Dog stays in home after attack on elderly neighbor

Dog stays in home after attack on elderly neighbor

NORTH SMITHFIELD - A mixed breed dog that neighbors say resembles a pit bull attacked an 82-year-old woman and her rescue greyhound this week, sending both to emergency care, and the victim was forced to face her attacker throughout the weekend, as officers opted not to remove the animal.

Wanda Misiaszek was in her driveway at 175 Saint Paul St. with her 8-year-old canine companion "Lady," a former racing dog and cancer survivor, when the attack began Friday evening around 7 p.m. According to family, the neighbor's large, unleashed pet pounced on Misiaszek and Lady, biting at the pair.

Misiaszek, who walks with a cane, was knocked to the ground and bumped her head. She was taken away by ambulance to Landmark Medical Center and treated for bite wounds on her arms and fingers.

But it was Lady who took the worst of the abuse, enduring eight deep bites to the neck and body.

Owner William Figuerido of 155 Saint Paul St. reportedly grabbed his dog, attempting to bring him into the house, but the animal got loose a second time. Lady, an older animal described by family as gentle, reportedly never fought back.

"The poor woman was on the ground trying to fight the thing off," said Misiaszek's niece, Caroline Calo.

When officers arrived, however, the victim says she was told the neighbor's dog would remain in the home until at least Monday, as Animal Control officer Scott Goodwin was unavailable over the weekend.

"They said nothing could be done about it," said Calo. "She stayed with us Friday because she was literally afraid to go home."

Calo and her husband, Mike, gave Lady to Misiazek as a surprise five years ago.

"It was love at first sight," said Mike.

The pooch has undergone two doses of chemotherapy, but after love and care from Misiazek, and experimental treatment with pellets, is cancer free.

Misiazek was raised on Saint Paul Street and her property is one of five consecutive lots on the road built by her father to accommodate her and her siblings. While three of those properties are still in the family, the lot at 155 had been sold years ago and is now owned by Figuerdo.

"That's actually the house I grew up in," said Mike Calo. "This family has been here 100 years and we haven't had a problem like this."

Figuerdo had adopted his dog from the North Kingstown Animal Shelter just four weeks before the attack.

"He was told it would be euthanized otherwise, so I guess he felt bad," said Mike.

On Sunday, Figuerdo returned the dog to the shelter.

Lady, meanwhile, is in critical condition and is being treated at Ocean State Veterinary in East Greenwich.

"They said it was the worst dog on dog attack they've ever seen," said Mike Calo. "We're not sure if she's going to make it yet."

The family has been told it will cost $10,000 to save the pet.

In a release by the North Smithfield Police Department, Capt. Glenn Lamoureux says that after assessing the situation, police decided not to remove the animal.

"After the incident, the Animal Control Officer was advised of the incident and a determination was made to quarantine the dog at 155 Saint Paul St. for 10 days," Lamoureux said.

But it's not the family's first encounter with delayed response from Animal Control.

Just last year, the Calos' greyhound, Phoebe, was nearly killed in a similar attack and that dog, which they say was a pit bull, remained in the home for three weeks because they were told Goodwin was on vacation.

"It's really tough on us because we have to go through the same thing that we already went through before," said Mike.

"They wouldn't even take the report," he added. "The mailman told me he stopped delivering the mail there until the dog was gone."

Calo said they eventually determined that the owners had acquired neither a license nor a rabies vaccine for the animal.

They say it's not Misiazek's first encountered with a neighbor's unleashed dog, either. According to the Calos, Figuerdo has a second dog, a pit bull puppy. A college-aged daughter often returns to the home on weekends and brings with her two dogs of similar breed.

"She's asked him on multiple occasions to keep them on a leash," said Mike.

On Monday, Misiazek says she was visited by Goodwin, and told that the dog was secured in the house before the attack and had let itself out. Goodwin could not be reached for comment.


ugly dogs created for an ugly purpose. and no license, no rabies what a surprise.

Fatal and disfiguring attacks by pit bulls from shelters and rescues have exploded, from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 43 in the past four years, along with 19 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs. The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone, ever, before 2000 were two wolf hybrids in 1988 and 1989. 31 shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010, 29 of them pit bulls, bull mastiffs, and Rottweilers.

Of the 4,402 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 2,792 (63%) were pit bulls; 536 were Rottweilers; 3,565 were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes. Of the 514 human fatalities, 261 were killed by pit bulls; 84 were killed by Rottweilers; 384 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds. Of the 2,502 people who were disfigured, 1,670 (66%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 314 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,080 (83%) were disfigured by molosser breeds. Pit bulls--exclusive of their use in dogfighting--also inflict about 10 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class. Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 6% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

Just to be clear, the pit bull that attacked my aunt Wanda and her greyhound did in fact have its shots. The one that attacked my greyhound in July 2012 had no proof of shots or license and was supposedly from out of state.

Also, the mention of the mailman refusing to deliver mail to the pit bull owners house on Crest Ave and the NS Police refusal to accept my Police report in 2012 was my situation, not the one my aunt is currently addressing.

Lady passed on Friday at 5:00 PM from cardiac arrest resulting from multiple trauma from the pit bull attack. My aunt Wanda is devastated, but recovering from her wounds. Thanks to all for praying for them.