Wayne and Donna Stolz are mourning the death of their pet Shih Tzu dog after it was mauled by a pit bull on Friday, November 22, in the front yard of their Keremeos home.
Donna Stolz had just taken her 10 year old “Angel” outside for a bathroom break around 4 p.m. Friday when the attack occurred.
“Angel had arthritis in her hind legs, so I had to carry her outside to avoid her using the steps,” explained still tearful Donna on Monday morning.
“I put her down on the grass right beside the steps, and the pit bull came out of nowhere. It had Angel in its mouth, tossing her around like a rag doll.”
The dog had come from a home that had just recently been occupied, across the street. A member of the household heard Donna yelling for help, and raced across the street to separate the dogs.
It only took a few seconds, but the damage to Angel was extensive. She had been eviscerated by the attack.
“I couldn’t do anything,” Donna sobbed in recall.
Because neither party had access to a vehicle, Donna called the police, who placed Donna and Angel in the cruiser and drove the wounded animal to the nearest vet in Osoyoos. The dog was too badly wounded, however, and was put down.
“I feel really bad,” said the owner of the pit bull, who lives just across the street.
“The dog was in the house – he must have snuck out the door without anyone noticing.”
The backyard of the home containing the animal was lined with a fence, which also had “Beware of dog” notices attached.
The tearful neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said that her dog had never done anything like this before.
“I’m going to lose my dog, too,” she said Monday morning, still distraught over the incident.
“They have asked to have the dog destroyed, and I will not deny them.”
The Stolz’ wished to have the pit bull put down.
“To see that happen before my eyes, and not be able to do anything about it – I’m still very shocked.
My dear little Angel was dying in my arms on the front lawn,” Donna said.
Wayne’s sorrow had overtones of anger mixed in on Monday as he questioned why the pit bull was off leash and unmuzzled.
“Why should we be responsible for the vet bill, when that pit bull killed our dog?” he asked.
A statement released by the Keremeos RCMP detachment said that no charges were pending as a result of the attack, noting that the pit bull did not have a reputation for aggresive behaviour. Police subsequently turned the file over to Keremeos bylaw officer Kevin Aschhoff.
Keremeos Village Chief Administrative Officer Laurie Taylor said Monday that the Bylaw Officer Aschhoff had been investigating the incident.
“I understand that the pit bull is being voluntarily surrendered today, and will be put down,” Taylor said late Monday morning.
“It’s a tragedy for everyone involved,” said acting deatchment Commander Martin Trudeau.
“There was no malicious intent involved – some dogs have a highly developed prey drive, and if that’s the case here, it’s just a very unfortunate incident where everyone loses.”