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Dog owner fights to keep adopted pet alive after gruesome attack

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INDIANAPOLIS – The owner of an adult pit bull in Indianapolis is fighting for his dog’s life in court after the dog got loose and attacked two dogs and their owners.

One of the dogs was killed in the attack.

“Everyone we talked to was horrified, and they can’t get the screaming out of their heads,” said Samantha DeWester, the Indianapolis city prosecutor trying the case.

She tried to talk the owner of the pit bull, James Holley, into giving up his rights to the dog, but he wouldn’t. The dog is currently being cared for at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.

“He dragged Junior to the side of the lake there and mauled him relentlessly shaking him and biting him, and Junior was looking at me, and I could not help him,” said Tony Yeary, the owner of a 6-month-old Dachshund killed in the attack. He spoke with Fox 59 soon after it happened, and his arm was bandaged because he’d been knocked over and bitten by the large dog while trying to protect his Dachshund.

Shortly after the incident, neighbors told Fox 59 the pit bull named Apollo spent most of his time tied to a tree and had little to no interaction with other dogs at the northeast side apartment complex.

The Humane Society for Hamilton County was also in court Friday. Holley had adopted him from them after the dog passed temperament testing. A Humane Society representative said that they are frustrated and severely disappointed, believing the dog was set up to fail by the man who adopted him.

They claim while Apollo was abused—and he was selective about what other dogs he wanted to be around—he was never aggressive towards their staff when he was in their care.

“It’s hard to determine who the dog was after initially, but, regardless, it was very vicious towards the human and the animal,” said Sergeant Kim Wolsiffer with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.

A trial date has been set for June 12.

Holley, who had no comment for Fox 59, will not have access to his dog, but he will have to pay for his care at the shelter.