Dog attacked in front yard of South Bend home

A beloved household pet was brutally attacked in its front yard last Wednesday night. The owners say the other dog is nowhere to be found.

The alleged attack happened in the 2300 block of Union Ave. in South Bend, Wednesday Aug. 27.

The Cashen family's two-and-a-half year old Cabuchon, Max, was tethered in the front yard of their ranch style home at around 8:30 p.m.

Tiffany Cashen, her husband and two children were inside the house when they heard a startling, "horrifying" noise.

When Cashen rushed outside she saw, what she described as a large English Mastiff, standing over Max.

"I was in panic mode," said Cashen.

Her husband wrapped the bleeding dog in blankets and brought the dog inside while the owner of the dog approached Tiffany and promised to check in with the family the next day.

Meanwhile, the man walking the alleged Mastiff walked off with the dog, never to return again.

The veterinarian at the animal hospital told the Cashens they were lucky Max was alive. He had severe gashes on both shoulders and his chest that warranted temporary drainage tubes to be inserted to fight infection.

According to Tiffany Cashen, Max risks losing one of his front legs altogether.

South Bend Animal Care and Control (SBACC) was alerted of the dog bite the night it occurred but did not dispatch any officers.

Director of SBACC, Matt Harmon, described the bite as "relatively severe."

On a monthly basis, Harmon said SBACC handles roughly 15-20 dog bite cases, the vast majority of which are dog-to-person bites.

"Dog-to-dog or animal-to-animal bites more often go unreported," said Harmon.

The biggest concern with any animal bite is the possible spread of rabies. Health care offices fill out bite reports and pass them along to local animal control and, if necessary, local health departments.

Dog-on-dog bites, said Harmon, are not necessarily regulated by animal control but SBACC still wants to be informed if and when they happen.

"In these sorts of cases, if we identify the aggressor then it goes in front of the commission so that if the animal is deemed potentially dangerous or vicious according to the new ordinance," Harmon explained.

South Bend recently passed a new animal control ordinance which created a commission to evaluate animal attacks or abuse on a case-by-case basis. The South Bend Common Council will finalize the commission next week.

Because SBACC doesn't have much information about the owner, type, medical history of the dog, there's not much it can do at this point in time.

"We just want everyone to know that this dog that attacked our little dog is still out there. We're so lucky that our children were not injured, nobody, neighbors, so we just want to find these people and this dog to serve justice for what he's done," said Cashen.

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