Outrage across social media after dog attack

Neighbors along with city leaders are reacting after video of a dog attack went viral on Facebook over the weekend.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 12:17 AM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 4:12 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) City leaders along with neighbors who live in midtown are reacting after a dog attack Friday night on a property near 19th and Lafayette St. 

Neighbors said the property owner is known to keep many animals. Mandy Wright, who lives near the property, said the owner cares for several dogs and has done so for the past few years.  

Wright said she's had issues in the past with the dogs escaping from the property, she said she's had to call animal control a number of times before, but never for anything vicious.  

Wright, a dog owner herself said her fiance took her dogs outside Friday evening when he heard a commotion coming from the property, Wright said her fiance came inside and told her to grab her phone. 

Upon arriving on the property Wright recorded what she saw and posted a video to Facebook that's since gone viral.

The video shows several dogs attacking a small puppy on the property in very graphic detail. Wright said the sight was so disturbing she has not been able to sleep.  

"[the puppy] was getting mauled," Wright said. "They just ate it they were just destroying it, it was so crazy." 

John Martorelli owns the property and the nine dogs that live on it. He said he takes care of all of his dogs and while he admits the dogs attacked the puppy he also said his dogs aren’t vicious and comply with city ordinances.

"My dogs are good dogs they’re not mean dogs," Martorelli said. "They’re all licensed and have their city tags."

The puppy in the video did not survive the attack. Both Martorelli and Wright gave different accounts regarding the extent of the puppy’s injuries.

Martorelli said the puppy had a hole through his leg and a puncture wound through a main artery causing him to bleed out, while Wright says the video she posted clearly shows a much more disturbing account. 

Wright also isn’t convinced that what Martorelli is doing should be allowed,. She said she wanted people to see what was going on in hopes something can be done to prevent anything like this from happening in the city.

"Nowhere in town should anyone have that many dogs," Wright said. 

City Council members are looking into the issue and working with the health department to determine if any city ordinances have been violated.

KQ2 News did reach out to animal control who said the incident is still under investigation. 

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