A violent pit bull attack in a Northeast Portland neighborhood killed a loving, devoted little Shetland Sheepdog named Simon, who served as a “hearing ear dog” for 68-year-old Anne Ziegler.
Even though Simon wasn’t officially trained and certified as a service dog, Anne Ziegler said, “Somehow he recognized that I couldn't hear very well, and he would bark to alert me if the telephone rang or if I got a text message." So Anne called him her "hearing ear dog."
On Friday afternoon, Ziegler and a friend were walking with Simon on Northeast Mason St. near 59th Avenue when suddenly a Pit Bull appeared. She described that it reared up on its back legs and came down on top of Simon, pushing him to the ground.
The Pit Bull weighed 90 pounds, the animal control officer told Ms. Zeigler. Her friend somehow managed to pull the dog off of Simon, but the little dog was already seriously injured.
"It pinned him to the ground and then it locked on with his jaws and tore his abdomen open,” Anne Ziegler said.
The attack was completely unprovoked. Simon was obedience trained and was on leash, walking next to his mistress with the red glove he always carried in his mouth.
Ann Ziegler described the Pit Bull’s behavior after the fatal mauling, “He just walked calmly out, went down, as if he’d done it a hundred times before.”
Anne talked about her helplessness to protect Simon, “I was screaming as loudly and as deeply as I could, not just shrieking, but I wanted people to know. I was screaming, ‘Help! Help!'” she told KATU.com.
No one on the street where the attack occurred admitted ownership of the Pit Bull.
Simon was taken to Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital, where he died.
"I made the really difficult decision that I'd rather have him die in my arms than to lose him in surgery or have him die in a cage,” Anne said.
"He was my best friend for five years. Heart-breaking. There’s no way to ever replace a pet who’s your dearest companion," she said.
Multnomah County Animal Control reportedly picked up the Pit Bull last Friday afternoon and is investigating the incident. KATU News reported that they were unable to reach anyone at animal control to confirm that they still have the dog in custody.