Former Nicholasville Mayor John Martin said he and his next-door neighbor were injured Thursday as they tried to separate Martin’s dog and a pit bull from a fight.
Martin, 76, was walking his dog on Cherrybrook Drive when a pit bull that was running loose became aggressive and got into a fight with Chelsea, Martin’s border collie-Shetland sheepdog mix. The attack happened between 4:30 and 5 p.m.
“All of a sudden this pit bull came up, I don’t know where it came from,” Martin said. “Somehow or another the dog knocked me down.”
Martin and his neighbor, Nina Wittenbarger, tried to intervene and separate the dogs, and in doing so, both were bitten. Martin said he was bitten on the right side of his neck and on his left hand, while Wittenbarger was bitten on an ear and hand.
A stranger came up and finally separated the dogs, and took the pit bull away in a silver vehicle.
Martin was treated for his injuries at St. Joseph Jessamine in Nicholasville. Chelsea, 14, his dog, later died from her injuries at a local veterinarian’s clinic.
“She was just so much a part of the family,” Martin said. When he and his wife, Kathy, sat on the couch, Chelsea “would try to get between us. She had to be in there. If we were holding hands, she’d put her paw on top.”
The pit bull was found Friday night with the help of Nicholasville police and was taken to the Jessamine County Animal Shelter.
There was a possibility that Martin and Wittenbarger might have to get rabies shots.
Martin was mayor of Nicholasville from 2003 to 2006. He ran for mayor again in 2014 but was defeated by Pete Sutherland.
If anyone has information about the attack, the aggressor dog or its owner, contact Jessamine County Animal Care and Control at (859) 881-0821.