THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED HERE:
Most West Meadowbrook residents were probably shocked to hear a gunshot last Sunday afternoon. The bullet was fired by Pedro Juarez, husband of Fort Worth school district board candidate Pilar Candia. The target was an Irish wolfhound.
Juarez told us the animal was only grazed. But while waiting for confirmation from Fort Worth Animal Care and Control, we asked Juarez just what the heck happened. In a phone interview, he said he was canvassing voters with his wife and their two daughters, 9 and 6, when they were approached by two “large” dogs.
“We were wrapping up our walking list when I saw a big black dog,” he said.
The wolfhound, he continued, was unleashed and accompanied by another large unleashed canine. Both animals, he continued, were barking and aggressive.
“I saw them charging at us at full force,” he said. “I had to protect my family. I didn’t mean to cause any harm. My girls were bawling. It was a scary situation.”
The dogs backed off, Juarez said, allowing him and his family to retreat to their car one block away and call Fort Worth police.
Marc Povero, Fort Worth police public information officer, confirmed the incident occurred but provided few details. We filed an open records request for more information.
We also tried to reach the dog’s owner but have not been able to yet.
As clear as Jaurez’ story is, though, some neighbors are raising concerns on social media. On West Meadowbrook’s Nextdoor page, one mother said her son witnessed the entire event. “The dog didn’t charge anybody,” he said.
Juarez maintains that he was protecting his family. He said he carries a firearm because his job as a Realtor often requires him to enter abandoned homes.
“I have all my [gun-related] documentation in order,” he said.
Povero said he is unaware of any pending charges against Juarez.
In an emailed statement, Candia said she is grateful that her children are safe thanks to her husband, Fort Worth police, and animal control.
“I am also happy the dog is alive and under medical care,” she said. “In this season with so many campaign volunteers walking door to door, I encourage everyone to be continually aware of your surroundings and the risks.”
Photos from another story were improperly used to illustrate last week’s cover story (“Trump Card,” Apr 26). After we recognized the mistake, we switched out the erroneous photos with the right ones online. We regret the error.