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Pit bull owner says she warned other woman

 
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The owner of a pit bull that killed a dog in Palo Alto last Saturday morning twice warned the owner of the small dog to stay away, she told the Weekly Wednesday.

"I said, 'Please don't bring your dog over here,'" the owner, Ann Lane, told the Weekly today in a telephone conversation.

Palo Alto police later confirmed that the listed owners of the pit bull dogs are Ann and Gill Lane. A nearby resident told the Weekly that the couple live near Ross Road and Clara Drive with three adult children.

The nearby resident also contends that one of the dogs got out two years ago and bit a passerby. Ann Lane could not be reached to confirm that.

"It's a horrible tragedy for both of us," she said of the Saturday incident.

The owner of the small dog, Teruko Kamikihara, said her Maltese dog was "viciously attacked and instantly killed" in the Saturday morning incident at Middlefield Road and Colorado Avenue.

But Ann said she doesn’t understand why Kamikihara kept coming towards her with her small dog despite be asked twice to keep her distance. She said Kamikihara's dog approached her dogs and started barking at them. One of them grabbed the smaller dog in its jaws and killed it.

Ann said she dropped the leashes of her other dogs to try to save the small dog, which Kamikihara also tried to do, and her other two dogs stood by without attacking.

"She was walking directly towards me," Ann said. "I don’t know why she did that. I don’t know if she didn’t hear me."

Kamikihara's dog, Yogloo, was killed instantly in the attack.

Ann's dogs, two pit bulls and a pit bull mix, were first taken to the Palo Alto Animal Shelter and are now back home. There is a strong possibility that Ann's dog will be the subject of a dangerous dog hearing, according to Sandi Stadler, superintendent of animal services for the Palo Alto Police Department.

Ann also said that a news report that her dogs had been the subject of a complaint before was inaccurate. She said the gate to her yard blew open and one of her dogs had gotten out.

Earlier story, initially posted Monday, Aug. 28:

Mauled Maltese dog was 'like a family member'

The small Maltese dog mauled to death by a pit bull Saturday morning in Midtown Palo Alto was "like a family member," its owner, Tono Kamikihara, reminisced Monday.

He said the 8-year-old family pet, named Yogloo, was just four weeks old and "didn't even have teeth when he joined our family." The dog was named by their daughter, now a law student, when she was a junior at Palo Alto High School, where his wife, Teruko, teaches Japanese, he said.

Kamikihara said he and Teruko are devastated by the death and sorting through photos "is hard." He said Teruko is composing a letter to warn owners of small pets -- and parents of small children -- to be extra cautious about large dogs.

Teruko was taking Yogloo for a walk in the area of Middlefield Road and Colorado Avenue when she started to pass a woman leading three pit bulls sometime after 8 a.m. -- contrary to initial police reports of 9:45 a.m.

But one of the dogs attacked the Maltese, shaking and killing it, despite Teruko throwing herself on the dog in a desperate effort to save her dog.

"Out of pure panic I jumped on this pit bull trying to pull him away before the other two had a chance to attack, but I couldn't move him at all; he was too heavy and strong," Teruko recalled.

"All of this happened within seconds," she said.

Tono said he was told by one animal control officer that a warning citation had been issued about the pit bulls approximately two years ago.

Tono said a small crowd formed and a woman covered Yogloo's body with a handkerchief to hide its wounds. Another bystander drove Teruko and Yogloo to a veterinary hospital.

Teruko said the people there were very supportive and compassionate.

Tono had special praise for city animal control officers. When he and his wife asked to see Yogloo's body late Saturday afternoon, one officer declined to show them the body because it was so badly torn up, he said.

Then on Sunday, when the animal control center is normally closed, they received a call and an officer said they could come for Yogloo. Tono said someone had apparently stayed late or come in Sunday to clean and arrange the body.

"We were very touched," he said.

The witness to the attack who called authorities said he saw the dogs and owners approaching each other. He then heard the noise of the attack and a woman screaming frantically. He said he initially thought the woman was being attacked.

The three pit bulls were briefly contained, according to Sandi Stadler, superintendent of the Animal Services Division of the Palo Alto Police Department.

"It's awful -- it happened so fast," Stadler said of the attack.

— Don Kazak

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