Submitted Photo A man holds on to the leash of his dog that viciously attacked a woman in Garrison Crossing near the Cheam Centre on Aug. 31.

Chilliwack owner of pit bull involved in violent attack altered dog’s colour

Animal control has now seized dog while the victims suffer with life-threatening infections

Animal control has finally seized a pit bull involved in a vicious attack in Garrison Crossing in August and is applying to have the dog euthanized.

[Ed. note: Some photos below may be disturbing to some readers.]

The seizure took so long because the owner not only hid the pit bull named Magnum by taking to it to an unknown location but the colour of the dog had been altered, according to Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) spokesperson Jennifer Kinneman.

READ MORE: Violent pit bull attack leaves Chilliwack woman with tendon damage

Kinneman said with help from the RCMP, animal control staff tracked down the dog on Sept. 28. The violent attack of the woman and her dog near the entrance to Save-On Foods on Tamihi Way happened in broad daylight around 4 p.m. on Aug. 31.

The owner, Kristopher Benson, fled the scene with Magnum.

Eight days later, the FVRD and RCMP executed a warrant to seize the dog but it was not at the residence searched. But because of its aggressive history that required microchipping, and despite the colour alteration, staff found the dog on Sept. 28 and it was seized.

A month after being attacked by a pit bull, a Chilliwack woman’s wounds have not healed and she is suffering with a serious antibiotic resistant infection. (Submitted)

As for the victim of the attack, things are not going well. The woman, A.C. – who has requested The Progress not use her full name because of the owner’s criminal history – is suffering with a life-threatening infection from the pit bull’s saliva. Her dog, Rux, is similarly infected with MRSI or Staphylococcus pseudo-intermedius, a methicillin-resistant infection.

“I’ve been getting treatment and I’ve been in and out of ER for the last two weeks and they’ve been checking my vitals for sepsis,” A.C. said this week. “We realized that Rux’s wounds aren’t getting better either because of the infection…. He is actually fighting for his life.”

A month after the incident, which was witnessed by a number of people, and after which the dog’s owner took off, A.C.’s and Rux’s wounds are not healing. In response to news of the seizure of the dog, A.C. said she wasn’t interested as her sole focus is on getting better.

“I don’t really care right now as to what happens,” she said. “I just want to survive this. I want to survive and just be healthy again and I want my dog to survive and be healthy again.”

A.C. said her family has spent $10,000 in veterinarian bills so far and Rux is still fighting for his life. Rux was actually raised and trained as an emotional support and therapy dog who was supposed to start volunteering at the end of October.

“He provides support for our foster child who was shocked by the whole ordeal,” she said.

After the incident, the owner of the dog defended his dog in social media comments. He said the story was “blown way out of control” and that Rux was just as at fault as Magnum in the incident.

A.C. said she and her family have been traumatized, and she is heartbroken by the owner’s actions.

READ MORE: Pit bull owner defends his dog after woman with dog attacked in Chilliwack

A.C. and other witnesses confirmed that during the attack the dog, described as an extra large pit bull, latched on to Rux and would not let go. A.C. was hitting the pit bull and later got help from a stranger who hit it with a piece of rebar unsuccessfully to get it to release its bite.

It was yet another stranger who stopped and used bear spray to finally get the dog to briefly release its grip, although A.C. said even that didn’t stop. After the attack, a large pool of blood was visible on the sidewalk.

“I am extremely hurt and saddened that no responsibility has been taken by the other party,” she said. “He has tried to fabricate a story when there were multiple eye-witnesses to confirm the actual facts of the event. There is no acknowledgment, no remorse, and the victim-blaming makes everything so painful.”

Much was made of the issue of bully breeds such as pit bulls after the Aug. 31 attack, but A.C. actually agrees with what many pit bull defenders say: it isn’t about the breed or even the dog, it’s the owner.

“I don’t want to vilify a particular breed,” she said. “It’s about responsible ownership for me. We’ve experienced such trauma in our family that we just want to move on.”

As for the next steps with the dog in custody in an undisclosed location, the FVRD will now submit an application the court under Section 49, Subsection 10 of the Community Charter to seek permission to humanely euthanize the dog.

“Since dogs are considered property, the FVRD is unable to euthanize the dog without the owner’s consent or a Provincial Court order,” Kinneman explained.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Submitted Photo Injured poodle Rux after being attacked by a pit bull in Garrison Crossing Aug. 31.

Blood is visible in the mouth of a dog that attacked a woman in Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack on Aug. 31.

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