A pit bull escaped its home in Brigantine Sunday and fatally attacked a Chihuahua on the city's "dog beach", city animal warden Ernie Purdy said.

The pit bull, which Purdy said was fully licensed and vaccinated, escaped from a home on 13th Street North and ran towards a stretch of beach at 14th Street North where the city allows dogs on leashes.

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"A young lady down there had a little Chihuahua on a leash," Purdy said of a vacationing Philadelphian, "and the dog attacked the Chihuahua and bit her boyfriend who was trying to break them up. They took the (Chihuahua) to the Red Bank Animal Hospital, where unfortunately after surgery they couldn't save the dog and it had to be put down."

The pit bull was apprehended at its owner's home and taken to the Atlantic County Shelter in Pleasantville, where it will be quarantined for two weeks. Its owner, Joanne Simmons, was cited with a "dog at large" summons and has the option of picking up the dog at the end of the quarantine period.

This was the first fatal incident at the dog beach, Purdy said.

"We get a lot of dog fights and things like that," Purdy said. "The beach is patrolled three to four times a day and people are given summonses if their dogs are out without a leash. This is just a freak thing that happened where a dog got out of its home."


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