A pit bull awaits its fate at an animal shelter after killing a four-pound Yorkie in a Southern Shores neighborhood.

Richard Furioni, 84, was walking his Yorkshire terrier, Jack, down Skyline Drive late last Sunday when a pit bull charged from a nearby house and clamped his jaws on the little dog, according to an account by Furioni and a police report.

Jack, a Yorkshire terrier, was killed while his owner was walking him down his Southern Shores street.

Jack, a Yorkshire terrier, was killed while his owner was walking him down his Southern Shores street. (Courtesy of Richard Furioni/)

The larger dog would not let loose even after Furioni beat on its head repeatedly with his fist. Another neighbor beat on the pit bull with a stick. The dog weighs 40 to 50 pounds, the police report said.

The pit bull’s owner was finally able to get the dog off the Yorkie, but it was too late.

“He couldn’t save the dog,” said Richard’s wife, Martha Furioni, 81,

Jack was the runt of the litter when Martha bought him for her husband more than two years ago. Richard, who goes by Dick, walked him every day in a neighborhood that is quiet in the winter and busier in the summer tourist season.

Jack, always full of energy, would come up to Dick each day about 4 o’clock in the afternoon ready for his walk.

“He was sweet, loved everybody, and we are devastated,” Martha said.

The pit bull had come out to the street on a least one other occasion when Martha was walking Jack, she said. She picked him up before the larger dog could get there.

Southern Shores police cited Jane Moseley, who also lives on Skyline Drive, with violating a town code regarding aggressive dogs. The pit bull is being held by the Outer Banks SPCA, according to a police report. Moseley’s hearing is set for Jan. 10.

She had taken out the trash and accidentally left the door cracked open when her dog, Buddy, ran out, she said. She believes her dog will be euthanized.

“I have hardly quit crying since it happened — for multiple reasons, not the least is the Furionis’ loss, but also, I am losing my best friend,” Moseley said. “My heart is broken for everyone.”

Furioni had to get treatment for his hand that was still badly bruised on Thursday. He may seek legal action against Moseley, he said.

The attack is similar to a recent case in a Virginia Beach neighborhood that has received media attention. Two pit bulls attacked and killed a Boykin Spaniel in late November as the owner walked the dog down the street. One of the pit bulls was euthanized.

In Dare County, the director of Public Health determines whether a dog is dangerous and should be euthanized, said Sheila Davies, who serves in that post and is also director of the Dare County Health and Human Services Department. The decision can be appealed to the Dangerous Animal Appeal Board. The board’s decision can be appealed to superior court, she said.

Davies gets about seven dangerous dog cases a year, she said. Most are dealing with dogs injuring people, she said. Two pit bulls were euthanized 10 years ago after they killed a Labrador in Kitty Hawk, according a report at the time in The Virginian-Pilot.

Jeff Hampton, 252-491-5272, jeff.hampton@pilotonline.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.