Dog killed, woman injured in Hamilton dog attack

I’ll be interested to see how much airplay and/or newsprint this story gets since the dog has been reported in both stories as a German Shepherd (rather than a pit bull). Of course, the typical accuracy of breed identification likely means that this dog is brown and black, has pointed ears, a longer muzzle, and medium length hair, ergo a German Shepherd.

Here are the two stories:

CP24 (CityPulse)

Hamilton Spectator–horrified-owner-watches-her-pet-dog-killed

CityPulse Story:

Tue Feb 28 2012 9:50:03 AM

HAMILTON — Hamilton police say a dog attack left a woman injured and her smaller dog dead.

Police say a woman was walking her dog Monday afternoon when a larger dog, described as a German shepherd, ran after the smaller animal and attacked it.

The woman was knocked to the ground and suffered minor injuries to her hands and arms while trying to free her dog.

Police say the smaller dog died.

Animal control officials seized both dogs and are investigating the incident.

The woman was taken to hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The Spectator story:

Molly Hayes Tue Feb 28 2012

Judy Russ screamed for help as her small white dog was mauled to death Monday afternoon by a neighbour’s German shepherd that had escaped from his fenced-in yard.

Russ was walking Bandit, her bichon frise/shih tzu cross along Elgar Avenue, where she’s lived for more than 40 years. They were just steps from Russ’s front lawn when the big dog appeared and lunged at Bandit.

She tried to pull away, scooping up her small dog to shield him from the shepherd, which her neighbours on the west Mountain identified as Caesar.

“I just kept screaming and screaming ‘Help me! Help me!’” she said, fighting back tears as she recounted the incident Tuesday at her home.

But her fight was in vain. She was knocked to the ground and Caesar dragged Bandit away. A car eventually stopped and the driver gave Russ her cellphone to call for help.

“I just kept saying ‘He killed my baby, he killed my baby,’” Russ said.

Bandit was four years old, and was cooed by Russ, her husband, Steve, and their grandson, Jacob, who’s lived with the couple for six years.

Caesar’s owners are also devastated by the attack. The couple, who refused to give their names, said they’d been asked not to contact the Russes.

“Our hearts go out to that woman and her family,” he said. “Our dog will not be returning home.”

Caesar was seized by animal control and is currently in a 10-day quarantine. The agency is investigating the dog’s history and said, depending on its findings, the dog could be released to the owner.

“All I can tell you is every dog, regardless of breed, has a propensity to bite,” said Jim Gillis, supervisor for Animal Services.

“You have to look at the factors that cause them to bite. If there was a history, we might go to the courts and say it might be in the best interest to put the dog down.”

Gillis would not comment on the circumstances of the attack or reveal the name of Caesar’s owner because the investigation is still under way.

After the attack, Russ was treated in hospital for rope burn and bite injuries to her hands and arms. The owners were contacted by police after the attack and rushed home.

The last they knew, the shepherd was locked in their back yard.

Neighbours say they would often cross the street when they got to Caesar’s house during dog walks. It would jump up against the tall, wooden fence its owners built.

Susanne Gauder, who lives a few houses away, said she, too, was attacked by Caesar during a walk with her small dog, Macko, a few months ago. She was able to pick the dog up and protect it, but was bitten by the German shepherd before its owner was able to control it.

She did not report the attack and said the owners apologized profusely.

Bob Pyne lives across the street and said Caesar is a friendly dog. He would invite the dog and its owner over to play with his dog, Coal, in the back yard.

“He’s a good owner,” Pyne said of his neighbour. “He’s good with the dog, he takes care of it, he walks it. He had an electric collar.

“It’s just a bad situation.”

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