By AEDAN HELMER, KELLY ROCHE, Ottawa Sun
The owner of a pitbull that attacked and killed a Shih Tzu while an 11-year-old boy watched in horror says she’ll put the dog down.
“I feel really weird, upset, complicated, confused,” Jennifer Mayer said Thursday.
Her 10-year-old American red nose pitbull, Tyrus, has been marked as a “vicious” dog and must be muzzled and kept on a leash at all times. She’s also facing more than $600 in fines and an order by the city to have the dog destroyed.
“My hands are tied. If it was my choice, I’d be keeping my dog,” Mayer said.
Her decision comes after a terrifying incident Wednesday.
Jesse Lorange, 11, was walking his pooch Bailey along Paul Anka Dr. around 5:30 p.m. Mayer’s pitbull charged and sunk its teeth into the smaller dog’s throat.
“There was no barking, (the pitbull) just ran up and bit Bailey’s neck and started swinging her back and forth,” said Jesse.
Mayer wasn’t there when her dog went on the offensive. She has a muzzle for Tyrus, but it wasn’t used Wednesday.
Tyrus is old enough to be exempt from Ontario’s 2005 pitbull ban, but is required to be fitted with a muzzle when outdoors.
According to the city’s records, Tyrus doesn’t have a violent history, said chief of bylaw and regulatory services Linda Anderson.
“The owner of the pitbull has taken full responsibility for the event, and from the witness statements, it’s quite clear that it was an unprovoked bite attack,” Anderson said.
Neither Jesse nor his mother, Gladys Lorange, want the dog to be put down.
“Right now, we’re trying to get it removed from our building,” said Lorange, who lives in an apartment at 3360 Paul Anka Dr.
Tyrus was staying with Mayer’s father, who also resides at that address.
But Mayer said the pitbull is at her house now.
She told the Sun this was the first time Tyrus has ever attacked another dog or person.
“If I was there, it wouldn’t have happened. My heart goes out to them,” she said. “Not only did they lose a dog, but I also lost a dog.”
Meanwhile, people across the city have been reaching out to buy or give Jesse a new pet.
“As soon as we heard the story, we had to,” said Robin Lacasse, whose family offered up their seven-month-old Shih Tzu-pug mix, Kiki.
“We all love dogs. We’d be crushed if it ever happened to us,” said her husband, Rene Lacasse.
Tyrus will be put down next week.