Man, puppy recovering after vicious attack by neighbor's dog: 'I'm heartbroken'

By Bob Brooks

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    CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A Cherry Hill, New Jersey man and his roommate's puppy are recovering after being attacked by a neighborhood dog last Wednesday.

The injured dog's name is Cheddar. The 4-month-old puppy's front right leg is shattered and he has several puncture wounds throughout his body.

Cheddar lives with his owner Nick Denny and roommate Brett Spaulding. Both men are in the United States Air Force.

The attack happened as Spaulding took Cheddar for a walk.

"I had him on a leash out there in the field, trying to burn out his puppy energy," said Spaulding.

Spaulding says they were walking back into their housing development, the Windsor Mews, when the owner of the pit bull-type dog was pulling in.

"She had a dog in the backseat and she had rolled the window down and said, 'Watch out, I have a killer back here,'" recalled Spaulding.

Spaulding said the dog got out of the car and they were attacked.

"I tried to pull Cheddar up by his leash and catch him by his collar with my left hand. That's when the pit bull jumped and grabbed Cheddar's hind leg and swung us down to the street," said Brett.

He says the attack went on for about 15 minutes with Cheddar being the main target.

Luckily, a neighbor intervened and pepper-sprayed the attacking dog, likely saving Cheddar's life.

"I had a few seconds to grab the puppy and threw him over my shoulder. I started a dead sprint for the house," said Spaulding.

But the neighbor's dog wouldn't stop.

"I was trying to push the pit bull off of me while running with the puppy in my right shoulder," said Spaulding.

Spaulding says he eventually was able to put Cheddar inside his truck and the dog stopped.

But it turns out this wasn't the first time the neighborhood dog had attacked.

Action News spoke with the Windsor Mews HOA President Val Katz about the first attack in 2020.

"The dog pushed open the screen door to its home and attacked a little dog. And when the people tried to protect the dog, they got severely bitten," said Katz.

In that case, Cherry Hill officials say a court ordered the dog to be muzzled anytime it was outside.

But clearly, that ruling wasn't followed and now Katz says they want the dog gone.

"If that was anyone else but a strong young man, they would have been perhaps fatally injured, OK? We can't have that," said Katz.

As for Cheddar, Denny says it's likely he'll lose his right front leg.

"I'm shocked. I didn't know there was a first time. A second time should have never happened in my opinion. I'm heartbroken," said Denny.

Cherry Hill officials say the dog has been surrendered by the owner and they'd like to see it be put down.

On Wednesday morning, a municipal court judge will decide if that will happen.

The owner of the dog is now facing various charges after this second attack.

Denny has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for Cheddar's medical bills.

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