OKLAHOMA CITY - An assistant district attorney is speaking out after his seeing-eye dog was attacked while it was doing its job just outside the courthouse.
It happened Tuesday as assistant D.A. Tom Shurr was walking into work with his three year old black lab, Quincy.
"She was doing her job," Shurr said. "She was on the harness, making sure that I was safe crossing the street."
He said there was a muscular pit bull to the left of them that lunged out and attacked Quincy, going straight for her neck. Both Shurr and Quincy pulled away from the dog, and he was hitting it to get it to release her. He said even the man holding the other dog on the leash wasn't strong enough to pull it away.
"[He] was pulling back on him with all his might, he ended up pulling back that he landed on his backside," Shurr said.
Quincy was rushed to the veterinarian. She received 18 stitches, had to have tubes to drain her throat, and she'll be out of commission for a while.
"She`s lucky to be alive because if he had gotten an artery or her throat she would have bled out right there on the street," Shurr said.
A witness told Shurr the other dog owner's alleged explanation.
"Apparently he claimed that we snuck up on him," Shurr said, "inferring, I guess, that she was an aggressor or that she was coming towards him, which is not the case."
He said dogs like Quincy are trained extensively to be distraction-proof while on the job.
"That`s why it`s so ridiculous that there would be any implication that she would try and approach this dog," Shurr said. "It`s just not the way they`re trained."
Even more upsetting, Shurr said he later found out why that dog was in front of the courthouse in the first place.
"The gentleman was being sued in small claims court because that dog attacked a Labradoodle at the Edmond dog park," Shurr said. "You can understand my anger and my frustration."
He said he's saddened that both dogs may have to pay for what he said was the other owner's mistake.
"If your dog is aggressive, you don`t take it out in public," Shurr said.
He said he plans to pursue all legal remedies available.
News 4 reached out to the owner of the other dog who declined to comment.