MASON CITY | A pit bull that was fatally stabbed while attacking two men in a Mason City home had bitten before, police say.
The dog, Cooper, attacked his owner, Dallas Lewis, and Kyde Ratliff inside the residence at 215 S. Monroe Ave. at about 9:13 p.m. Tuesday, said Mason City Police Lt. Logan Wernet.
Lewis, 19, and Ratliff, 50, were hospitalized with bites to the hands, legs and arms. Ratliff also was bitten in the face, Wernet said.
They were listed in fair condition on Wednesday night at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa, a hospital official said.
Lewis and Ratliff stabbed Cooper with a knife to stop the attack. Police caught the animal with catch poles.
"They stabbed the dog and were doing all sorts of stuff to get it to stop attacking prior to us getting there," Wernet said.
The dog died Tuesday night.
The dog also had bitten someone in September, Wernet said.
Details of that incident weren't available on Wednesday. However, it wasn't severe enough that Cooper was declared vicious, Wernet said.
City code does not require dogs to be euthanized after one bite. However, a dog can be declared vicious and euthanized if a bite is severe or unprovoked.
Lewis, Ratliff and the dog all lived at the South Monroe Avenue home.
-- Molly Montag and Peggy Senzarino
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