A pit bull accused of viciously attacking other dogs in the Patagonia area is on the lam after someone broke it out of custody shortly before it was due to be euthanized.

The breakout was discovered on April 23 when deputies from the Patagonia Marshal’s Office went to check on Bella Boop, a female American Pit Bull Terrier being held at the town kennel near the wastewater treatment plant.

“We will be tracking it down,” said Marshal Joe Patterson, who was out of town attending a firearms instructor’s class in Phoenix when the breakout occurred. “The people that took the animal do not realize the kind of liability they’ve assumed on themselves.”

Patterson said if the pit bull attacks again, the person who has the dog will be held responsible. Patterson also said he has an idea of who might have the dog, though he did not disclose the person’s identity.

“The unfortunate part of it was that someone cut the fence and destroyed it,” Patterson said, in reference to the town kennel. “Now if we have a dog that we are trying to find the owner for, we don’t have a place where we can actually secure it now.”

The pit bull on multiple occasions demonstrated “its propensity to viciously attack and cause serious injuries to other animals when unprovoked,” according to the Marshal’s Office.

The most recent incident occurred at a rabies vaccination clinic at the Patagonia Town Park on April 20, during which Bella Boop allegedly jumped out of its owner’s truck and attacked a white terrier. Ten days earlier, the pit bull allegedly attacked another white terrier-poodle type dog on “The Mesa,” a housing development just outside the town limits.

Following the latest incident, the owner Joshua New voluntarily relinquished Bella Boop to the Patagonia Marshal’s Office, and the dog was scheduled to be euthanized by Santa Cruz County Animal Control.

Just prior to the euthanization, New reportedly asked if there was a possibility that the dog be released to a rescue organization or another individual, but his request was denied.

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