http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp ... 4656511815
'It Went Right for Her Face and Began Dragging Her Around the Back Yard'
(Oct 7, 2006)
An 89-year-old Burlington woman suffered major facial injuries after a 70-pound pit bull leaped a fence and attacked her.
And Thelma Harrower's family believes only a chance visit by her son saved the woman's life.
Harrower was gardening in her back yard Thursday when Chewie, a neighbour's year-old pit bull, jumped a chain-link fence and attacked her.
"It went right for her face and began dragging her around the back yard," Burlington animal control supervisor David Lake said yesterday. He called it the worst attack he's ever seen.
The attack left the elderly woman with severe facial injuries, along with injured fingers from trying to fight off the muscular dog.
The pit bull, one of two owned by Henderson Avenue resident Jim Bell, was not registered as required by the province's new Dog Owners Liability Act.
"It was just by chance I was coming to make a short visit, the timing was an absolute miracle," said a visibly shaken Tom Harrower, 60, yesterday.
He arrived to find his mother on the ground "pleading for help" as the dog mauled her.
"I walked in on the attack, and she was calling for help at the top of her voice, and trying to protect her face," he said.
"It wanted to go for the vital areas."
As soon as Tom ran into the garden, the pit bull released Thelma Harrower and rounded on him.
"He took a real serious interest in me. He was satisfied my mother was in a condition she couldn't get out of, so he approached me again."
He managed to inch his way toward the door and call 911 before rushing back out to help his helpless mother.
It took the combined efforts of Lake from animal control and a Halton police officer to bring the pit bull under control.
"When I put the dog pole on him, I said, 'Whoa, that's one strong dog,'" said Lake.
Late yesterday, Bell consented to the dog being destroyed.
Neighbours say they never encountered problems with Bell's two pit bulls Chewie and Dixie, but that the dogs made them nervous.
"I would see him walking the dogs down the street and they would be unmuzzled," said a neighbour who did not want to be identified.
Bell was charged under a municipal bylaw and faces a $500 fine for failing to obtain a current licence, allowing a dog to run at large and allowing a dog to bite and attack.
He'll also have to pay $430 to have the dog quarantined and then destroyed.
Bell may also face future charges under the provincial act, with a maximum punishment of $10,000 and six months in jail.
The act bans pit bulls, and requires existing pit bulls to be registered and muzzled in public.