A four-pound Chihuahua is credited with saving his eight-year-old owner during a vicious attack by a neighbor’s Pit Bull on Tuesday. The little girl, Jenna, had just arrived to visit her grandparents, Anne Marie and Paul Desrochers, at their ranch-style home in Chilliwack, B.C.
Jenna was going into the Desrochers’ yard to see their bunnies when she was suddenly attacked by the neighbor’s Pit Bull.
According to Jenna’s grandmother, the neighbor was trying to get the Pit Bull-mix to go inside her fenced yard when it broke away from the owner and headed straight for Jenna. The little girl ran toward the house to escape, but the dog--an adult male--was too fast and too strong for her.
The Pit Bull knocked Jenna to the ground and clamped onto her head with his teeth, reports The Province.
At that moment, Honey, Jenna's beloved Chihuahua, rushed to protect her by barking and "pestering" the Pit Bull, causing it to redirect its attention toward the tiny family pet. “She just did enough to distract that dog and then it chased her,” recalled Anne Marie.
In the brief moments when Honey distracted the Pit Bull, causing it to release Jenna, the neighbor was able to grab her dog and take him away, according to reports.
Honey knew her job wasn’t over yet. She ran as fast as she could on her little short legs to the front door of the house, where she alerted Anne Marie that something had happened. “It was that yelp like you’re hurt,” Anne Marie said.
When Ann Marie came to the door, she saw Honey covered with blood and saw marks that looked like bites. She then saw Jenna, holding her face in her hands. The neighbor who owned the Pit Bull was with her and was crying. She told Ann Marie as she ran to them, “My dog bit Jenna.”
Jenna then took her hands away from her face.
“When she let her hand go I just screamed,” Ann Marie said. “On one side of her head a chunk of skin had been ripped off and her skull was showing. She had injuries to her left eye. There was another wound to the other side of her head. She was covered in blood.”
The grandparents rushed Jenna to the Chilliwack General Hospital, calling the little girl’s mother, Leslie Desrochers, to meet them.
“It’s just immediate panic,” Leslie said. “Knowing which dog did it, I did not know what I would see when I got there. I assumed it was going to be bad.” `Leslie said she arrived at the hospital first and when Jenna walked in she “just lost it.”
“I didn’t know if she still had an eye — there was just so much blood,” Leslie recalled.
Doctors began to work on Jenna immediately. It took three hours and hundreds of stitches to repair the damage. Jenna was also scheduled to be seen by a plastic surgeon.
Honey, whom Leslie described as “timid,” was not injured. The pit bull’s teeth did not break the skin and the blood on her fur was Jenna’s. “She’s like all little dogs. She thinks she’s bigger than she is,” Leslie said.
Ann Marie described Honey as “affectionate and loyal, with a big bark but no bite. She thinks she’s a guard dog.” “It’s a good thing she was here because if she wasn’t, Jenna might not be here,” Paul Desrochers said.
After the attack, the debate in the community is reigniting over whether pit bulls are dangerous as a breed or whether it’s the individual dog.
Anne Marie blames the breed. She said her neighbour knew her dog was vicious and always had him muzzled when he was on a walk or being moved between the house or enclosure to the car. “This dog is just basically vicious,” she said. “I just don’t think they’re a good breed for families.”
The owner reportedly had the Pit Bull euthanized, according to The Province. UPI reports that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ordered the Pit Bull destroyed.
Read more: UPI