Pit bull attacks frail, arthritic elderly dog on Osoyoos Main Street
A dog believed to be a pit bull viciously attacked a frail 16-year-old partially deaf dog with arthritis Friday evening on Main Street leaving deep wounds on the old dog’s neck.
Rick Deis, owner of the old, small mixed-breed dog named PoopyBear, said the pit bull lunged from behind taking his dog’s neck into its mouth.
“Without warning, their dog lunged past me and jumped on PoopyBear’s back, grabbed her by the neck and started to shake her.” said Deis. “I leapt on it, grabbing it by the neck and pulled it off Poopy and slammed it to the ground and held it there.”
Deis said he got scrapes on his knuckles trying to pry the pit bull’s jaws off his dog’s neck.
The pit bull, he said, was on a leash, but the leash was lying on the ground and the dog wasn’t under control.
The pit bull’s owner, he said, initially took blame herself, but denied it was her dog’s fault.
Deis said the young woman refused to provide her name when he suggested she should pay veterinary bills and she later tried to blame PoopyBear for the attack.
“After the fact when I told her that I was going to report her, she said, ‘We’ll just say that your dog instigated it,’” Deis said.
The attack occurred at the corner of Main Street and Spartan Drive when the pit bull’s owner was talking to some other people.
Deis carried PoopyBear to where he had parked near the Home Building Centre and then drove to the RCMP detachment where he reported the incident to Cst. Jody Rausch.
Cpl. Jason Bayda said RCMP investigated but decided not to lay charges because it couldn’t be determined which person’s version was correct.
“As is usually the case, there were two different versions,” Bayda said in an emailed reply. “One being that the complainant’s dog was simply attacked by the pit bull. The other, from the pit bull owner, was that the little dog came up to her dog when she was not looking. Her dog started to fight with the little dog as it is very protective of her. The pit bull was on a leash at all times.”
Bayda said the owner of the pit bull was warned that a future occurrence could result in further action.
Deis said Cst. Rausch didn’t give him the full name of the pit bull owner, but said she does live in Osoyoos.
He has also spoken with bylaw officer Pat Marshall who told him the owner will be ticketed and will be asked to pay his veterinary bills, but that he would have to take her to civil court if she refuses, Deis said.
At first he didn’t realize the seriousness of the wounds because they couldn’t be seen because of his dog’s fur, he said.
When he got PoopyBear home and shaved the injured area, he found there were three puncture wounds that were small, but very deep.
He was unable to bring PoopyBear to her regular veterinarian, but another vet used large staples to close the wounds.
Deis denies that PoopyBear was the instigator.
“Oh heaven forbid,” he said. “Especially not from behind. She didn’t know what hit her the poor thing.”
Deis said he tried to avoid the pit bull, but the people with the dog followed him instead of crossing the street as he was expecting them to do.
The Osoyoos Times was not able to identify and speak with the owner of the pit bull before going to press.
Various studies conducted since 1979 have found pit bulls to be involved in close to half the dog attacks on children and nearly half of fatal attacks on humans. Many jurisdictions, including Ontario and the United Kingdom, ban or restrict pit bulls as dangerous dogs, but in B.C. they are legal.
In August another pit bull killed a dog in Osoyoos after escaping from a cage in a locked Town of Osoyoos pound in the industrial park.