A dog has died after a vicious attack by a pit bull on the Historic Side of The Villages.
Casper was a three-year-old, 16-pound Coton DeTulear, who lived with with Robert and Darlene Stone in the Village of Silver Lake. They moved here in 2012 from Massachusetts. They got Casper when he was a puppy.
Robert Stone said his stepdaughter had arrived a day earlier from Canada when she volunteered early Monday afternoon to walk Casper along with her 11-pound, 18-month-old Shih Tzu. She was walking both dogs at about 12:45 p.m. near the corner of Jason Drive and Shay Boulevard when the pit bull broke free and came at the dogs.
“She was frozen,” Stone said of his stepdaughter, who is renting a home on St. Andrews Boulevard, also on the Historic Side of The Villages.
A Villager, whose daughter came to live with him and brought along the pit bull, ran and tried to break up the fracas. When Casper was freed, the terrified dog took off running.
A Villager in a golf cart saw the commotion and used her golf cart to block Casper’s path. She saw the extent of his injuries and wrapped him in a towel. She rode with Stone in a car to the Banfield Animal Hospital at PetSmart. Seeing the critical nature of the dog’s injuries, the veterinarian recommended rushing the dog to an emergency animal clinic with advanced care in Ocala. Once there, the Ocala veterinarian said the only hope was the University of Florida animal hospital in Gainesville, still a long shot.
Stone made the difficult decision to end Casper’s pain and had him euthanized.
He and his wife are shocked and saddened.
“There will be no Christmas in this house,” he said.
Meanwhile, his stepdaughter is having a difficult time. Her dog was relatively unharmed as the pit bull focused its attack on Casper. But it took an emotional toll on her.
“Needless to say she’s a wreck. She’s distraught,” Stone said.
If there is a silver lining, it is the people and neighbors who have reached out at this very sad time.
Robert and Darlene Stone regularly walked Casper in the Paradise area and, of course, knew all of the other dogs and their owners. There has been an outpouring of support from the other dog walkers.
One of the fellow dog walkers showed up at the Stones’ home with a sympathy card.
In addition to the woman in the golf cart, others stepped up to help on that terrible day when Casper was attacked.
“There are so many great helpful people in our community,” Stone said.