The alleged stabbing occurred Sunday by the owner of a Westie terrier at a Petsmart in Newnan, Georgia. Witnesses said the pit bull, whose name was Clara, was being walked outside when she broke from her collar and ran back inside the store, the Associated Press reports.
Clara then walked up to a terrier owned by Craig Emory Hayes, began to sniff the terrier. Then she grabbed the dog by its ear and began to pull it, according to the police report.
Witness Kathy Stottlar said Hayes kept yelling for someone to get the pit bull off his pet, and kicked Clara several times.
“He yelled ‘Get the dog off or I will stab him.’ He said it several times,” Stottlar told the Newnan Times-Herald.
Another witness, Mike Wohler, said the suspect kept attacking the pit bull.
"It didn't look like the dogs were even fighting, but [Emory] was pummeling the dog saying 'Effing pit bull, how are you still around?' and 'Effing pit bull this and that,'" Wohler told WXIA TV. "Then I realized he wasn't punching the dog. He was stabbing it."
Wohler said he was able to pull the pit bull's mouth open and get the dogs separated as Petsmart employees ran over with a spray bottle and air horn. They later told police that they use air horns when dogs fight inside the store.
Police told CBS 46 that the Westie had a bite mark on the right side of its ear where Clara grabbed it. Clara had three stab wounds in her neck.
Petsmart corporate headquarters told WXIA TV that the store's "top priority is the safety of pet parents and pets in our stores. We are working with the pet parent of the Westie to make sure it makes a full recovery."
Hayes allegedly told police he was defending his dog like he would his child if a dog attacked him, and he was afraid Clara would turn on him and his 8-year-old child.
Police in Newnan are investigating the matter, but no charges have been filed yet, according to the New York Daily News.
Initially, it was thought that Clara might recover, but the stab wounds she suffered were severe enough that officials with the Newnan-Coweta Humane Society had to euthanize her, according to a post on the group's Facebook page.