Sunday, February 26, 2017

Arizona: Woman and her support dog attacked by pit bull; she got stuck with a $2,000 vet bill

ARIZONA -- A Valley woman and her service dog are recovering after she says they were attacked by another dog during a walk through their neighborhood.

They never found the owner, so the woman reached out to us to share her story, and hopefully get people to think twice before letting their pets roam free.

"I got him in 2009," said Pama Tucker, O’Grady’s owner.

The Lhasa Apso mix is Tucker’s emotional support dog.

"Without him, I'd be up a tree," said Tucker.

In late January, the two were out for a walk. Tucker says a pit bull running loose came at them, biting O’Grady on the neck and ear, and knocking her down.

"He was in my lap, bleeding all over the place and I was just trying to comfort him," she said. "It's indescribable that fear that I felt. I could not help my dog."

Tucker and her neighbors rushed him to the vet.

"He had about eight puncture wounds. His canine tooth was broken," said Tucker.

Tuckers says Maricopa County Animal Care and Control picked up the other dog, but never found the owner.

Now Tucker has a message for all pet owners, especially those who let their animals roam.

"No matter what breed it is, you are responsible for taking care of that dog, and you accept the responsibility of keeping people safe," she said.

The ordeal cost nearly $2,000 in vet bills, which Tucker’s neighbors graciously helped pay for. She's hoping she can one day reimburse them, so she's set up a GoFundMe account.

GoFundMe link: "My Companion"

On January 22, 2017, this is how my dog, O'Grady, looked at the start of the day.  Then, around 6:00 pm while outside in his own yard, he was attacked by a running loose pit bull.  It happened so quickly, I didn't know what to do!  I started to scream at the same time I tried to make the pit bull loosen its gripe.  I am disabled and was using my crutch to hit the pit bull on the head - nothing was working.  Grady was crying by now and struggling to get loose.  That sound is etched in my heart.  The picture of Grady's head enveloped by the pit bull's locked jaw is a nightmare I can't get rid of!

Finally, people started coming out of their homes in answer to my screams for help.  About this time, I went into shock and no longer knew what was going on.  This was the time the pit bull knocked me down.  From this point forward, all I knew was I was on the ground and Grady was in my lap.  Grady's was covered in blood and his breathing was labored.

My family from across the street raced over to me and reached down to pick Grady up to put him in their car to take him to the emergency vet.  Meanwhile, the fire department arrived to check on me since the pit bull had knocked me down.

They helped me stand again but all I could think of was my injured dog and I had to be with him and I refused further treatment - it was later on I discovered how many bruises I had suffered.

Treatment for Grady seemed to last for many hours.  I was so scared for him.  Grady is my companion and is my emotional service dog.  My disabilities can keep me isolated but Grady makes sure I go outside multiple times a day.  He listens to my troubles and gives my love no matter what.  If I lost him, my motivation would also be lost.

Grady suffered at least 8 punctures and a broken canine tooth.  Between the initial treatment from the emergency vet on the eve of the 22nd to the follow up, subsequent surgery and prescriptions, the amount to treat him was approximately $2000.00.  

I had to borrow this money from my family because I am disabled and am on a very fixed income.  I am so very grateful my family, who also are disabled, could take care of my boy but they must be paid back as soon as possible.  I love my Grady and it is my responsibility to care for him.  I keep asking myself why did this happen, what could I have done to prevent this but I'm not getting any answers!

I need your help, please!  Those who love your animals know how this feels!  If any one out there has experienced this type of attack, I'm so sorry but you know how this feels.  Please, please help me pay back the angels who came to my financial rescue.

(AZ Family - Feb 24, 2017)

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