By Dr. Andrew Jones
These two stories have been very prominent in the news.
Especially shocking was how viscous the attacks were, and the seriousness of the injuries.
B.C. man fighting for life in Edmonton hospital after vicious dog attack
A 55-year-old Fort St. John man remains in an Edmonton hospital as doctors fight to save his life and what remains of both arms following a dog attack on Christmas Day.
Fort St. John RCMP said they were called to a trailer home in the northeastern B.C. city by a frantic 51-year-old woman who reported two dogs had entered the home, killed her cat and were mauling her and her partner.
Inside, the officers found a woman suffering from dog bites and a man sitting unresponsive in a chair, appearing to be in shock, while being attacked by the dogs, RCMP Cpl. Dave Tyreman said.
“So at that time, you know, (the officers) tried everything that they could to distract the dogs, to draw their attention away, but they still kept attacking this man,” said Tyreman.
“At that point they felt they had no other alternative but to use lethal force.”
An officer shot one dog, but the other managed to escape with serious injuries, although it was later tracked down and “humanely put down,” Tyreman added.
Officers said they have a good idea who owned the animals but are still trying to figure out why the dogs were loose and what led to the vicious attack.
Family members posted a GoFundMe page for the injured couple, Robin Elgie and Wendy Lee Baker, hoping to raise $10,000 to help with expenses — and surpassed their goal Thursday morning, in one day.
Three people have been injured — one critically — in a vicious dog attack Wednesday in Richmond, B.C.
Police said one of the injured, the woman in critical condition, was bitten over 100 times by a rottweiler crossbreed.
Police were called to the 9200-block of Williams Road just after 1 p.m. PT after a report that a woman was being mauled by a dog and needed police help.
When officers arrived, they found the woman on the ground, covered in blood and trying to fend off the 35-kilogram dog.
“One of the officers attempted to distract the dog while the other officer tried extracting the wounded victim. The dog was momentarily distracted and returned to re-attack the victim and one of our officers,” said Cpl. Dennis Hwang in a statement.
The officer fired her pistol at the dog and it fled. The 21-year-old woman was taken to hospital with extensive injuries.
“She suffered over 100 bites to her body, a fractured arm, a detached [biceps]. She is currently undergoing surgery and is listed in critical condition,” said Hwang,
“It was a miracle that our officers were unharmed.”
2 others also attacked
Police said the woman was trying to draw the dog away from attacking her three-year-old nephew, the son of her twin sister.
“Her twin sister also sustained serious injuries, namely, multiple lacerations to her body while defending her son from the dog, said Hwang.
The sister was also taken to hospital, said police. The boy was unharmed.
A third person was also attacked when he tried to save the women.
“This one was very extreme,” said animal behaviorist Dr. Rebecca Ledger. “A hundred bites in a single victim – it’s among the worst attacks I’ve heard of.”
According to Richmond legislation, any dog that has injured a person is classified as a dangerous dog. Animal control officers can propose to euthanize the dog, and can do it quickly if the owner agrees. If the owner disagrees then Animal Control must seek an order from the Provincial Court.
Sometimes dangerous dogs can be rehabilitated with training, said Dr. Rebecca Ledger. But this attack was so terrifying it’s unlikely this dog will survive, she said.
“This is such an aggressive attack it wouldn’t be safe to rehabilitate the dog at this point,” she said.
Dr Jones’ Comments
First these are shocking, horrible events- so hard to believe this can happen.
Currently Robin Elgie is doing well in hospital- surgery went well.
The Richmond dog attack victims, Twenty-one-year-old twin sisters Kati and Jessi Mather are recovering now at home- the one girl was bitten over 100 times.
There has been discussion about the Richmond sisters as they are also known as ‘Twins that Toke’
An Instagram account called “Twins that toke THC” shows the Mather sisters drinking, smoking marijuana, and partying. It uses hashtags including #bongbeauties, #stonerbabes and #sisterswhosmoke. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.
One person moving out of Kati Mather’s Richmond home told CTV news on Saturday the drug use was continuing. He did not want to go on camera, but said the twins would get high on “downers” and yell at the dog and threaten it.
Could they have played a role in altering the dog’s behavior, leading to this attack.
Then there are the inevitable calls for breed bans- the dogs in question, Pittbulls and a Rottweiler, are the most common breeds responsible for serious dog bite injuries and deaths.
In discussing this with a colleague, I noted how often the Pitties were some of the best patients, as well as many of the Rotties.. Clearly the environment your dog is raised in has a a huge effect.
My WORST dog bite was from a Chihuahua hanging off my chin..
But NOT all dogs are raised in the ideal environment, and not all dog owners are responsible
Some people should not own pets (or raise kids for that matter)
I agree with the behaviourist that with such aggressive attacks, it is not safe or ethical to rehabilitate such a dog.
Shocking, a reminder that dogs evolved from wolves, and if dogs bred for strength are not raised by responsible people, things can go horribly wrong.
But to put it ALL in perspective, there are 80 MILLION dogs in Canada and the U.S. with relatively few serious dog bite injuries-
You are SO much more likely to injure yourself by falling in the bathroom.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
Dr Andrew J
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