Tuesday, September 29, 2015

PITT MEADOWS, BRITISH COLUMBIA CANADA - A PIT BULL WITH ITS OWNERS AT A MCDONALDS OUTSIDE PATIO WAS TAKEN OUT OF ITS MUZZLE AND OFF LEASH WHEN IT ATTACKED A BELOVED SHIH TZU/LHASA APSO MIX - INJURIES SO SEVERE LITTLE "BUTTONS" HAD TO BE PUT DOWN

Buttons the therapy dog and a young reader. - TIMES files

Buttons, the Shih Tzu-Lhasa Apso cross, would have been seven years old next month.
However, instead of getting ready to mark the therapy dog’s birthday, his owners are grieving his loss and saying goodbye after a tragic incident.
On a sunny Monday morning, as they have done numerous times before, Pitt Meadows retirees John and Yvonne McDonald, who are also members of St. John’s Therapy Dogs program took Buttons for a walk and decided to stop for a coffee at the McDonald’s restaurant on Harris Road around 11 a.m.
John opted to stay on the outdoor patio area with Buttons and Yvonne went inside to order their drinks.
Things quickly took a turn for the worse at this point.
“All of a sudden, I heard screaming outside,” Yvonne recalled.
A  PIT BULL, who was sitting on the patio with its owners, had charged Buttons and clamped its jaws down around the little dog’s stomach.
“It was horrendous,” said John.
THE PIT BULL'S OWNERS HAD A MUZZLE WITH THEM, BUT HAD TAKEN IT OFF, AND UNTIED THE DOG TO ALLOW IT TO GET A DRINK OF WATER,  he recalled.
“The minute it saw Buttons it rushed Buttons, who of course went straight into a submissive position, and it took us about five minute to finally get this dog off him.”
At that point the pit bull’s owners put the muzzle back on him and walked the dog away.
“We kept asking and asking the owners for information, but couldn’t get anything from them,” John said.
Since the incident though, one of the owners has contacted the McDonald’s and has taken responsibility for untying and un-muzzling the pit bull so it could have a drink, “but she never put the muzzle back on.”
The woman told John they were willing to pay the vet bills, he noted. “But it’s a case of what they’re willing to do and what they actually do might be two different things.”
John and Yvonne have contacted the bylaws department in Pitt Meadows, as well as the RCMP, but John said his biggest fear is that because Buttons was attacked in a public seating area, “that could have been a child.”
The rest of the day was spent at an emergency animal clinic, and Buttons was also found to have a broken leg in two places, which could possible have meant an amputation was necessary, “and the puncture marks went right through to the stomach.”
The decision to put Buttons down was made last night.
"He died of massive internal injuries," said Yvonne. "He was a very much loved dog. He volunteered at the Pitt Meadows Library, Ridge Meadows Hospital, and Willow Manor. He especially loved kids.
For the McDonald’s, the price of Buttons’ potential surgery was simply too prohibitive.
“Both my wife and I are seniors and my daughter told us ‘there’s no way you can spend $14,000 to have a dog fixed, dad.’”
As for the pit bull?
"They won’t put the dog down,” Yvonne said. “I’ve been to City hall, and I’ve talked to two people in the bylaw department who told me they have to follow the rules. I said ‘the rule  is the dog has attacked.’
I am not anti-pit bull by any means. If any dog attacks and kills something, that’s not right and it shouldn’t go any further. The dog should be put down.”
Yvonne said has also contacted the RCMP and the SPCA, but curiously, as the incident took place in Pitt Meadows, the Maple Ridge SPCA “won’t even look at it,” she said. “This has to go through the bylaws, and I really don’t have much faith in the bylaw, because they’re too busy out there writing tickets for cars that are parked outside the yellow lines.”
The rules have to change, Yvonne added. “If this dog had attacked a child, that child would have been dead. There was absolutely nothing to provoke this dog, and we’re just beside ourselves.”



No comments: