METAMORA TWP. (WWJ/AP) – Police and animal control officers have removed five dogs from a Michigan home where two other dogs that fatally mauled a 46-year-old jogger were being kept.
Police said the homeowner was not present when the five dogs were taken Friday from the home in Metamora Township, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit.
The 45-year-old owner had already turned two Cane Corsos, similar to the Bull Mastiff breed, over to authorities after the canines fatally attacked Craig Sytsma on Wednesday.
Sytsma, of Livonia, was walking down the road near the dogs’ home when the two dogs mauled him. Sytsma was unconscious when he was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries, police said.
“He was jogging, doing what everybody else does out there, running and riding bikes,” said Metamora Township Police Officer Sean Leathers, who was one of the first on the scene. According to police, a man mowing his lawn nearby saw the attack, got a gun and tried to shoot at the animals to chase them off.
Sytsma’s stepson, Jordan Sytsma, told the Detroit Free Press he believes the dogs “were looking to kill.”
Police said this was not their first run-in with the owner’s dogs.
In May 2012, there was a report of a dog bite where the animal returned to the same property, Metamora Township Police Chief David Mallett told The Flint Journal. And in November 2013, a man was taken to a hospital after being bitten by a dog that returned to the address.
Mallett said he didn’t know whether the same dog or dogs were involved.
Oxford resident April Smith told the Free Press, however, that one of the dogs involved on Wednesday attacked her in May 2012. Smith said she and her sister were walking two dogs when she was bitten. She said she was horrified that the owner still had the dogs.
“It’s just crazy to me,” Smith said. “Animal control should have done something. It should have never gone this far. The fact this has led to a death, it’s sickening.”
Under Michigan law, a person may face involuntary manslaughter or other charges in such an attack. The county prosecutor’s office is expected to review the case.
According to the American Kennel Club, a Cane Corso is a muscular and large-boned dog breed in the working group. A native of Italy, the Cane Corso was historically kept as a property watchdog that hunted wild boar. Today, Cane Corsos are known to be affectionate to their owner and bond closely with children and family, the AKC says. The large and athletic breed needs a lot of exercise, but can be easily trained.
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