Neighbors witness couple being attacked by family dog

- A New Port Richey couple is recovering after being attacked by their own dog inside their house.

"I saw her on the ground and I noticed she was holding down the dog, and then I heard someone say 'call 911,'" said the couple's next door neighbor.

Emergency crews arrived to find a man severely injured. He had bite marks covering his body and his arm was broken. The woman also had minor injuries from the attack.

Fearing for the safety of the couple and their neighbors, deputies said they were left with only one choice.

"When the sheriff's office got on scene, unfortunately, they were unable to control that dog and they had to put the dog down in the backyard," said Corey Dierdorff with Pasco County Fire Rescue.

Those who witnessed the heartbreaking ordeal are still in shock, but say they hurt for the family. They said this dog was more than just a pet.  

"They're therapy dogs. I know that apparently, he relied on those dogs, and I feel bad for him," their neighbor said.

Neighbors said there were never any warning signs that the dog might be vicious or a danger to others.

"Both dogs seemed relatively sweet. I haven't really seen them walk their dogs that often out front, but nothing out of the ordinary that would make you think there was anything wrong with the dog or that there was any kind of issue with it," said Cheryl Mullen, a neighbor who lives on the street.

As those on Otter Way try to understand what could have provoked the animal, they are reminded that you can never be too careful.

"There's a lot of children here, there's a lot of folks that walk their dogs up and down the street. So when you hear that it's someone you know, it's not as removed at that point. Reality hits that animals are animals at the end of the day," said Mullen.

Authorities don't know what caused the dog to attack.

The couple is expected to make a full recovery.

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