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Police: Dogs Maul Man In Park

Last updated on Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(LEBANON) - A Lebanon man remains hospitalized after being attacked by two dogs at Memorial Park.

Police said the attack happened Monday morning when Joseph Stapleton was out walking his dog.

Lebanon Police Lt. Brent Wheat was dispatched to the park on reports of a dog fight, but said he wasn't prepared for what he saw when he arrived, RTV6's Eboné Monet reported.

"When I arrived, I found (Stapleton) standing up, but he was covered with blood, especially his legs. It was pretty apparent there had been a pretty serious dog attack," Wheat said.

Police said two full breed boxers attacked Stapleton and killed his Yorkshire terrier.

Stapleton's family said he fought off the dogs, but he suffered severe bites to his arms and legs.

"I'm convinced had the gentleman not fought off the dogs, they could have possibly killed him," Wheat said.

Wheat said he was forced to shoot one of the boxers.

"I had to make a decision. I'm a dog owner. I don't like to hurt dogs, however in this situation there wasn't a lot of thought here. I just had to do what I had to do because I believe that dog was intent on biting me," Wheat said.

Police said the dogs came to the park after breaking loose from a nearby home.

The surviving dog is quarantined pending rabies test results. its owner is facing charges of harboring non-immunized dogs, police said.

Wheat said based on what happened, he recommends that the dog be euthanized, but a judge will ultimately make that decision.

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