PYLESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A Harford County family wants answers after they say two pit bulls attacked and fatally injured their beloved 13-year-old dog last week.

Muriel Larrimore says she’ll never forget the final moments of her dog, Emma, who she says was attacked by her neighbor’s dogs on Jan. 18.

“She was very limp but she was working on breathing. She was suffering so badly and we just kept petting her,” Larrimore said.

An animal control investigation of the recent attack says the owners of the pit bulls were outside on their Pylesville property with the two dogs when Emma, a lab mix, entered their property.

That’s when the pit bulls allegedly attacked. A third pit bull was on the property but it was not involved in the attack, investigators say.

The investigation determined that, because the incident occurred on the property of the owner of the two pit bulls, no criminal offense had occurred.

The Larrimore’s made the gut-wrenching call to euthanize Emma to put her out of her misery and pain.

Emma is not the first dog to reportedly be attacked by this same pair of dogs. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office confirms that back in May 2016, they were involved in the death of a neighborhood chihuahua.

The owner of the chihuahua is the sister-in-law of the owner of the alleged attack dogs.

Linda Keyes says she had asked to keep the chihuahua inside and away from her pit bulls. She also says her dogs are not to blame for the latest attack.

“I am very sorry that their dog was injured to the point that it died. I don’t like to see any animal get injured, but if they had not allowed their dogs to run everywhere in the neighborhood and kept them on their property, like Harford County requires we all do, it probably never would’ve happened,” Keyes said.

Even though there are property lines that separates one neighbor’s land from the other, the Larrimore’s tell WJZ the dogs in this community often run in an open space and there’s rarely a problem.

[Reporter: So you don’t think your dogs are any more deadly or violent than any other?]

“I think any dog can kill another dog,” Keyes said.

The owners will be issued a Dangerous Dog Notice, a designation requiring the owner to maintain control of the dogs at all times, according to animal control. That means, if the dogs are ever off the owner’s property, they must remain leashed and muzzled at all times and they must be in an enclosed kennel or secured in a building if ever left unattended on property,

When the dogs attacked a neighbor dog in 2016, the owners were given a Potentially Dangerous Dog Notice for the dogs, according to animal control.

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Comments (4)
  1. I love living in these modern times, where if one simply insists it often enough, it will be so. Black is white. Up is down, Wrong is right, and dogs that have attacked (twice) are not dangerous or deadly.

  2. KR Stone says:

    This is ridiculous. You’re not allowed to shoot your neighbor if he steps onto your property. That would be murder. So is this. What if it had been child? Put the dogs down.

  3. Lucy Muir says:

    This is part of the perversion of keeping dogs bred to kill their own kind as pets. Notice the audacity of the pit bull owner – keep your chihuahua inside. They’re not fit to be pets. Now one mistake, just letting the dog step off the property is a lethal one? just because some idiot decides to keep fighting breed dogs as pets? No. This is why we need to ban pit bulls. They are unfit as pets.

  4. Since few weeks ago, I have read quite many dog attacks reports, both on dogs and humans. I think it’s important for dog owners to be extra attentive to their dogs, or they could even be jailed. I have just read an article at It might be useful, especially to dog owners.

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