GRAND FORKS — Tiny, a 6-year old miniature Pinscher Chihuahua mix, was Mya Patridge's sweet little girl.

"Always wanted to be in the warmth and sun," Patridge said.

A daily sun bath on the front porch turned tragic Friday, Oct. 9, when a pit bull that was new to the neighborhood came over. Patridge recalls that it all happened within 30 seconds.

"The dog ran around the corner and circled Tiny and gave her one little nip," Patridge said. "We thought she was just scared at first, and then realized she started convulsing and by the time they picked her up she had taken her last breath."

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Devastated by the loss of Tiny, Patridge hopes this serves as a reminder to the importance of keeping dogs on their leashes.

"I just hope people start keeping their dogs leashed up — if their dog has shown aggression, and their breed is known for attacks and aggression, that they just keep their dog leashed up, because its better to be safe than sorry," she said.

In Grand Forks the law is clear. According to Lt. Derik Zimmel with the Grand Forks Police Department, if a dog is not within the confines of the owner's home or fenced yard, it has to be on a leash. The first offense is a $31 fine. The second time is a court date.

Grand Forks police say the issue is not a big one, with only a few citations given out each year. However, it is one they take seriously.

"If someone is in obvious violation of that, we will go; officers will get out and educate them or give them a citation if appropriate," explained Zimmel.

A family is in mourning, hoping to prevent others from experiencing that same grief.

"It could have been worse; it could have been a child," Patridge said.

Grand Forks police could not say much about this case, since it is still open. They did say the owner has a court date, while the dog is being kept at a shelter until a judge decides what needs to be done.