Pit bull involved in Petaluma dog attack to be put down

The pit bull that attacked and savaged its foster owner Friday will be killed, while the fate of the Petaluma victim’s own dog, who also attacked her, is unknown, animal control officials said Wednesday.

An incident report released by the Petaluma Animal Services Foundation said there were six dogs in the Eighth Street home when the incident occurred just after 7 p.m.

What began as a fight between two smaller dogs named Beans and Gus escalated quickly into an attack on homeowner Cindy Spreter when she tried to separate the dogs. Clark, a brindle terrier-pit bull mix she was foster sitting, attacked Spreter, 44, latching onto her right forearm. Maya, Spreter’s own 8-year-old retriever, also bit her.

The incident report notes “five or more lacerations and punctures on (Spreter’s) right arm, chin and left hand.”

She was first taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, then to Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center for surgery, the report said.

When the fight began, Spreter’s daughter, Guinevere Edwards, ran outside screaming. Greg Lichau, who had moved to the west side neighborhood two days earlier, left his dinner and ran across the street. Inside Spreter’s home he found her on the ground, with two dogs attached to her right forearm.

Lichau, 62, fended off the dogs, wrapping Clark’s head in a jacket and punching Maya in the face. In about 15 seconds the two dogs finally gave up, and he was able to pull Spreter out to the porch, where he administered first aid until authorities arrived.

Beans, a 5-year-old male Chihuahua mix that belongs to the Spreters, also suffered bite wounds from Clark. He was taken to VCA Animal Care Center of Sonoma County for treatment of puncture wounds.

The Spreters were fostering Clark through The Tiny Pitbull, a Petaluma-based rescue organization.

Christine Del Ponte, founder of The Tiny Pitbull, said the Spreters had fostered dogs for the organization before.

She said Clark had been in another foster home, as well as her own home - including visits to her office, Del Ponte’s in-laws’ home and a dog park - without any incidents.

“He was perfect with my dogs,” she said. “(Clark) was very mellow. He was a big couch potato, so that’s why we felt so comfortable putting him pretty much anywhere because he was good with anything.”

Senior Animal Control Officer Mark Scott said Spreter was trying to break up the fight when the two dogs turned on her.

The Spreters did not respond to requests for comments.

Del Ponte said she was “devastated.”

“I feel bad for everyone involved,” she said.

You can reach Staff Writer Christi Warren at 707-521-5205 or On Twitter @SeaWarren.

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