Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A 5-year-old pit bull that attacked a woman on Nov. 16 rested yesterday in a Maui Humane Society cage.

Dog called a menace

WAILUKU » A Maui woman mauled by a pit bull on Nov. 16 says the dog should be destroyed.

Sandra Sardinha, who had her head bandages removed yesterday, said she's afraid the dog might hurt children at the residence in Pukalani, where she was attacked.


Sandra Sardinha: The victim of a dog attack on Maui wants the animal destroyed.

A hearing before the Maui County Animal Control Board is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 1 to determine the disposition of the male 5-year-old blue nose pit bull named Faust, which weighs 80 to 90 pounds.

The dog also allegedly has attacked two other people on separate occasions while leashed and within the property.

Aimee Anderson, director of animal control for the Maui Humane Society, declined to disclose the position her organization would take at the hearing regarding the dog.

Sardinha, 46, of Haliimaile, said she had gone to drop off a package of clothes belonging to the child of a woman who lived at the residence.

When no one came to the door after she called several times, she sat on a wall bordering the property and fronting the highway, she said.

Sardinha said she had been to the residence on numerous occasions and always kept a safe distance from the dog, who was leashed to a cable, but the cable was longer on this visit.

Sardinha said she was reaching down to pick up a cigarette she had dropped when the pit bull jumped on her and bit the back of her head.

She said the attack went on for about 20 minutes with her shouting for help but no one coming to her aid.

"Every time I kept getting up, he kept biting a different spot," she said. "I was punching him as hard as I could. ... I fought him off because I didn't want to die like that."

She said she drove eight miles to her residence to get help after no one in the Pukalani neighborhood would come to her assistance.

The dog took out a 3-by-6 inch section of her scalp and bit her on her right arm, jaw and chest, as well as her left forearm.

Besides numerous stitches, Sardinha had skin from her right ear grafted to her scalp to help cover the wound.

Sardinha's boyfriend, Sauao Tuisano, said while trying to sell his car to someone at the residence three months ago, he had been bitten twice by the dog.

Anderson said the dog allegedly bit another man on the forearm on Nov. 5 while the man was walking with a friend in the driveway of the residence.

She said the Humane Society found out about the Nov. 5 attack the day after the Nov. 16 attack and took the dog into custody on Friday.

Anderson said if the board determines the dog is dangerous, it would then have to decide whether to have it destroyed or returned to the owner under certain conditions.

Anderson declined to release the name of the dog's owner.



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