Guide dog-in-training attacked on city's near North Side

Canine attacked by 2 other dogs near North Main Street, East Mistletoe Street

SAN ANTONIO – Sandy Merrill says she was walking her guide dog-in-training last Friday like she does every other day when out of nowhere, two dogs came up and began attacking her dog.

"I tried my best to fend them off and shouted and yelled,” said Merrill, the CEO of Guide Dogs of Texas. “I started kicking them and when one would bite on one side, the other would bite on the other side."

Witnesses and pepper spray finally helped end the attack, only after 20 minutes passed.

Billy the dog was badly injured and suffered dozens of bite wounds.

Merrill said she is also worried that he might no longer be a good candidate for the person he might have been placed with.

"If a dog is aggressive and attacks a guide dog, that is life-shattering for a guide-dog owner,” she said. “In this case, it might mean that the person who was destined to get him won't have a guide dog now."

Animal Care Services is now investigating.

"We have dispatched officers to that location in an effort to locate the animals that perpetrated the attack,” Joel Skidmore said. “We are going to reach out to the owner of the dog and try to facilitate ... find the dogs that did the attack."

For the injured dog, it was his gentle nature that made a good guide dog that worked against him.

"The sad thing is, a lot of times when a guide dog is attacked by loose dogs, they don't always recover.” Merrill said. “So if this was a dog that had already graduated, that would be somebody's eyes that they cannot get around anymore."

Merrill said she believed one of the dogs that attacked was a pit bull trained to fight. She urges dog owners to not left their animals run loose. Had Billy been walking with a blind person, the consequences could have been much worse, she said.