• Dog, owner attacked by dog in park


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga - A visit to a Gwinnett County dog park ended up with an injured dog and a trip to the emergency room for its owner.

    Dallas, a black Lab mix, wears a blue neck inflatable to prevent him from getting to the eight stitches and drains that are coming out of his chest.

    On Tuesday, at the dog run at Harbins Park in Dacula, an encounter with a Cane Corso resulted in a 2-inch gash to his chest.  Dallas was not the only one hurt. 

    His owner Michael Hicks was bitten twice -- on his left side and left knee.

    Certified dog trainer and canine behavioral specialist Carl Cappolino says Hicks is lucky. “If the owner of the dog that was bitten had fallen to his feet, we would’ve had a disaster, potentially.”

    Cappolino has trained dogs for 51 years. He trains all breeds, except one. The Cane Corso. 

    “They’re a dog that needs a tremendous amount of structure in their life. A lot of training. A lot of discipline.”

    Cappolino said dogs are bred for a purpose. The Cane Corso’s was to protect and guard -- a war dog.

    “The problem today is those dogs aren’t being used for that purpose. When that occurs you have issues that start developing.”

    At the park, dog owner Beth Sharpton saw the pictures of Dallas' and Hicks’ injuries. “It’s gruesome. That’s a bad attack.”

    Sharpton says her dogs don’t play well with others and that’s why they don’t go to dog parks.  “I don’t want to have a dog fight or get my dogs injured or other dogs injured in the process, or ourselves!”

    The Cane Corso involved in the dog park incident is on a 10-day hold at Gwinnett County’s Animal Control.  The dog’s owner was also cited.

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