SAN ANTONIO – A vicious pit bull attack on the south side leaves a neighborhood dog fighting for its life.
Family members are now speaking out, saying they were punished and the pit bull can still roam the neighborhood.
The attack happened with children nearby on Mission Pass near South Presa.
"Poor little dog,” Peter Balleza says. “I'm surprised he's still with us."
Swollen eyes and fresh wounds, injuries the Balleza family blames on a pit bull that attacked Ollie, their maltipoo.
“You can see the tooth that went inside of him,” Caroline Balleza says.
The pit bull lives down the streets. Its owner didn’t want to talk to News 4.
“I just want to make no comment,” the pit bull owner says.
But the Ballezas say they were powerless as her pit bull charged Ollie.
“Shaking him like a rag doll,” Peter says. "I ran back to the house to get a baseball bat. I hit the pit bull in the head twice. It didn't even faze it. It let go and grabbed Ollie by the ear and started dragging him down the street to get away from us to finish him off."
He says neighbors helped separate the dogs and chain the pit bull to a lamp post, then called police and Animal Care Services.
"We wanted the dog picked up but they said there's no way they could,” Peter says.
ACS cited state law: it did not need to impound the pit bull because it’s up to date on shots and was on its own property.
But neighborhood kids say they were playing football in the street and watched the attack start when the pit bull escaped its yard.
"There's a little hole in the fence and that's how he got out because he's been chewing on it,” Jeremiah Pena says.
The Ballezas say adding insult to injury, the pit bull was not punished but Peter was – with a citation for not having Ollie on a leash.
"If we had had the dog on the least, the dog, I'm sure, would have been dead,” Peter says. “It wouldn't have been able to run away fast enough."