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Pair of boxers fingered in North Whidbey attack
The dogs that attacked an elderly woman and killed her Chihauhau Tuesday morning have been identified as two 9-month-old boxer mixes named Snoopy and Beethoven.
Island County Animal Control Officer Carol Barnes admitted being a little surprised that the dogs responsible for the vicious attack were rather adorable and seemed perfectly friendly toward people. The litter mates live in a home with another dog and three young children.
"Just because they are people-friendly doesn't mean they aren't dog-aggressive," she said.
In this case, the dogs' aggression toward a tiny pooch became so frenzied that they turned on any people who got in their way.
Treva Rogers, 75-year-old Yakima resident, was visiting her sister and her sister's husband, Clarice "Dee" and James Taylor, on Crosby Road on North Whidbey. She went for a walk with her beloved Chihuahua, Budda, Tuesday morning. Out of nowhere, the dogs attacked Budda.
Rogers did everything she could to try to save Budda, but ended up being attacked herself. The dogs knocked her down three times and bit her hands and arm, causing serious wounds.
"I just thought they were going to kill us both," Rogers said afterward.
The woman made it to the house and fell in through the kitchen door. She was so bloodied and exhausted that both of the Taylors thought she was going to die.
"It was the most horrifying thing I've ever seen," Clarice said.
The young boxers actually came into the house to continue attacking the Chihauhau. James and a DirectTV installer had to physically fight the dogs to get them out of the house.
The family took Budda to a veterinary, but he died that afternoon from the massive injuries. It was a terrible blow for Rogers.
"Budda was a part of our family and more importantly he was my grandmother's companion," Rogers' granddaughter, Audenn Skye, wrote in a message to the News-Times.
Barnes said the two dogs continued their trouble-making after leaving the Taylors' home. Barnes said they went to a neighbor's home and tried to attack a dachshund in a pen. A woman who was home reported that one of the dogs was biting at the wire, trying to get at "Tinkerbell." She felt threatened and noticed blood on the two dogs.
The woman's husband came home and corralled the dogs. He called the number on the dog tags and the owners showed up a while later.
Barnes said the owners called her Tuesday night. In turns out that the dogs are owned by a 31-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man who live in the Hillcrest development. They told Barnes that the dogs escaped through a gap in a wooden fence.
It wasn't the first time the dogs have been on the loose. According to Barnes, the two boxers and a third one — a littermate named Charlie — were picked up in July.
Barnes said she's limited in what she can do because of county ordinances. She cited the couple with two counts each of "control off premises" because the two dogs were loose. Because of the possibility of spreading disease, the dogs are under quarantine and Barnes will send a bite notice to the county health department.
In addition, Barnes gave the owners a "dangerous dog notice" for each pooch. Under state law, there are certain requirements for dogs that are deemed "dangerous," such as the maintenance of a proper enclosure, the use of a leash and muzzle when off the owner's property, and the securing of liability insurance.
Barnes said the issuance of the notice is just the beginning of a long process in which she'll work with the owners to make sure they comply with the requirement and hopefully learn something in the process.