-specific ban is not fair, and that irresponsible owners, instead, should be penalized.

The Medford City Council has asked the Police Advisory Committee to come up with recommendations for how to handle dangerous dogs by April.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.