Owner: Dogs in Somerton attack were set loose due to racial bias

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A dog owner claims someone purposely let her pets loose while they were away due to racial bias.

A dog owner claims someone purposely let her pets loose while they were away due to racial bias.

The incident happened Tuesday night in the 200 block of Lockart Lane in the Somerton section of Philadelphia.

Police say Puja Kumar's two dogs, a mastiff & a mixed pitbull mastiff, somehow got loose from their gated property and bit a 60-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter. Both were treated and released from Holy Redeemer Hospital.

A 67-year-old neighbor tried to shoot the dogs, but missed.

Kumar says since she and her family moved into the neighborhood 10 years ago, they took extra precautions to make sure the dogs did not get loose including double fencing with double gates and a sign warning people there is a dog on the premises.

A dog owner claims someone purposely let her pets loose while they were away due to racial bias.



But she says neighbors on the block have not been welcoming to them:

"They don't like us very much. Because I guess it's a Russian neighborhood [and I'm Indian]," Kumar said.

Kumar says on Tuesday night she went out to dinner and secured both gates; she placed the lock around the chain, but didn't lock it because she thought it would be alright.

She says someone purposely removed the lock and chain and opened both gates allowing the dogs to go free.

"We can't say anybody's name or anything, but it doesn't happen by itself that's for sure, because they are dogs, they don't have hands, they can't open the gates by themselves," Kumar said.

She says the same thing happened two years ago.

That's when 20-year-old Devon Mann of Mayfair was bitten by one of the dogs.

"Dog came out, grabbed me by the front of my hoodie and started pulling me, I got trapped, he got me all around my area, seven stitches," Mann told Action News.

Police are investigating the allegations in the latest incident.

The two dogs are being cared at the Animal Care & Control Team under a 10 day quarantine law to make sure they don't have rabies.

ACCT Philly says what happens to the dogs after 10 days is up in the air.

"There is an option if the police department wants to file charges for harboring a dangerous dog, they can do that. The owner of the dogs would then have to appear in court," Tara Scherneck of ACCT Philly said.

Police have not decided if such charges would be pursued considering the circumstances. The matter remains under investigation.
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