POULSBO — Two boxer-breed dogs attacked and killed a dog in Poulsbo and attacked a woman and dog in Winslow last weekend.
One boxer is quarantined at the Kitsap Humane Society. The other is at home in Poulsbo with its 29-year-old owner, who must decide whether to surrender her dog or register it as a Potentially Dangerous Animal. She could face a charge in Kitsap County District Court of violating Poulsbo’s dangerous dog ordinance.
The first attack was reported Feb. 15 about 10 p.m. on 15th Loop just off Hostmark Street in Poulsbo. A woman was walking her brother’s dog Ivy, a 9-month-old bichon frise, when two boxers and a beagle charged at them. The boxers, Chief and Oscar, attacked Ivy, according to the Poulsbo Police report and witness statements. The beagle, Gorst, apparently did not attack, according to witness statements.
The woman’s husband, Dale Owen, said his wife visits Poulsbo every other weekend to visit her mother and brother, Dan Malone, who is their mother’s caregiver. Owen said Ivy was Malone’s “pride and joy” and was a “fun bundle of life.”
“She was just the sweetest little thing in the world,” Malone said. “I’m staggered by all this.”
Malone said his dog’s death has caused a “vacuum” in the home he shares with his mom, who has Alzheimer’s. Ivy was more than just a pet for Malone, she was an investment. Ivy was the pup of two national dog show champions, and Malone said he planned to breed and show Ivy. Malone paid $4,000 for her. He said the bill from the veterinarian for trying to save her life was about $2,300.
Malone hinted that he might sue. “I would like to get that [money] returned to me. I don’t want it to all be about money, but it is in the end. I’d just like [the boxer’s owner] to make it right, that’s all. I hope she doesn’t suffer too much either.”
Chase Connolly, animal control and enforcement officer for KHS, said the boxers had leashes on but apparently broke out of their yard. According to the police report, a witness was able to pick up Ivy during the attack, but the dog had been bitten several times and was bleeding heavily. Veterinarians at the Poulsbo Animal Emergency Clinic were unable to save Ivy.
The owner of the dogs took the boxers and beagle back to her residence nearby and she was interviewed by KHS animal control officers. The next day, the boxers again attacked a dog and its owner, this time at Madison Avenue and Wyatt Way on Bainbridge Island, about 8:45 a.m.
According to the Bainbridge Police report, a woman was walking her small poodle, Buster, on Madison Avenue when two “boxer-type dogs” ran across the street toward her. One of the dogs began biting Buster, and when the owner reached down to get her dog away from the attack, the boxer bit her on the hand and on the calf.
A man “came running and yelling at the dogs to stop,” according to the report, and he took the dogs back to his residence on Madison. The man said he was watching the dogs for a friend, and when he went to take the dogs outside to go potty, “Oscar got loose and ran off. When he went to run after Oscar, the other dog Chief also got loose,” according to the police report. The man said he saw one of the dogs biting the poodle.
According to the Bainbridge report, the Poulsbo woman said she took the boxers to the man’s house on Madison Avenue to watch after the Poulsbo incident. After the second incident, one of the boxers was surrendered to KHS, Connolly said. The Poulsbo woman owns one of the boxers and her mother owns the other; Connolly said the mother freely surrendered the boxer.
As of Thursday, the boxer’s owner had not notified KHS as to whether she would keep her dog, with restrictions, or surrender it, Connolly said.“After attacking two dogs, [the boxers] should be sequestered. They’ll just go after other animals,” he said.
Once the dogs are in custody, Connolly said their fate is up to the behavior team — the dogs could be retrained and adopted out, or euthanized.
Owners of Potentially Dangerous Dogs must choose one or more of four options: re-train the dog; muzzle, leash and collar when in public or on the owner’s property; isolate the dog on the owner’s property; and/or remove the dog from the county. The owner must also post a sign warning a dangerous dog is on their property.
Connolly said the boxers appeared to be about three years old and home-trained. He said the investigation is ongoing.
Owen expressed frustration with how animal crimes are handled.
“There’s no accountability in our system. In our society, it’s a property crime,” Owen said. “We don’t value the lives of the dogs, we don’t hold the owner accountable. [Crimes like these are] the equivalent of damaging someone’s property or lawnmower.”
— Reporter Richard D. Oxley of the Bainbridge Island Review contributed to this report.