A bloody melee early Sunday in Follansbee need not have occurred.
Wellsburg police responded to a call for help because the on-duty Follansbee officer had been transporting a prisoner to the Northern Regional Jail. When the officers arrived, they found a collie being walked by a Follansbee man had been attacked by two pit bulls.
Officers said they had to shoot the pit bulls, which attacked them. The collie died of injuries inflicted by the pit bulls.
Three people, the pit bulls' owner, the collie's owner and another man, were bitten. Fortunately, their injuries did not require hospitalization.
Charges may be filed in the case, police said.
That would be appropriate, if it is determined negligence was a factor in the attack.
Too often, local officials enact ordinances targeting specific breeds of dogs - in effect outlawing pit bulls and other varieties of canines. But holding their owners responsible is the key to avoiding attacks such as that on Sunday.
Controlling pets, especially large dogs, is a responsibility. Owners who fail to do so should be penalized, in an effort to deter others who may be allowing pets to become threats to others.