Residents and a dog owner in Diablo are concerned that a Pit Bull that killed a Chihuahua two weeks ago has not been taken in by Animal Services.
The pit bull, Rona, that attacked and killed the Chihuahua, Coco, on Jan. 30 has been declared a "potentially dangerous animal" by Contra Costa County Animal Services.
Dan Barrett, Deputy Director of Contra Costa County Animal Services, said officers made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the dog’s owner, Lauren Boardman, and was unable to take the animal into protective custody for evaluation.
Barrett said Suzanne Boardman, Lauren's mother, told Animal Services over a week ago that the dog is now in Arizona.
Barrett says the Boardmans have agreed to accept a "potentially dangerous animal" designation for Rona in absentia, pursuant to a Contra Costa County Animal Control Ordinance. The Boardmans are now required to have a permit to keep the dog, with strict conditions and an annual renewal process. They have 36 months to prove Rona is not a danger to the community. The designation will then be removed.
The Boardmans were not available to comment for this story.
Celia Beard, the owner of the dog that was killed, says she is sad and very angry in the aftermath of Coco’s death.
“I miss my dog,” she says.
On the morning of Jan. 30, Coco was attacked by Rona outside Beard's home. Coco died on the way to a vet in San Ramon.
The news that Rona is out of the area is little comfort to Beard or the community that has reached out to her family following the attack, Beard says.
Beard is frustrated that Animal Services was not able to take Rona into protective custody, and says she can’t stop thinking about the whereabouts of the dog, or if it will reappear in the neighborhood.
Her neighborhood on Clydesdale Drive is a popular walking route, and is used by families on their way to and from nearby . It is down the street from the and .
Beard says people have expressed their concerns about the attack, and have said they aren't comfortable allowing their kids or pets to walk in the area.
The chihuahua’s death has affected Beard’s family, including her other dogs.
Coco, who was known to steal French fries and loved ice cream, was her 16-year-old daughter Sydney’s Christmas gift when she was 10-years-old.
Beard is especially heartbroken, she says, that her daughter saw her dog suffer and die in her lap as they took Coco to the vet for treatment.
Beard's other dogs seem to miss Coco, too, she says.
Beard says Coco’s brother, Otto, who her mother was also walking when the attack occurred, was unhurt but isn’t sleeping at night due to the trauma.
"He just wanders around the house,” she says, adding that the two remaining dogs no longer “sing” to Beard’s mother as they used to.
“It’s so quiet in the house,” she says.
It is not known whether Rona is expected to return to the area.