Wayne and Donna Stolz are mourning the death of their pet shih tzu dog last week after it was mauled by a pit bull Nov. 22, in the front yard of their Keremeos home.
Stolz had just taken 10-year-old Angel outside for a bathroom break around 4 p.m. when the attack occurred.
“Angel had arthritis in her hind legs,” she said.
“So I had to carry her outside to avoid her using the steps,” explained a teary-eyed Stolz 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 recently occupied home across the street. A member of the household heard Stolz 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,” said Stolz who sobbed as she recounted the event.
Because neither party had access to a vehicle, Stolz called the police, who placed her 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 where the pit bull lives is lined with a fence which has beware of dog notices attached.
The tearful neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said her dog had never done anything like this before.
“I’m going to lose my dog, too,” she said, still distraught over the incident.
“They have asked to have the dog destroyed, and I will not deny them.”
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,” Stolz sobbed at the memory.
Her husband’s sorrow was tinged with anger as he questioned why the pit bull was off-leash and unmuzzled.
“Angel was Donna’s peace and tranquility. 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 the pit bull did not have a reputation for aggressive behaviour.
Police subsequently turned the file over to Keremeos bylaw officer Kevin Aschhoff.
Keremeos Village chief administrative officer Laurie Taylor said the bylaw officer Aschhoff had been investigating the incident.
“I understand the pit bull is being voluntarily surrendered, and will be put down,” Taylor said Monday morning.
“It’s a tragedy for everyone involved,” said acting RCMP detachment 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.”