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Animal regulations with some teeth

Whistler residents divided over calls to ban specific dog breeds



The first thought that came to Martha McLellan when she heard the bone-chilling screeches in front of her home was that a child was being attacked.

Nine months pregnant with her first child she rushed out her front door to see what was going on and was met by her golden lab, Bozeman, yelping for help as a pit bull ravaged him.

"The sound was like children being mauled," she said.

"By the time I got around the corner outside (Bo) was running toward me with the pit bull attached to his foot, and knawing on him and by the time they got to the door he had latched onto (Bo’s) jugular."

McLellan’s husband Mike ran toward the sound of the commotion too. When he saw what was happening he grabbed the nearest stick he could find – a paint extension rod – and tried to separate the dogs.

"The pit bull was going mental on Bo, just ravaging and chewing him to bits and he was at a point where he just wasn’t in control," said McLellan.

"Mike would hit him and the dog wouldn’t even flinch, he had just one focus."

McLellan, who was screaming at the dogs ran for a bucket of water and threw it on them thinking it would shock the attacking dog into letting go but to no avail.

"Mike was screaming at me to get inside because I was pregnant and he didn’t want the dog to go for me," she said.

Two men then arrived on the frightening scene – McLellan isn’t sure who they were – and one grabbed the attacking dog’s collar.

Later her husband told her that one of the men had to choke the attacking dog with his collar until it almost passed out before it would release Bo.

The yellow lab’s neck had a rip in his flesh the size of a man’s hand, his right hind foot was badly chewed, and he lost one of his nails.

McLellan reported the incident to Whistler’s bylaw immediately. Following its investigation the owner of the dog, who was staying temporarily in the resort at the time, was given a letter telling him that his pit-bull was now considered a "dangerous dog" and must be leashed and muzzled at all times in public.

The owner did pay the vet bills and was remorseful said McLellan.

Today, two months after the attack, Bo is still wearing a plastic vet’s collar to stop him from licking the wounds, which became infected despite antibiotic treatments.