Letters to the Editor

Tragedy: Mitzi mauled by pit bulls

We read with interest the Oct. 1 Whidbey News-Times front page article regarding dangerous dog breeds on Whidbey. A year ago our precious Sheltie, Mitzi, was mauled by two neighboring pit bulls while enjoying a warm autumn afternoon in our back yard just within the city limits.

Tragically, the two dogs had ripped off a plank of the solid wood fence separating our two yards and attacked her from behind. By the time my spouse overheard the commotion and separated the dogs, she had sustained deep puncture wounds that ultimately took her life a week later in spite of excellent veterinary care. In the process, my husband was also was bitten on his hands and arms.

To their credit, our neighbors did pay the veterinary bills and were truly sorry for our loss. Still, when particular breeds are bred for aggression, no matter how affectionate they may be with their owners, they still represent a threat to our community. I shudder to think what may have happened had it been the little toddlers in the home behind us who had been attacked.

Animal control now requires the owners to monitor their dogs when they are outside, which for the most part they have complied with. It’s hard to think of our neighbors sustaining the loss of their canine friends as we did, but wonder whether it is irresponsible to not destroy dogs with a proven track record of violence. The next time it could be a human who is attacked.

Responsible pet ownership considers all elements, not just whether or not a pup is adorable. The dogs that killed ours are undeniably handsome and clearly have a deep bond with their owners, yet we are no longer to enjoy the bond we had with our pet. While we miss Mitzi deeply, we are more horrified to hear of humans being attacked. It’s time for us to start taking this issue seriously before more friends — no matter how many legs they walk on — are harmed or killed.

Dawn Shumate

Oak Harbor

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