Pit bull owners speak out, defending dogs
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - A near-death dog attack is still sparking controversy all over Southern Arizona. Wednesday evening, 61-year-old Michael Cook was attacked by his own pit bull Labrador retriever mix, nearly killing him. He is still recovering from serious wounds after receiving more than 60 pints of blood. Now, dog-lovers are speaking out, saying the case is giving Pitt-Bulls a bad name.
The dog had recently been neutered. Cook's son Nathan said it may have led to the attack.
"He was either under medicated or over medicated and he flipped out on my dad," said Cook in a press conference Friday.
pit bull lovers like Ricca Powell, a rescue owner and former veterinary technician says the days after surgery are unpredictable, and so is the drug used for anesthetic.
"Ketamine is a hallucinogenic and it can last up to 24 hours even longer in a dog's system," said Powell.
She says they take special precautions around all breeds of dogs after surgery. While she has witnessed dogs lash out after surgery several times, she has never witnessed the same behavior after the dog was released to go home.
Valley Animal Hospital veterinarian Allison Forrest doesn't think it could have been the anesthetic drug. she says it clears a dog's system in 6-12 hours, but a lack of pain medication or under-dosage could have easily caused aggressive behavior.
Ally Quijada, another pit bull owner says this attack case, no matter what the cause, is giving the whole breed a bad name. Her dog was involved in a different kind of attack that same day while taking a walk with her father.
"He was walking past a school and an American bulldog rushed out that had been a problem dog in the neighborhood and went for my dad and Arthur didn't hesitate and he jumped on the dog," said Quijada. The bulldog ran away, but her pit bull died.
"It just proves that pit bulls will protect the family they love with their lives," said Quijada.
She has adopted another pit bull and hopes the breed will someday rise above its reputation.