Brandy, a pit bull/red heeler mix owned by local homeless man Thomas Genova, has bitten - again.
This time, Brandy struck outside of Wal-Mart about 10:15 p.m. Thursday.
Sheridan Lozano, 55, attempted to enter Wal-Mart through the main doors, but after discovering they were locked, opted to use the entry on the grocery side of the store. As she walked toward the entrance using the sidewalk in front of the store, Brandy allegedly lunged and bit the woman on the left leg, puncturing her skin through her blue jeans.
“The dog was tied to a cart (Genova carries his belongings in the cart) and lunged at me when I passed him,” said Lozano. “I did not see the dog and jumped away after he bit me.”
Lozano then entered Wal-Mart with the assistance of witnesses, where she was given first aid for her wound.
Lozano said Genova became angry and yelled at her, asking why she had gotten so close to his dog. He said that he knew her and that she knew Brandy and knew better than to get so close to him.
Lozano says that is not the case, however, and has never met Genova or Brandy. In fact, she just recently moved to the area.
After Lozano was escorted inside, Genova entered the store again, still angry, and was escorted out by law enforcement officers.
When officers responded to the scene, they detained Brandy and took him to the Erath County Humane Society, where he was put in quarantine, a precaution taken with all canines that bite.
“I don’t know what is in store for Brandy,” said Gail Johnson, president of the ECHS. “He is quarantined right now and we are waiting to hear what to do with him.”
Johnson said the dog spends a lot of his time in quarantine growling at his caregivers, but other times, he is calm.
“If that were my dog, I would keep him in the back of the store. He will bite someone else if he is allowed to be tied up there,” said Lozano. “I believe that he (Brandy) is dangerous.”
This is not Brandy’s first brush with the law. In January, the male dog bit an off-duty Whataburger employee, forcing him to be quarantined for 10 days in the ECHS. Soon after the first bite, Genova garnered community support and also joined forces with lawyer Russell King, in order to keep Brandy in his possession.
After a plea deal with the court, Genova got Brandy back, and agreed to certain conditions under which the dog must be handled. Genova agreed to properly restrain the dog at least 50 feet from buildings and keep the canine muzzled, two procedures that were not followed Thursday.
By agreeing to these terms, the city agreed not to deem the dog “dangerous,” a decision which would have forced Genova to carry a $100,000 insurance policy on Brandy and keep him restrained in an enclosure, something Genova could not do because of his living situation.
According to Captain Travis Calder with the Stephenville Police Department, Brandy’s fate now rests in the hands of the law.
“I guess we will just follow the procedures outlined by the law. I assume there will be a hearing and a judge will declare the dog as ‘dangerous,’” said Calder.
For now, Brandy will remain in quarantine for the next 10 days, an expense that will cost Genova $10 a day.
Meanwhile, Lozano, who went to the emergency room after the incident, was given a pain pill and antibiotics. She is now laid up at home with a swollen left leg and a puncture wound.
“My leg is really sore and swollen and I hope I don’t have to pay for my medical bills. I definitely did not provoke the dog,” said Lozano.