24
Wed, Apr

Pit Bull Owner Describes Attack in Santa Clarita on Toy Australian Shepherd as a “Fight”

ANIMAL WATCH

ANIMAL WATCH - On April 16 a resident of a Santa Clarita, CA, apartment complex was walking on the property with her Toy Australian Shepherd, Bozzy, at approximately 8:45 a.m. when a 61-pound leashed Pit Bull broke loose from its owner and raced down the sidewalk to viciously attack the tiny dog. 

The owner of the Pit Bull, named Bronson, later described the incident to a Los Angeles County Animal Control Officer as the two dogs “fighting,” and complained that the diminutive, 13-pound “herding” dog trying to escape the jaws of death had “scratched his face and bit his ear and left small scratches” while he unsuccessfully attempted to get his Pit Bull to let go. 

The above photo (provided by an eyewitness who asked not to be publicly identified) was taken after the incident. It shows a man—described as the owner—grasping the Pit Bull’s collar “after wrestling with it to open its jaws to free the other dog,” and appearing to have collapsed or fallen on the grass near two empty sandals. Ultimately, both dogs and the Pit’s owner were hospitalized. 

The grey-and-white Pit Bull in that photo and the dog pictured on the Ventura County Camarillo Animal Shelter adoption form (later provided to L.A. County Animal Care and Control by the owner after the attack) has identical markings as the “Bronson” adopted by “Michael Karlman” on 12/15/22. The dog was listed as 2 years of age at that time and had been neutered prior to his impound by Ventura County on 11/15/22. 

(This was a very tragic and complex event and, understandably, not all details of the reports cited are included.) 

PHOTO OF A TOY AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD

  

The L.A. County Animal Care and Control report does not contain a picture of “Bozzy;” however, the above photo from DogBreedInfo.com is a Toy Australian Shepherd and describes the gentle little dog as helping the owner’s daughter “herd” their chickens back into their pen.” 

INCIDENT REPORT (Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control) 

STATEMENT OF SUSPECT MICHAEL SCOTT KARLMAN: 

“He was out walking his dog (Bronson) to defecate. He was using a retractable leash and had some slack on it. They turned the corner and his dog saw her dog and bolted and pulled out of his hand. The dogs started fighting, his dog latched onto her dog. He ran after his dog and started to pull them apart. It was not easy. Finally, after a minute or two his dog let go, the fight ended. He noticed his dog was not getting up, it was on the ground laying sideways, and gushing blood. The paramedics arrived to transport him to the hospital. The paramedics assisted by wrapping his dog in a towel. His brother (Scott Karlman) transported [h]is dog to the same Veterinarian that the other dog was taken to because it was the only Veterinarian open.” 

“While he was trying to separate the dogs, the toy Australian Shepherd bit him on the face, and left ear causing small scratches. His pit bull was biting the other dog in the back of the hind legs. He was transported to Henry Mayo Hospital due to feeling in shock, decreased blood pressure and stress on his heart. Someone stabbed his pit bull and it’s currently at the Veterinarian in critical condition.” 

STATEMENT OF WITNESS – JIM MORRIS: 

“He and his wife were asleep and woke up because of screaming. He thought it was kids but then he heard, “He won’t get up.” “Bring help get water.” He stuck his head out from a third-floor window and saw a group of people down below. He realized there was a commotion. He filled up a coffee tumbler with water and went outside. He saw a female neighbor holding a sweater on the wound of a pit bull trying to stop bleeding, there was blood everywhere. He inquired what was going on and a neighbor informed him. He saw the owner of the pit bull [get] up, very disoriented, and wandering around saying “we have to go to a vet.” The owner was trying to pull the pit bull by the leash in a manner to get it to walk. Meanwhile the pit bull was still on the ground. The paramedics arrived about ten minutes later. He saw a SUV pull up and the small dog was rushed to the Veterinarian. No one knows who the person was that stabbed the pit bull.” 

RESPONSE TIME BY LA COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL 

Call Date:  4/18/23  09:33 AM

Dispatch Time:                 09:37 AM

Working (Arrival):         09:46 AM

Completion:                     10:21 AM 

When the officer arrived at 24448 Valencia Blvd., he wrote: 

“A group of women were standing outside, they said everyone was taken away by ambulance. 

One woman who did not want to give me her name or contact number said the following. She heard very loud screaming and saw a woman carrying a mini-Australian shepherd dog, the dog was bleeding but conscious. She said a pit bull bully breed dog was stabbed by a person trying to break up a fight. No one was able to give me the exact building and unit numbers of both parties. The woman gave me the name of the woman seen carrying the mini-Australian shepherd dog. There was no fire personnel or sheriffs on scene when I arrived.” 

OFFICER RETURNED: 

Working Date:   04/16/23 02:37 PM

Complete Date:  04/16/23 03:16 PM 

“I arrived AT 24450 Valencia Blvd, .… I contacted Sophia KAHN, owner of BOZZY. A toy Australian Shepherd. She explained she was walking her dog at about 8:52 am. She was walking down the road and turned the corner. She saw an older Caucasian man walking with a large grey and white pit bull on a leash. The pit bull instantly started to pull and bark at her dog. KAHN turned around and walked in the opposite direction and circled the building. 

She saw the pit bull again at the end of the walkway. The pit bull saw her dog again and got away from the owner. The pit came running and latched onto her dog (Bozzy). The pit bull pulled and carried her dog several feet into a nearby grass area. The owner of the pit bull tried pulling his dog off. KAHN started to scream and started to kick the pit bull. Approximately ten (10) neighbors came outside to help with kicking the pit bull. Meanwhile the pit bull was still latched onto Bozzy.” 

KAHN called her fiancé, Max Bosworth, who rushed outside to help. He grabbed the pit bull by the mouth and tried to pull the mouth open, but it wasn’t working. A neighbor came out with a knife and stabbed the pit bull in the rear right leg. That’s when the pit bull finally released Bozzy. Her fiancé Bosworth picked up the dog with a towel. KAHN called her parents and they immediately drove Bozzy to Grand Canyon Veterinarian Hospital. 

April 17, 2023, at about 9:15 am, I contacted Michael Karlman at 24450 Valencia Blvd .... He identified himself as the owner of BRONSON, a neutered two (2) year old, grey and white pit bull. He explained he was out walking his dog; he was using a retractable leash. He had some slack on the leash. He turned the corner, his dog saw the other dog, it bolted and got away from him. 

STATEMENT OF WITNESS – MAX HUNTER BOSWORTH: 

His fiancé (Sophia Kahn) called him at 8:52 a.m, yelling for him to come and help. He ran outside with no shoes on and ran in the direction behind the building. He saw various people. He saw Bozzy in the mouth of a pit bull, then saw the back end of a pit bull. He ran over, got on top of the pit bull, punching it in the head. He put his fingers in the pit bull’s mouth, attempting to pull the jaw open, the pit bull was very strong. A neighbor came outside with a knife and said, “Should I stab it?” He replied “yes.” The neighbor stabbed the pit bull in the leg. He opened the jaws and immediately Bozzy ran towards the garage, hopping on three legs. He was able to get ahold of Bozzy. 

He sustained scratches on his right hand from attempting to stop the pit bull. 

SYNOPSIS BY L.A. COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER

“Los Angeles County Fire paramedics arrived on scene and assisted Michael Karlman and his Pitbull (Bronson). Karlman was transported to Henry Mayo Hospital due to symptoms of shock, decreased blood pressure, and his heart showing signs of stress. Karlman’s brother, Scott Karlman, transported Bronson to a Veterinarian. Both dogs were characterized as critical condition at Grand Canyon Veterinarian Hospital, located at 18840 Soledad Canyon Road, in the city of Santa Clarita. Both dogs remained at the Veterinarian hospital for overnight treatment and evaluation.” 

A citation for failure to license a dog in L.A. County was issued by the Animal Control Officer, with a $100 penalty fee. 

COST OF THIS PIT BULL ATTACK 

The Grand Canyon Veterinary Hospital, at the request of the Animal Control Officer, provided the bills for each dog in this incident. Both dogs were taken to the same location for emergency care. 

The total for treatment of (victim) Bozzy was $3,727.40

The total for Bronson (due to the knife wound) was $6,023.50. 

There was no indication yet of whether the owner of the victim intends to take any legal action. 

VIOLATION OF RENTAL AGREEMENT? 

An earlier report by the Signal states, “Terms from a recent Portofino lease indicate that all pets must be leashed and under control at all times, and that “American pit bull terriers, American bullies, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and any dogs that are cross breeds of or are related to such breeds are not permitted.” 

If that was/is a restriction, the provisions and penalties could be enforced by management. 

There is no indication of whether Bronson will be (or was) brought back to that location or is otherwise being kept in Los Angeles County. 

WILL ACTION BE TAKEN TO PREVENT ANOTHER ATTACK?  

The Ventura County/Camarillo animal shelter adoption record to Michael Karlman, provided by the dog owner (with photo of Bronson) indicates a rabies vaccine was given on 12/15/2022 and that will be valid for three years. (This means the dog was adopted only five months prior to this attack.) 

Will there be any action taken by Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control beyond that? The initial investigation appears to be closed on this incident. The County’s Title 10 Ordinance on “Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs” is shown below: 10.37.020. Potentially Dangerous Dog—Definition. 

Potentially dangerous dog means any of the following: 

  • A dog that on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, engages in any unprovoked behavior that requires a defensive action by a person to prevent bodily injury to a person, domestic animal, or livestock, off the property of the owner or custodian of the dog; 
  • A dog that, when unprovoked, bites a person or otherwise engages in behavior causing a less severe injury than as defined in Section 10.37.040; 
  • A dog that, when unprovoked, has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury to a domestic animal or livestock off the property of the owner or custodian of the dog. 

(Ord. 2022-0020 § 14, 2022; Ord. 2016-0040 § 187, 2016; Ord. 2013-0033 § 3, 2013; Ord. 2001-0042 § 2 (part), 2001.) 

MORE INFORMATION REQUESTED 

A subsequent Public Records request is pending to determine any prior reported incidents involving Bronson, and a CityWatchLA.com follow-up will be made if pertinent information is received. 

(I can be contacted through the CityWatchLA editor.) 

(Phyllis M. Daugherty is a former Los Angeles City employee, an animal activist and a regular contributor to CityWatch.)