Canines are incredible companions, and man has had him by his side since time immemorial.
But despite the dog’s status as a loyal friend, no one would argue that they sometimes go bad — and no breed has a worse reputation for doing so than that of the pit bull.
Fans of the often-adorable pit point out that poor training owes to more problems than the breed itself.
Just consider the case of Fort Smith, Arkansas, resident Caleb Burrows. On Feb. 26, he was out enjoying an ordinary morning when he suddenly heard horrible screams.
Looking across the street, Burrows saw 66-year-old Harry West. The man had been out walking his little chihuahua named Gator when a pack of four pit bulls had rushed through a break in a backyard fence.
“I looked over on the south side of the road there and I saw just blood down his face, and I looked over on the other side and I just saw his dog crying,” he told KFSM.
Thinking fast, Burrows grabbed a golf club from his vehicle, ran to the scene, and tried to help West’s pet.
As soon as he picked up Gator, though, he began to whine, which brought the four pit bulls charging back into the fray.
Burrows and a passerby tried to keep them at bay, the passerby pressing a trashcan into the open section of fence and Burrows swinging away with his club.
Doctors treated West for his wounds and said that he would need plastic surgery and skin grafts to fully recover. However, memories of the attack will take longer to fade.
KNWA reported that the pit bulls initially only attacked his chihuahua, but when West tried to save the dog, one of the pits snatched it from his hands. Then the other three bowled him over, took his head in their powerful jaws, and dragged him.
Soon after, police visited the residence and served several citations to the dogs’ owner, including allowing dogs to run at large and failing to have proper identification for them. The next day, the animals were euthanized.
West was simply glad to have survived, and is grateful to his neighbor for protecting him. Sadly, Gator had to be euthanized due to his injuries.
“I would have done the same thing for anybody else,” Burrows said.
“You probably saved my life,” West said. “Thank you very much.”
Amber Neal of HOPE Humane Society said that the incident serves as an important warning to pet owners.
“A major issue, especially when you have a powerful dog or a bully breed, is that people have to understand when they’re taking on these pets they are completely responsible for them,” she told KNWA.
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