Pit bulls maul animal-control officer

By WND Staff

Frank Baldwin in the wake of a double pit-bull attack (photo: Stuart News)

An animal-control officer fortunate to be alive is looking forward to getting back to work despite being mauled by two pit bulls in South Florida.

Frank Baldwin, 23, of Martin County, Fla., was attacked by the dogs Wednesday night when responding to calls for help from a jogger and bicyclist who had been bitten.

“I just knew that I had to get that dog before it went after somebody else,” Baldwin told the Stuart News. “This was a level of viciousness that I had not experienced before.”

An armed state environmental officer was already on scene when Baldwin arrived, as the dog attacked his vehicle. Baldwin tried snagging the pit bull with a catch pole, and nearly caught it before other trouble broke loose.

“I just about had the noose around his head when I saw the other pit bull squeeze out of the top half of the gate on the fence,” he said. “It got stuck just a little bit and gave me just a second to draw my baton because I knew they were going to come after me.”

Both dogs then began a ruthless assault, tearing into Baldwin’s head, neck, arms, back and legs, and nearly chewing off his ear.

“And I hit the ground,” Baldwin told the paper. “That’s when I really felt one of them bite my ear, one of them bite my face,” he said. “The only thing I was thinking when I was on the ground was that I had to get back up.

“I pushed up with my hands. … I could see drops of blood just falling in front of my left eye.”

As the battle raged, a local resident joined sheriff’s deputies and firefighters in rescuing Baldwin and bringing him to the hospital.

“We kind of lost count on the stitches,” he said. “I still have my eye, which I’m very thankful for. It could have been a lot worse.”

“If it had just been me and those dogs, I do not believe I would have survived,” he added.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer James Dyal ended up shooting one of the dogs, and the second was captured. Officials are now seeking criminal and civil charges against the owners of the animals.

Despite the severity of the attack, the 130-pound Baldwin says he’s eager to return to duty.

“I want to go back. I don’t have any fears about going back,” he said. “I like doing what I do. As soon as I can get back out on the road, I want to be there.”