Michael Jackson’s most famous pet was probably Bubbles the Chimpanzee. But the late pop star had dozens of other pets, including several elaborate spider enclosures for his pet tarantulas. He had an elephant and a lion in his private menagerie, and he had dogs, including a pit bull named Spanky.

No wonder a local pit bull owner decided to bring his own pet to a Music in the Park performance by the Michael Jackson cover band Foreverland on Sunday. Jackson and dogs have a long history.

The problem was that this particular pit bull attacked a Yorkshire terrier, grabbing it by the neck and shaking it back and forth. Even the pit bull’s owner couldn’t get his dog to give up the prey. The terrier’s owner shrieked. Mayor Joe Pirzynski leapt to the rescue.

“The pit bull was on a leash,” said the mayor, recounting what had happened. “I started pounding on the dog until he broke his bite.”

Councilman Steve Leonardis, who was also at the concert, rushed over to help. “When Joe started pounding on the dog I started punching it too,” he said.

By the time the the pit bull released the terrier, the Mayor had suffered cuts to his hands. He later brushed off the severity of his injuries, but did go to City Hall to have the cuts treated, before returning for the concert.

Michael Jackson’s pit bull Spanky is not known to have hurt anyone, but his Siberian husky Flash reportedly bit a neighbor in 2005.

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