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Dog stabbed to death after attacking Safety Harbor family

Family of 3 transported to hospital after incident
Dog stabbed to death after attacking family
Dog stabbed to death after attacking family
Posted at 5:46 PM, Nov 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-24 23:10:39-05

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. — A Safety Harbor dog was stabbed to death after attacking a family of three on Friday.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says they responded to the home on West Gate Drive shortly after 4:00 p.m. in regards to a dog attack. At the home were a 45-year-old woman and her 14-year-old and 22-year-old daughters. 

Deputies say the family owned three pit bulls. One was a male named Buster who they locked up separately because he was known to be aggressive. Deputies say Buster got loose and attacked the other two dogs. 

Joe Goulart ran to the scene while dialing 9-1-1. 

"I just heard a lot of screaming for 'help, help, help' and wanted to make sure everybody was OK so I started to go down the street, they said 'stay away, stay away.'" 

The mother, Heidi Cooper, and 14-year-old attempted to separate the three dogs when Buster turned on them. That's when the 22-year-old daughter grabbed a knife and stabbed the dog to death.

Nikki Cagen tells ABC Action News, Buster belongs to Cooper's son, who is currently serving in the U.S. Marines. 

"He was the sweetest dog ever," said Cagen. "I would come in the house, (and he'd) come sit on my lap like a little puppy." 

Cagen says Cooper's family can't believe the dog turned violent. 

"I would have never thought in a million years that this would happen," said Cagen. 

All three were transported to Bayfront Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. 

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Cooper was seriously injured, suffering several puncture wounds and cuts.