Gainesville woman's dog attacked and killed by neighbor's three dogs


Linda Swinburn’s dog Bella was stripped from her leash and attacked in front of her Saturday, a neighbor’s video shows.

“I tried to save her but I couldn’t save her. They just kept pulling her apart,” Swinburn said.

Witnesses say the three dogs jumped over their fence in the Northwood Pines neighborhood while Swinburn and Bella were walking on the road and did not hesitate to attack.

“She had Bella’s leash and harness in her hand whipping it because at that point the dogs had ripped the harness and the leash off of Bella looking like they were playing a three-way tug of war,” said Colleen Regan, a neighbor who videoed the attack.

“We spoke to the owners of the dogs and he says he usually has an electric fence that is plugged up in the yard,” said officer Ben Tobias of the Gainesville Police Department. “For some reason it was unplugged and that’s why the dogs have gotten out that day.”

That is not the first time the dogs have escaped the yard. Two animal complaints were filed against the owner this year.

The first report was filed in April where a GPD officer said the dog escaped the fenced area and “acted aggressively” toward a neighbor walking his dog.

The second incident was in June. The report said the owner allowed his dog to be outside at large. The report says the dog chased a victim to her porch while barking and growling.

Swinburn and Regan say the neighbor did not care to help Swinburn or her dog on Saturday.

“He didn’t care. He just called the dogs and they just walked in like nothing happened,” Swinburn said.

“The man then just closed the door behind him,” Regan said. “He did not come out and offer any sort of help to check on Linda or Bella.”

Meanwhile Swinburn was left heartbroken and struggling in the middle of the road.

“We did also have to request EMS that day because the lady, the owner of the dog, was hyperventilating having seen this vicious attack unfold in front of her,” Tobias said.

As Bella was left almost lifeless, she made sure to say one last goodbye to Swinburn.

“Linda was curled up in the front yard,” Regan said. “Her family came out of the house and Bella stood up in the yard and ran to Linda, like it was like a ‘I’ll be okay’ kind of thing.”

Bella had one last loving memory to her mother of four years..

“She was a true angel,” Swinburn said. “They say you rescue them, but she rescued me.”

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