The Headlines are Shocking

Is this the face of a vicious animal?

RCMP say woman, man mauled by 2 dogs in home in British Columbia” Global News December 30

On Christmas Day Ms. B did something she has done hundreds of times. She opened the door to her trailer to let in her small dog. It is an action that dog owners know well, it something done routinely, an action that requires little thought. Unfortunately, on this day that routine action had tragic results. When the door to the trailer opened two Pit Bull’s charged in, chasing after the family dog. The charging dogs attacked the family cat. It was probably instinct that drove Ms. B to try and save the life of the family pet. She stepped in and was bitten by the invading dogs. Her partner Mr. E then intervened, attempting to stop the two dogs. After being bitten several times, Ms B. escaped to a bedroom and managed to call 911. The Pit Bulls continued to attack Mr. E, who exhausted from the relentless advances of the dogs, collapsed into a chair and used his arms to shield his face and neck. The attack continued until the RCMP arrived. It only stopped when the officers were forced to shoot the dogs. Mr. E remains in hospital and faces many surgeries to reconnect torn tendons and muscles in both arms. At this time it is unclear if he will have to have his hands amputated. One dog died on the scene, the other dog who managed to escape even after being shot, was found and humanely put down.

Young woman in hospital after ‘vicious mauling’ by dog in Richmond field” Global News December 31

On December 30th a visit to a local BC park took a very dark turn for twin sisters K and J and J’s little boy. On this day they took with them a rottweiler-husky cross, which belonged to J’s boyfriend. The dog was tied to a tree while the three played and romped in the park. Once untied the dog tried to attack the little boy. Police said K was bitten 100 times as she tried to draw the dog away from attacking her three-year-old nephew. J was bitten more than 20 times while protecting her son. Other people in the park intervened, hitting the dog with hockey sticks to distract it from it’s attack. The dog is currently in the custody of the Richmond Animal Protection Society. A decision as to what will happen to it has not been made.

Dog attacks are the subject of nightmares and horror stories (thanks to Stephen King’s Cujo) and yet here they are in real life. As a dog lover and parent I struggle to understand what happened. I can not explain it. Worse yet, I can not in all good conscience state that this will never happen again. We have to remember that dogs are animals. There are, unfortunately, times when instincts, those that we try to curb with training and breeding, kick in. One such instinct, which appears to be stronger in some dogs, is the prey instinct. It is not unusual for the instinct to chase, and perhaps kill, to be initiated in large dogs by small dogs and unfortunately sometimes small children. Do I think this means we need to stop having large dogs are pets? Definitely not. However, we need to be attentive to our dog’s demeanor. We need to be vigilant in watching our dog’s behaviors. Is he tense around small dogs? Is he tracking it? Just waiting for an opportunity to chase it? We need to stop potential problems from developing. You know your dog like no one else knows your dog. As a dog parent you are responsible. You need to acknowledge and be aware of potential triggers. Triggers that may change your lovable couch potato into a hunting animal.



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