Wednesday, November 11, 2015

YAKIMA WA - 1995 - WALTER FESER, 75, WAS A LIFE-LONG LOVER OF ANIMALS: THEN 2 PIT BULLS CAME INTO HIS BACKYARD TO ATTACK HIS DACHSHUND HELGA AND HE WAS FATALLY MAULED TRYING TO SAVE HER

VIDEO:  Yakima's Pit Bull Ban is Still in Place, and Pit Bulls Still Live in the City


Man Mauled By Pit Bulls Was Animal Lover

The irony of the whole thing, according to those who knew him best, was that Walter Feser loved animals more than almost anything else. People used to drive by his half-acre plot in north Yakima, see the goats and turkeys and pot-bellied pigs milling about, and say, "Hey, it's Feser's Farm!"
It was there, in his back yard Friday afternoon, that two roving pit bulls attacked the 75-year-old man, pulling him from his wheelchair and mauling him. Feser - a one-time animal-control officer and former manager of the county's water plant - later died of shock and loss of blood at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, family members said.
The official results of the autopsy have not been released by the Yakima County medical examiner.
Feser's death has stunned the semi-rural neighborhood where he'd lived for decades, and where he'd collected a menagerie of wild, abandoned and purchased creatures that somehow made their way into his heart and then his home. He was a big man - 6 feet tall and over 220 pounds - with a soft spot for animals of all kinds.
Now, neighbors such as Roger Kline, who lived across the road from Feser, are calling for a ban on dangerous dogs. Relatives want the pit bulls' owner held accountable.
The Yakima County Prosecutor's Office is considering filing criminal charges against the owner, whose name has not been released. The pit bulls, a male and female, are locked up at animal control, and will likely be euthanized after a 10-day quarantine to check for rabies.
"Walter probably died trying to save his own dog," said neighbor Herman Miller, 70, who also was attacked by the two pit bulls. Miller, recovering at Yakima's Memorial Hospital, was mauled while trying to help Feser. "He was a lover of animals, and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet."
Miller and Feser had been neighbors for more than two decades and had seen each other through a lot of good and bad times. Miller was in Feser's kitchen when he suffered the stroke that left half his body paralyzed. Miller was a comfort when Feser's wife, Evelyn, died 2 1/2 years ago.
Miller was there again for his friend Friday. Police, with Miller's help, have pieced together what probably happened.
The two pit bulls were a new presence in the neighborhood. Miller had seen them a week or so earlier penned up behind a chain-link fence about a block from Feser's home. Yakima County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Hall said the dogs were being temporarily cared for by a neighborhood resident while the owner was relocating to Seattle.
The pit bulls somehow escaped their pen and were roving. Another neighbor, Mike Madiera, was bitten in the calf by one of the dogs in a separate attack earlier in the day.
The dogs likely jumped over Feser's 3 1/2-foot-high stone wall to attack Feser's dachshund, Helga.
Miller said Feser was very attentive to Helga, and might have heard the dog cry out. Feser then probably rolled out the back door and down his wheelchair ramp to help Helga, but he didn't get much beyond the bottom of the ramp. The dogs apparently attacked him there.
During the attack, Feser was able to activate his "lifeline" signaling device. The lifeline operator then contacted Miller, who ran to Feser's back yard.
"Walter was on the ground, a bloody mess. I was just astounded," Miller said. "He was awake, and his eyes were telling me, `Get the hell out of there.' Then I saw the two dogs looking right at me."
The dogs attacked Miller, who was knocked down a half-dozen times before reaching his own door. By the time he got there, he had been bitten all over.
"How many times can two dogs bite you in eight minutes? That's how many bites I have," he said.
Once inside his house, Miller called animal-control officers, who easily captured the dogs minutes later. Terry Kline, Feser's stepson, said that in the minutes before the dogs were captured, "they were wagging their tails, acting friendly, wanting to be petted, just like any other dog."
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19951023&slug=2148436

AS OF TODAY'S DATE THERE HAVE BEEN #472 US FATAL PIT BULL VICTIMS DOCUMENTED.

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