Society

Pit Bull Savagely Mauls Grandmother with Multiple Sclerosis; She Defends Breed

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

Kimberley Shay, a 53-year-old Grandmother with Multiple Sclerosis is uncertain about her future after a savage attack by a nearly 100-pound Pit Bull, named Smokey, who was staying in a rental unit at her home. Shay now has a broken and badly mutilated arm and both she and the friend who was with her have multiple puncture wounds they suffered in the approximately 30-minute attack, her daughter reports 

Kim and a friend, named Terry, went to check on the 2-year-old Pit Bull. and when she opened the basement-apartment door, Smokey lunged at Terry, latching onto his arm and started shaking it violently, her daughter Sara Schmeer told The Oregonian.

Shay says she kicked the dog and yanked its collar, but the Pit Bull would not let go. So Shay bit Smokey on the ear and then on the cheek, trying to stop the attack. That caused the dog to turn on her and sink his teeth into right arm and jerk her back and forth like a toy, ripping her flesh to the bone.  She put up her left arm, trying to fight the dog off while calling his name.

"Smokey, it's me," she pleaded.

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Then Smokey, an unaltered male Pit Bull with whom Shay says she has played on numerous occasions went for her left arm, “chewing it to shreds,” she describes. "He just ripped me apart…" Shay told USA Today. “I've got a broken arm. I mean, just hamburger for arms and I've got a bite on my leg, too," added Shay.

The dog knocked her over and as they wrestled on the basement floor, sliding around in her blood, Shay said she thought the dog was going to kill her, her daughter told reporters.

Shay crawled up a few stairs, she said, but the Smokey grabbed her leg and pulled her back down.  She said she tried again and again until she had managed to pull herself to the top of two flights, push the door open, got inside and slammed it shut, with Smokey on the other side.

"I looked at my arms and I was dripping in blood, head to toe in blood," she told KGW-TV from her bed at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital.

Her friend had not called anyone for help, so Shay said she staggered outside, screaming. She managed to walk to the fire station less than a block away, at Southeast 134th Street and Foster Road, and bang on the door.

However, she says help came through a commuter who stopped and called 911.

An ambulance quickly arrived and took her to the emergency room, but Kim Shay as been hospitalized ever since, worrying about ever having the use of her arms again, she told KGW-TV.

PIT BULL HAS A PREVIOUS BITE RECORD

Smokey had previously attacked someone in the home where its owner lives, Shay told reporters, which is why the Pit Bull was staying with her renter.

Shay said she knew Smokey was sometimes staying in the basement apartment. But she said she told her renter that the Pit Bull had to go -- Smokey frightened her, she said.

"I loved on this dog and played on this dog," she told KGW-TV. "It's such a tragedy. But he was massive. Even playing, he would knock me over."

VICTIM DEFENDS THE BREED

A Pit Bull owner herself, Shay says she never expected this, but she bears no ill will toward Smokey.  In fact, she has a neutered Pit Bull, named Toby, who's 9 years old. But Smokey is not neutered, she emphasized.

Shay says she does not want the attack on her to reflect on the breed.

"I love pits and I love my little pit, you know?" she said. "I don't want this to be a bad reflection on all pit bulls. I want this to be a reflection on any dog that is vicious."

SHOULD SMOKEY BE RELEASED AS A “PET’?

Smokey, who is about 2 years old, is in a security quarantine kennel at Multnomah County Animal Control in Troutdale, for about two weeks.

 Investigators say they've labeled him a Level 4 animal, the most aggressive type of dog-- one that either kills a person or causes serious physical injury.

Investigators traced Smokey, who has a microchip; to two other past bite reports, neither of them involving children, USA Today reports.

Smokey’s owner, Reanna Erickson, was reportedly interviewed by shelter staff on Tuesday and served with a notice of infraction, said Randall Brown, the shelter's Chief Field Supervisor.  If Erickson surrenders the dog, a shelter review panel will determine its fate.

Victim Kim Shay says she doesn't like to talk about euthanasia, but she said she doesn't think Smokey can be rehabilitated. "I hate to see any animal destroyed, but if he can do this to me, think about what he could do to a child," said Shay.

 FUTURE OF VICTIM OF ATTACK

Shay’s own future now is also highly in question. She has been at OHSU ever since the attack. Doctors have operated, to try to repair the damage but, she says her left arm, which was broken, is”a mess.” After the attack, Shay had three strips of skin left, with bone, tendon and nerves exposed. She said it's unlikely she will ever have full use of the arm again, the Oregonian reports. "It would be really miracle if I got to 50 percent," Shay said.

Shay has limited means and lives alone. She is likely to have to go into a rehab facility to try to regain some use of her fingers and arms. But, with Multiple Sclerosis and on Social Security disability, and now with the increased limitations of her injuries, her options for the future are bleak.

 Kimberley Shay’s daughter has set up a fund – Kim Shay Community Fund at Rivermark Community Credit Union – if anyone wishes to help.

Sources: KGW, Oregon Live, USA Today