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El Cajon pit bull attack goes unpunished, unpaid for

Little T-Bone saved but separated from owner

T-Bone
T-Bone

At 7:00 in the morning on November 6, on a quiet block of houses in Lemon Grove, three pit bulls escaped from their yard. They attacked a seven-year-old, tan "cha-weenie" mix named T-Bone, who was sitting on his owner’s front porch. T-Bone, who weighs 15 pounds, didn't stand a chance.

His owner Nancy Linhardt and three neighbors tried to save T-Bone by screaming, kicking, and pummeling the pit bulls as six additional neighbors witnessed the horrifying scene. Police were called, but by the time a man from across the street came running to control the dogs, T-Bone was torn apart.

For the past six years, T-Bone and Linhardt, 56, went everywhere together; it was a common sight for people to see them taking walks to the store or just sitting outside enjoying the sun.

Linhardt and her neighbor Cherise raced unconscious, bloody T-Bone to Pet Emergency & Specialty Center in La Mesa. His chest was torn open and his right arm was broken in five places. Bone stuck out from his leg in three spots. All tendons, muscles, and ligaments were severed just above his paw, which dangled.

Emergency vets informed Nancy that T-Bone needed immediate surgery, estimating the cost at $6660. The owner of the pit bulls, a woman in the Navy who lives across the street, showed up. This was reputedly the third attack by her dogs in the preceding two weeks. She accepted responsibility, said she’d “pay for everything" but wanted to move T-Bone to a different hospital, a cheaper one.

Frantic, Linhardt took T-Bone to Animal Medical Center in El Cajon. The cost to operate on T-Bone was estimated at $4122.80. They wouldn’t treat T-Bone until someone made a substantial down payment, so the Navy woman said she was going to her bank. Linhardt and Cherise drove back home to watch as the neighbor moved her most ferocious pit bull off her property...ostensibly so Animal Control couldn’t take him away.

Confronted, she told Linhardt, "Can't you understand...how much I love him? I can't lose him." The pit bull owner promised to pay all expenses, so T-Bone and Linhardt waited three days for her to honor her word and bring money for the operation. She hasn’t been heard from since.

Finally, the doctor couldn’t wait any longer. They had to operate or T-Bone would soon die. Linhardt came up with $700 and begged the vet to save his life. So, on November 9, T-Bone got his surgery. But those three days took their toll; T-Bone was still weak and sickly. He was on four different meds, and aggressive infections kept the vet busy trying different antibiotics (an expensive process) that worked.

With T-Bone's medical costs ballooning and the pit bull owner out of contact, Animal Medical Center gave Linhardt a choice: she could keep T-Bone and let him die (because she couldn’t afford further medical care) or relinquish her ownership of the dog to the hospital and they would save him and find him a new owner. T-Bone would live, but she would never see him again.

Linhardt signed the papers gave up T-Bone. It was November 12. Today she knows T-Bone lives but has no idea where. Linhardt filed a vicious-dog-attack report at the Chula Vista Animal Control. The pit bull owner still lives across the street with her dogs, her favorite one alive and well hidden.

T-Bone? The hospital said they saved his arm with a metal rod and nine pins. We miss you, Boner! You are loved by so many! Merry Christmas, wherever you are.

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T-Bone
T-Bone

At 7:00 in the morning on November 6, on a quiet block of houses in Lemon Grove, three pit bulls escaped from their yard. They attacked a seven-year-old, tan "cha-weenie" mix named T-Bone, who was sitting on his owner’s front porch. T-Bone, who weighs 15 pounds, didn't stand a chance.

His owner Nancy Linhardt and three neighbors tried to save T-Bone by screaming, kicking, and pummeling the pit bulls as six additional neighbors witnessed the horrifying scene. Police were called, but by the time a man from across the street came running to control the dogs, T-Bone was torn apart.

For the past six years, T-Bone and Linhardt, 56, went everywhere together; it was a common sight for people to see them taking walks to the store or just sitting outside enjoying the sun.

Linhardt and her neighbor Cherise raced unconscious, bloody T-Bone to Pet Emergency & Specialty Center in La Mesa. His chest was torn open and his right arm was broken in five places. Bone stuck out from his leg in three spots. All tendons, muscles, and ligaments were severed just above his paw, which dangled.

Emergency vets informed Nancy that T-Bone needed immediate surgery, estimating the cost at $6660. The owner of the pit bulls, a woman in the Navy who lives across the street, showed up. This was reputedly the third attack by her dogs in the preceding two weeks. She accepted responsibility, said she’d “pay for everything" but wanted to move T-Bone to a different hospital, a cheaper one.

Frantic, Linhardt took T-Bone to Animal Medical Center in El Cajon. The cost to operate on T-Bone was estimated at $4122.80. They wouldn’t treat T-Bone until someone made a substantial down payment, so the Navy woman said she was going to her bank. Linhardt and Cherise drove back home to watch as the neighbor moved her most ferocious pit bull off her property...ostensibly so Animal Control couldn’t take him away.

Confronted, she told Linhardt, "Can't you understand...how much I love him? I can't lose him." The pit bull owner promised to pay all expenses, so T-Bone and Linhardt waited three days for her to honor her word and bring money for the operation. She hasn’t been heard from since.

Finally, the doctor couldn’t wait any longer. They had to operate or T-Bone would soon die. Linhardt came up with $700 and begged the vet to save his life. So, on November 9, T-Bone got his surgery. But those three days took their toll; T-Bone was still weak and sickly. He was on four different meds, and aggressive infections kept the vet busy trying different antibiotics (an expensive process) that worked.

With T-Bone's medical costs ballooning and the pit bull owner out of contact, Animal Medical Center gave Linhardt a choice: she could keep T-Bone and let him die (because she couldn’t afford further medical care) or relinquish her ownership of the dog to the hospital and they would save him and find him a new owner. T-Bone would live, but she would never see him again.

Linhardt signed the papers gave up T-Bone. It was November 12. Today she knows T-Bone lives but has no idea where. Linhardt filed a vicious-dog-attack report at the Chula Vista Animal Control. The pit bull owner still lives across the street with her dogs, her favorite one alive and well hidden.

T-Bone? The hospital said they saved his arm with a metal rod and nine pins. We miss you, Boner! You are loved by so many! Merry Christmas, wherever you are.

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Comments
32

Awful story. Pit Bulls are dominant breed dogs, especially in a pack and owners MUST take full responsibility if they want to own even one. There is no excuse for 3 Pit Bulls to have escaped three times in 2 weeks. The owner should have been charged-why wasn't she???????? The problem here was an irresponsible out of control owner. She shoud never have been allowed even one Pit Bull much less three.

Dec. 20, 2012

The Vet should have worked out a payment plan and donations should have been arranged for the owner, no excuse for the vet to hold a family member hostage to money.

Dec. 20, 2012

time for a civil suit against this owner?

Dec. 20, 2012

The woman is in the Navy and long gone, even f you cold find her she is judgement proof, no money Criminal charges should have been brought, especially if the dogs had gotten out 3 times prior in the previous 2 weeks. Pitties are great dogs-but they are dominant and the owners MUST be in control at all times. I have had several Pit Bulls. I train them and am in total control at all times.

Dec. 20, 2012

Someone who's in the Navy is a very long way from "judgement-proof". Her command will make her life miserable beyond all belief until she pays. Especially if she has a job that requires a clearance.

Dec. 27, 2012

Most armed services enlisted personnel make so little they qualify for food stamps, I was just guessing that was the case here, but who knows maybe she was making decent money, then a civil lawsuit would work.

Dec. 27, 2012

I don't understand why the vet would absorb the costs, but find the dog a new owner. Animal Control is clearly failing here, too.

Dec. 20, 2012

chance was attacked twice. in the story below, we went to misdemeanor court, the clueless owner was fined, and she has moved away from the rental...

sometime later bit by a rottie at the KM dog park. the owner mad good on paying the vet bills and also gave a $50 gift certificate to a pet shop...

it's shame you had to lose your t-bone this way. hope you follow-through with charges...

None

Dec. 20, 2012

I don't understand why the vet would keep the dog or find a new owner because the original owner could not pay the bill. What did the vet do-- sell the dog to settle the debt? Who would buy a dog in that shape? In fact, I don't think the vet has the right to keep the dog because of an unpaid bill. This isn't like car repair. There are other legal steps the vet could have taken regarding the bill. Something sounds fishy. And yes-- the big question is where the hell is Animal Control and the cops?

Dec. 20, 2012

First off, dogs are considered property by law. They fall under the lien law just as a vehicle does. A veterinary facility has the right to keep an animal until payment is made and the client will incur the boarding fees just as a car repair shop can charge you for housing your car until payment is received. I'm not saying I agree with this, I'm just telling you all what the law is since everyone thinks this veterinary facility did something shady and illegal.

Part two of this is that instead of euthanizing an animal because the client can't pay for expensive surgeries and procedures, many vets will contact animal rescue groups and plead with them to take on the animal and yes, take on the bill as well. Once the pet is relinquished, it now belongs to the group that rescued it from death and they authorize treatments and procedures and yes, they pay the bill. After the pet is released from the hospital to the rescue group, it will go to foster care. The vet hospital seldom knows who ends up adopting the animal. And the reason the vet practice does not release information about the status of the pet once relinquished is because they are bound by law to protect the owner of the animals personal information. When the owner relinquishes a pet, the rescue group owns this animal. Unless the rescue group tells the practice they can disclose information about the pet, the vet hospital can't.

You people really need to do your homework on how the laws work with animals and vet care before making assumptions that are ridiculous. And if you think vet hospitals are heartless for not doing all the medical care for free, then you tell me what human facility would do the same procedures free of cost. Just because someone owns an animal and can't afford the bill doesn't mean the bill should he free and the business owners should eat the cost. How can they stay in business to treat any animal if all services are free? If you all are so upset and sad about animals who need medical care and are owned by people who can't afford them, by all means, donate your money to animal financial groups like Foundation for the care of Indigent Animals, Animal Welfare, FACE Foundation and the thousands of others who are struggling to help people with their pets because they are not getting as many donations to match the need of people pleading for help.

Nov. 8, 2014

People like the woman who owned the pitties are giving every other pit bull and their owner a black eye. She should have been arrested and prosecuted.

The vet should jhave worked out a payment plan and started a "chip-in" we do it on Facebook for dogs in need every single day...........

Dec. 20, 2012

I would have to say this is not right on the part of the vet if they just handed it over to a new owner. So if your going to find a new owner, does that mean the new owner paid the bill or you just handed it over to the new owner? If you just handed it over, why not give it back to the original owner??... As for the pit bulls, sooner or later they will hurt someone or something.

Dec. 21, 2012

And my final question is, who took the photo of the bandaged dog?

Dec. 22, 2012

Looks to me like the photo was taken at the vets office...notice the stainless steel kennel that T-bone is in...?

Dec. 31, 2012

Why are these monsters legal?

Dec. 22, 2012

The owners?? Because the gov allows idiots to own dominant breed dogs, just as they allow idiots/crack heads to have babies. It is not the dog, it is the owner.

Dec. 22, 2012

I had the exact same thing happen to me, but not the vet part, I paid myself for that. I had a little black mixed dog that we called little cookie, the size of a pug dog. 3 English Mastiff's got a hold of our little cookie dog, and they tore her apart the same way t-bone with ripped apart. The only problem was the 3 Mastiff's were mine!

After I rushed my bleeding dog in my arms to the vet, and I had blood all over me and the house and the car, and the vet was able to save her, but then she feel down the stairs and did not make it, because she was so wounded already. Now our Mastiffs were nice, if they were just one on one with us. When you put all 3 together, they just turned into a pack of wild dogs right before my eyes,and ripped my little dog right apart in front of my eyes. I got rid of those 3 Mastiff dogs as fast as I could.

The owner of the dog should right that lady's Commanding Officer a long letter. When I was in the navy, my job was working in the admin office. When a company or person writes the Commanding Officer, some sort of action would be taken, or she would be put on notice. The Navy does not like its people getting into trouble, owing money and not paying their bills.

For that lady not to get her dog back, and someone else now owns her, I would be mad as hell at those neighbors!!!

Dec. 27, 2012

A big thank's to Annie, for telling T-bone's and my story! I love ya, girl!!!!! And thank's to all for your comment's, they won't go unheard! T-bone's Mom

Dec. 27, 2012

I might suggest getting the name of the owner of those dogs...there are steps you can take to make this woman be held accountable. What if it were a child they attacked?

Dec. 30, 2012

From Vince's post above: "The owner of the dog should right that lady's Commanding Officer a long letter. When I was in the navy, my job was working in the admin office. When a company or person writes the Commanding Officer, some sort of action would be taken, or she would be put on notice. The Navy does not like its people getting into trouble, owing money and not paying their bills."

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I think the Navy should be notified --with the woman's name, they can find her, and "encourage" her to make this right as well as relinquish the animal. I think she should relinquish any other animals she has at this time, too.

Dec. 27, 2012

I blame the owner of the pit bulls...you have to understand that no matter what breed of dog you own...YOU MUST BE A RESPONSIBLE OWNER! But I'm not sure has has me more upset...the fact that this woman's dogs had repeatedly gotten loose to attack other dogs...or the way the vet took this poor woman's dog away from her!? Can someone please explain to me how they justify taking her dog because she is unable to pay for the vet bill...only to give the dog to someone else? Is the new owner paying the bill? And how do they know that someone wants the dog and is willing to pick up the cost? Why not offer a payment plan? This makes no sense to me....my heart goes out to you Nana91945...you loved T-bone enough to give him up so that he could live. Such a heart breaking story....

Dec. 30, 2012

Hey how is everyone since you all know the story and feeling free to put your input I would like to inform you I am the neighbor and I am the dog owner of the one pitbull that bit her dog that this entire article is incorrect and if you would infact like the truth you might want to see my bank account statements the facts are I have been paying out of pocket for this incident not because it was MY fault but simply because i am the owner and have been making payments of over 1300 so far but apparently the vet clinic slandered in this article doesn't allow that I'm proof they do I also have a credit card I maxed out to pay for this would you like to see the statements or make your own... I am a very responsible dog owner I train my dogs correctly I feed my dogs correctly and I do what is nessecary to ensure they are safe and secured to my yard this is the first time my dogs have gotten out and bitten a dog that wanders the street daily without supervision, oh and still resides with the owner, t bone was with nancy after I made several payments to the vet I recall her carrying her dog across the street to let it once again do its business on my personal property!

Jan. 9, 2013

Doesn't matter what her dog is doing, even if out off leash, you have powerful, dominant breed dogs, Pitties, and they should never get out-especially in a pack of two or more. YOU are the one in the wrong, and you attempt to shift the blame like you didn't do anything wrong is pathetic.

Jan. 9, 2013

Thanks for responding, Doggyowner. I have a few questions. I am interested in your side of the story. 1. Is this dog (and all your dogs) licensed and up to date on their shots? 2. Was this dog put under quarantine by the County Animal Authority? Was it made available to the authorities when this happened? 3. You say this is the first time this dog has attacked anyone, but there was mention that it had happened before. is that correct?

Jan. 10, 2013

WOW, Reanna, what a lie! Guess the truth will be told... Poor piti-full you! T-bone was on a leash, in my yard, when your three pit's attacked him. 9 people watched, you can't deny this. And how many time's have they been out since? No one feel's for you, that's why YOU put your dog's in hiding. They're your babies,remember? You can't have children, remember? Cry your sad story to someone else, YOU OWN THIS!!!

Jan. 9, 2013

You would not feel the need to defend yourself, if you were telling the truth, now would you?

Jan. 10, 2013

How's T-Bone doing today??????

Jan. 10, 2013

From what I was told, he's doing better.....I know he'd heal a lot faster,if I was there with him. We'd both heal better, nana91945 Even his Mommy, in Finland, know's we'd both heal better with each other!

Jan. 10, 2013

I have paid over $1300 towards the bills already so why would you give him up? I'm making payments every month thank you how am I hiding my dogs they still go to the bathroom in my yard just my roommate keeps a better eye on them and actually checks the gate t bone was not going to die and you know this I took responsibility for all of this despite the fact my ass was at work when this happened my dogs were in a kennel when I left for work that day as every other morning and not once has my dogs got out of the yard while I'm home and you know that for a fact we have never had anything like this happen while I've been at home I don't hide anything I'm simply giving you the respect by not letting them enjoy their gated front yard as much as they used to, I apologized to you the day it happened and I informed you I would pay for the surgery and stuck to my word and am making payments every month, shame on you that you would send me a Christmas card from your dog noting that I'm the best neighbor and bless me and my family and that I'm in the paper and I'm a star, and me having children or not has nothing to do with this shame on you for bringing that up. I have nothing more to say to you other than why don't you publish facts

Jan. 10, 2013

Do read this weeks Reader, there,s more....thanks to all for your heartfelt word's, nana91945

Jan. 11, 2013

Wabbitsd yes my dogs are registered licensed and spayed and neutered even tho you did not ask that last part yes they are current on shots my dogs never bit anyone one of my dogs bit my neighbors dog which happened while I was at work my dogs were all confined in their kennels before I left for work that day my roommate had let them out , the county did not take them I was told to rehome one of my dogs which currently I am trying to do and have been trying to do since i fostered him almost 3years ago but nobody seems to want the breed unless their puppies so the city may have to put him in the shelter if a rescue or a foster home is not available, I did not remove my dog from my property until after the police and animal control had visited with me and I had their approval, the only other time my dogs had ever got out of the yard an older man picked his dog up thinking my very sweet female dog who is old was going to hurt his dog she wouldn't hurt a fly she's also one of the dogs accused of this, this is simply a bad incident all the way around I made all the precautions to ensure this wouldn't happen but I cannot control others while I'm at work.

Jan. 13, 2013

So you claim it is your roommates fault????? Not yours? And what about the REST OF THE VET BILLS???

Jan. 14, 2013

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