[Knoxville Citizen] - Is There A Dog Attack Problem In Knoxville
Remember this — It can happen to you, your family and yes, even your pets.
Last week, a woman who lives in Powell was taking her pets to a local pet groomer off of Emory Road. She was getting out of her truck and putting a leash on her 35 pound Wheaton Terrier.
At the same time, a young male who was visiting his girlfriend who worked at the pet groomer, was pulling out of the parking lot. With his unbuckled Pit Bull and Boxer in the back seat, he rolled down his windows.
In a matter of seconds, both of his untrained and unrestrained dogs leaped out of the window and fledged a full assault on the Wheaton Terrier, who simply wanted a haircut.
The woman attempted to protect her Wheaton Terrier, but soon realized that there was nothing she could do and had no choice but to release the leash for fear that she would be seriously injured.
The Wheaton Terrier ran, but the attackers continued to pursue him. The dogs brawled for over ten minutes.
At one point, the Wheaton Terrier ran back to his owner and leaped up into his truck in an effort to escape, but the attacking dogs simply followed the Wheaton into the truck and continued their attack on him inside the vehicle.
Spectators did try to help, but it was a difficult challenge as there were two attackers. Spectators would successfully remove one attacker, but it would simply break free and reengage while they were trying to remove the second attacker.
The Wheaton Terrier literally ran for his life this day and the owner said "she was sure they were going to kill him." Eventually, spectators were able to break up the fight.
The Wheaton Terrier was rushed to an emergency vet nearby and is currently in recovery with many severe gaping wounds covering a large percentage of his body.
The owner of the pit bull and boxer simply put his dogs in his car and went home.
After learning the Wheaton Terrier was going to survive and racking up thousands of dollars in vet bills, the owner of the Wheaton Terrier called Knox County Animal Control in hopes of reporting this event and ensuring this devastating event wouldn't happen to anyone else.
It took Knox County Animal Control over 24 hours to call back and take her statement over the phone and it’s unclear what, if any action they took against the attackers as the owner of the Wheaton Terrier never heard from them again.
This is just one story. So we decided to dig a little deeper.
What did we find?
In 2018, Knoxville News reported that Knoxville has second most dog attacks on postal workers in Tennessee.
How deep does this problem go in Knoxville? Take a look at the page one Google search results.
The entire page one of Google is filled with deaths, attacks and law firms specializing in dog attacks.
How bad does a problem have to be in order for law firms to build their entire practice around it?
What happens when a dog does attack a person?
They get put down, right?
According to Fox & Farmer Attorney's at Law, If a dog bites another person for the first time and the injury is not very serious, the owner generally gets a pass.
It’s not our place to determine if Knox County Animal Control handled the above situation correctly or if the current laws are appropriate.
All we can do is point out potential problems, give you the facts and let you determine for yourselves.
Regardless of what you decide, please remember that it can absolutely happen to you. This was one specific circumstance where no humans were injured, but if one thing had been altered, it could have been a life threatening situation.
For example, what if the owner of the Wheaton Terrier would have had a small child buckled into the back seat of truck when the dogs leaped into it, mid brawl?
There are many forms of dog attacks. Men, women and/or small children are killed every year as a result. Most of the time we are primarily concerned about human lives, but it's important to remember that this can happen to your pets as easily as it can happen to you.
It can happen at home, while on a walk, on a trip to the vet and even on a routine trip to the groomer.
There isn't much information available when it comes to dog attack stats for the Knoxville area and the information that is available only considers dogs attacking humans. Personally, I'd like to see stats that include dogs attacking other dogs because in my personal opinion, attacks like these put human lives at risk.
Rather than speculate on information that isn't available, we'd like to ask you.
- Do you think there is a dog attack problem in Knoxville?
2. Have you ever had a close call?
3. If there is a problem, is it due to the animals themselves or negligence of the owners?
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org