A missing Brinson family pit bull implicated in a deadly attack Monday is now accused of killing a neighbor’s cat that night.
Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare was called Tuesday morning to 136 Brookefield Drive after receiving word that Coco was found with a dead cat.
The dog had marks on its nose, consistent with cat scratches, and was put in a kennel in a neighbor’s garage overnight, said Sonja Adams, Animal Welfare officer.
Adams notified Veronica Brinson at 9:30 a.m. that the dog had been spotted and was likely still contained at the neighbor’s house, but the attorney and her family proceeded with briefings for media outlets before they picked up the dog.
“Coco, she’s still missing. We’re very concerned about Coco,” Brinson said toward the beginning of a 20-minute briefing with The Telegraph. “Pearl has been stabbed and we’re praying for her recovery.”
Coco and her large pups, Pearl and Justice, are accused of killing a schnauzer and injuring its owners Monday morning.
All three dogs are now being quarantined by the Brinsons’ veterinarian, who also is treating Pearl’s stab wound.
Through a spokesperson, Brinson released a statement Monday evening alleging the gate was tampered with on her backyard fence at 140 Brookefield Drive, which is behind the Publix off Bowman Road.
The family believes someone came onto the property and “stabbed a puppy,” the statement read.
While talking with reporters Tuesday, Brinson made it clear she was not there when the initial attack happened shortly before 9 a.m. Monday on Millwood Court, around the corner from her house.
“I don’t even want to presuppose that they got out,” Brinson said.
Claudia Naranjo, who is visiting from Florida, took her dog Renalto outside and three pit bulls attacked, killing the dog and injuring Naranjo’s hands and nose, according to her host.
The victim’s husband, Jose Munoz, also was bitten on his hand, said Thomas Hinson, a Macon attorney representing the couple from Miami who are visiting Macon friends for the holidays.
“They are emotionally distraught, obviously,” Hinson said. “My lady client had a very difficult night, just emotional distress of being attacked and seeing her dog killed before her eyes.”
During a long statement, Brinson said she was concerned for all those affected by the dog attack and worried about her own family’s safety after an angry man with a “deadly weapon” came onto her property.
Officers did recover a large knife Munoz allegedly used on the dogs.
Pearl ran away with the knife lodged in her side, but it must have fallen out in an adjacent yard where Coco was found later that night.
The Brinsons’ neighbor also said Munoz drove his car onto his property after the attack.
Deputies were called back to Brinson’s property about noon Monday to investigate her claims of trespassing and fence tampering.
Their dog Queen died in November and Brinson said she hired someone to determine whether there was foul play, but she declined to elaborate.
Gunpowder was found Monday in the woods, Brinson said, which led them to believe Coco had been shot.
Brinson also alluded to threats the family has received, including an intimidating note with a racial slur left on her son Bryant’s car after a June fire at the house that killed a half-dozen pit bull puppies.
“We just want the complete story to be told,” Brinson said. “I just want to make sure the character of these dogs is not mischaracterized.”
Several dogs roam the neighborhood, she said, but the Brinsons don’t give their dogs “permission” to run free.
She said they contain their dogs in the backyard better than most of their other neighbors.
Although the Brinsons have not been living at their Brookefield home since the fire, the dogs are seen about daily.
Family members have been “hanging out” with them over the holidays, she said.
“They’re like grandbabies and nieces to me,” Brinson said. “People say to us all the time ... they’re too nice, ... because they are pit bulls.”
The Brinsons’ dogs Coco and Queen are implicated in another attack in January.
Jody Long’s dog, Harry, was in his fenced backyard on Millrun Court when the dogs broke a board in the fence and went after the basset hound, said Long’s attorney Jonathan Alderman.
Long took a 2-by-4 to beat off the dogs and they turned on him, biting his hands and bare foot, according to a narrative on medical records.
Alderman requested rabies vaccination information from the Brinsons in the days following the incident, but only later received word the dogs were vaccinated April 4, nearly three months after the attack.
Long racked up medical bills of about $18,000 being treated for possible rabies and spent about $400 for veterinarian fees.
Alderman never got proof the dogs had been up to date on their shots before Long and his dog were bitten, he said. Long’s pet suffered numerous puncture wounds to the neck and head and one of his ears was ripped.
“I am not familiar with the details of that situation,” Brinson said Tuesday when asked about her dogs being involved in the attack on Long.
She acknowledged getting letters from “Mayor Reichert’s” law firm and Alderman provided a copy of her April letter indicating she represented her sons, Ryan and Bryant Brinson and a man she identified at the news briefing as her contractor, Alfred Allen.
According to Alderman’s narrative of the incident, Allen retrieved the dogs from Long’s backyard in January.
Allen also patched the fence at Brinson’s house Monday.
Alderman is filing a lawsuit to recoup his client’s medical expenses, he said.
In the meantime, the district attorney’s office is reviewing the circumstances of Monday’s attack to determine if any charges will be filed, Adams said.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.