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Sunday, August 28, 2016

An animal advocate at the crossroads

An animal advocate at the crossroads

So, here it is….. An animal advocate at the crossroads; one direction an animal is possibly euthanized for the way it was raised, the other direction, live in silence to allow an animal to live and possibly attack again. Here is my moral question (yes) I do need help with this……
On Friday, August 26, 2016 at approximately 5.30 – 6 pm I’m out walking my (3) dogs in the neighborhood that I live in. We see neighbors out in their yards and see other neighbors walking their dogs. I’m always aware of other dogs (since sometimes mine get rambunctious) with the sight of other dogs (strays or being walked by their pet parents). Now on this particular day, I see another neighbor walking their dog heading my direction; so I simply change my direction and take a different path – destiny has been changed for all involved.

Taking the different path, I come to the cross streets of N. Flores and Fulton Ave. As I’m approaching the intersection, I see an older man walking like he’s in pain around a car. Not thinking any more about this man, I look both ways before crossing the intersection. Out of the corner of the Dead End street comes a pit bull charging at me and the rest of my pack. I can’t do anything but scream “No” as this pit attacks one of my dogs. I think the first of my dogs that this pit goes after is Fortune my 12 year old Border collie. Fortune not going down as easy as this pit bull had hoped (I assume) and as I’m kicking at the pit bull still screaming “No, Stop, Release, No” releases and then pulls Stella (my newest rescue) a 1 year old English Pointer down. The pit bull, with a grip on Stella and not releasing, now has Choxie my 11 year old Lab mix and Fortune on top of it. They go into protect mode and I’m still screaming and kicking, and not letting go of any of my dogs leashes. A neighbor driving home sees my struggle and pulls up to me in the middle of the street and gets out of his SUV and tries to corral the pit bull away from my dogs and me. At this point it’s only because of my screams that the owners brother comes out of the house to see his sisters dog attacking mine.

The brother of the owner pulls the pit bull off of my dogs and all I can see is that Stella is covered in blood and is clearly injured on one of her legs, I’m not sure of anywhere else. Fortune and Choxie have blood on them and I’m crying and in shock. The neighbor that had come to help called the police; the brother of the owner is asking me if I’m alright. The father (happens to be the old man that was walking in pain) was apparently trying to handle the pit bull before our paths had crossed. The pit bull that attacked us had gotten away from the father and he was trying to catch the dog. I’m answering the questions: explaining that I was walking my dogs, I need to take them to the ER vet – my vet is closed, my phone number is XXXXXXXX, I live at XXXXXXXXX. I’m being told by the brother that since it was their dog that attacked, that accept full responsibility. The neighbor that called the police helps me take my dogs back home (I’m still 5 blocks from where I live). Helps me get Fortune, Choxie and Stella into my car and when we get back to where the attack happened the police are there to take statements. The brother of the owner talks to the officer and tells him what happened. I tell the officer that I was walking my dogs and my name. I’m given a card with the case number on it and the officer leaves. I talk to the brother, who genuinely looks upset and he says again “We accept full responsibility. Get your dogs checked and submit the bill to us.” I say where I’m going and I get the phone number of the actual owner – the sister of the person that I’m talking to. I get the phone number and name of the witness. I take my family to the ER.

Now at the ER, I have all 3 pups looked at. Fortune is the first to get checked out and has a superficial cut on the inside of his lip and the blood that covers him is from another dog $70. Choxie is assessed next and has a superficial cut on her front leg that is already beginning to scab over $58. Stella is the last to get check. She has a bite wound on her back right ankle; she has a bite wound on her back left paw. She doesn’t need stitches; however, she isn’t able to put weight on her right leg and won’t be able to go on walks for weeks and having to take an antibiotic and a pain killer $187.33. I call the owner of the pit bull and there is no answer. I call 11 different times and still no answer. I send 2 text messages and no answer. I go to the house and no one answered the door. (All of this happening over the course of 2 days.) I call my friend who is an animal law attorney. I tell her what happened. She advises me on what to do. We are both animal advocates, we both don’t want to see the animal euthanized and now the moral questions: Do I go to the city and report the attack? Do I not say anything and only handle it as a civil matter? Do I take it to court?

The father came to my door this morning and asked how my dogs are. He wants to make payment arrangements with me, however, still no word from his daughter.

I haven’t even gone into the emotional trauma of this; the lack of sleep that I’ve experienced, the physical pain that I have (since I’m still in recovery from hip surgery and a car accident that have happened months ago) from being pulled in the middle of 4 dogs fighting. At the farmers market this morning, there were (2) pit bulls there. One is my friends, and super sweet. The other, was pulling on his “owner” who wants to breed him. I have a conversation with him asking him if he knew how many animals are put to death every year due to breeding (a problem that we have in San Antonio TX.) He said “I don’t care I’m going to keep them.” That’s when I kindly say well, “if you live within Bexar County you’re only allowed to have 3 dogs and 5 animals. I just rescued a dog that had 6 puppies.” He walked away from me, offended. I wrapped up my visits with the farmers and got into my car – drive away when fear, panic, and anxiety take over me and I start crying.