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ELKO – Two pit bulls mauled a dog in a yard on Primrose Lane and the owner’s mother in law tried to fight them off while holding a baby in her arms, according to court records filed in a vicious animal case.

The owner was arrested this week on multiple misdemeanor charges.

Police were called on the morning of June 20 when two large pit bulls pushed through a fence at a residence and attacked a chow chow while a pit bull puppy watched.

The owner’s daughter in law, who lives nearby, told police she jumped out of bed, got dressed and entered the yard while carrying her baby. She yelled, and the female pit bull stopped attacking but the male continued. She hit the male on the head with her hand but he would not stop. Then she threw her keys at the male and it released the chow chow.

By then it was too late.

The chow chow “had blood all over its face, body and legs,” stated the investigating officer.

Animal control rounded up the loose dogs and kenneled them at the Elko Animal Shelter. The wounded dog was treated at a veterinarian but had to be put down because of the severity of its injuries.

The veterinarian who treated the chow chow wrote that “It is very concerning that the dogs in question exhibited such ruthless attack behavior. I would be very concerned that these dogs, with a ‘pack’ mentality and the freedom to roam, not only pose a threat to other animals but to children or other humans.”

Evidence was sent to the city attorney, but charges were not immediately filed.

Meanwhile, police documented reports of the dogs running at large three times in August. On one occasion the two adult dogs were seen “chasing a female and her children.” The woman was carrying a part Yorkie pup when the pit bulls “circled back around her car and came towards her, barking and biting at the small canine in her hands chasing her into the house.”

Complaints were filed against the pit bulls’ owner on Oct. 8 and Oct. 22.

Andrew B. Pichardo, 25, of Elko was booked Dec. 3 on a warrant for three counts of animal at large; two counts of unlawful to own or keep vicious or dangerous animal; three counts of dog license and inoculation required; and two counts of dog collar and tags required. His bail was listed at $1,760.

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