News

Dog bites dog

As a young Navy couple, Ryan and Jamie Bejot couldn’t afford to have children yet, so Ryan surprised Jamie with another little bundle of joy on St. Patrick’s Day — a 6-week-old miniature Doberman Pinscher puppy. Cost: $450.

At 14-weeks and a strapping 3 pounds, Snookers took his first trip to the Clover Valley off-leash dog park on Ault Field Road Friday, but it’s likely to be his last.

Snookers, a Doberman in name only, was no match for an adult Husky who attacked the puppy, shaking him like a rag doll and leaving him with life-threatening wounds. Snooker’s owner, Ryan Bejot, was bitten on the hand trying to retrieve his dog.

Bejot didn’t realize at first that his puppy was seriously hurt, until they got in the car and he noticed the pup was breathing heavily.

“Then I saw the puncture wounds,” he said. The much larger Husky had clamped down on the little dog’s middle, puncturing his diaphragm and sending air around his heart and lungs.

Still not realizing the extent of the injuries, Bejot returned to the park to locate the Huskys’ owner, but he was gone.

The next stop was Best Friends Veterinary Center in Oak Harbor, where he was told Snookers would die without surgery.

Bejot said he and his wife Jamie, both seamen (E-3) at Whidbey Naval Air Station, don’t make much money, so his mom helped out with the $600 vet bill.

But the emergency surgery wasn’t enough, and Bejot was told he needed to get Snookers to the animal emergency care center in Bellingham to be put on oxygen.

As Bejot drove, little Snookers was not doing very well.

“He was basically dying in the front seat,” he said.

But, they got to the animal hospital in time to save the puppy, and an overnight stay and another $600 later, Snookers came home.

The decision to spend the money they didn’t have was an easy, but painful one.

“We gotta do it, it’s our dog,” Bejot said.

Now, the Bejots would like to find the man who owned the Husky, to be compensated for the vet bills, and to see the dog’s shot records.

Ryan Bejot said at the time of the attack the man said his dog had his rabies shot. With Ryan and Snookers nursing puncture wounds from the attack, they’d like to see proof.

Bejot said the Husky owner also told him he wasn’t surprised that his dog would have attacked the tiny puppy, as he had gone after rabbits and squirrels — about the same size.

Lori Matteson, who supervises both the Clover Valley and Oak Harbor off-leash parks, said this is the first reported dog attack at the parks.

“Sometimes dogs will get nippy, but there haven’t been any attacks,” she said.

She attributed that to a lack of territorial behavior, as dogs feel the park is common ground, sort of a neutral zone.

The Clover Valley park has been open since last September, but Matteson didn’t recognize the description of the Husky owner. Bejot described him as a white male, approximately 50 years old, 5 foot 8 inches, 250 pounds, with gray hair and possibly a gray beard or mustache. He was driving a blue sedan with a red “retired enlisted” military decal.

The Husky is described as being gray and white, with one blue eye.

Island County Animal Control Officer said it’s important to find the man and the dog because of the rabies issue. By law, any dogs that have bitten other dogs or people have to be quarantined for 10 days.

“The person is probably not aware of the extent of the injuries,” Barnes said. “Hopefully he will come forward.”

A cadre of Snookers supporters, including Animal Control and the Sheriff’s office, have been plastering the community with posters asking for anyone with information about the dog to pass it on to the Sheriff’s office or Animal Control.

Barnes said so far they have had no leads.

Back at home, Snookers cuddles close to Ryan and Jamie, but is afraid of strangers and is not interested in the world outside their apartment.

“He’s basically terrified of going outside,” Ryan said. “I don’t even want him to be around other dogs.”

You can reach News-Times reporter Marcie Miller at mmiller@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 20 edition online now. Browse the archives.