Yuri, an eight-year-old miniature pinscher and therapy dog, was attacked and killed by a pit bull while on a walk Saturday.
Mia Johnson and daughter Laurel were walking their two dogs on Dunbar Street at 10th Avenue when a muzzled pit bull on a leash approached. The muzzle somehow came loose and Yuri was taken in the pit bull’s jaws, according to CBC Vancouver.
By the time the dogs separated, it was too late. “My dog was disembowelled. I picked him up and everything inside him was just in my hands,” Johnson told the Vancouver Sun.
The five-pound dog, eviscerated and barely alive, was taken to a vet where he was put down. Johnson was also bit on the hand and the pit bull’s owner was bit on the hand and face.
Yuri was cherished by Johnson’s daughter, Laurel, who has Asperger syndrome and an anxiety disorder. The therapy dog would comfort her and help her navigate each day. Yuri also provided therapy for patients in palliative care at Blenheim Lodge.
While the pit bull has now been seized by the City of Vancouver and a police report has been filed, it’s too early to say what will happen to the dog or its owner. The city may keep the dog in its possession for up to 21 days to collect evidence.
While the story has earned a lot of attention over the past few days, people have been debating online who’s really to blame. Though it is a complicated issue, there appears to be two common opinions: pit bulls are dangerous breeds and should be banned, or the breed is not the problem and owners must take more responsibility for their pet’s behaviour.
— Roxy (@RmystiQue78) November 3, 2014
@cbcnewsbc All dogs can KILL. It’s the owners who are responsible. Not the dog’s fault.
— rawfoodrocks (@yougottahaveart) November 3, 2014
@cbcnewsbc Understand your pet. Understand their behavior. Take responsibility for yourself. Tragedy can be avoided.
— Keven TheZa (@KevenTheZa) November 3, 2014
Furious and saddened to hear that Vancouver therapy dog has died after it was attacked by a pit bull. The owner should be held responsible.
— Olivia S. (@OliviaLSmith) November 3, 2014
@CBCStephenQuinn I don’t own a dog but believe it has everything 2 do w/ the owner after recently having met my friends magnificent pitbull.
— Icarus Cassiar (@Icarus_Cassiar) November 3, 2014
— adam (@faddy08) November 3, 2014
@theprovince what a surprise it was a pit bull attacking another dog. That’s why I have a golden retriever instead of a dangerous breed
— Chris Jordan (@chris_jordan213) November 3, 2014
You can also check out the debate happening on Reddit.
To note, the SPCA does not support the potential banning of pit bulls, citing evidence that banning breeds doesn’t end bad behaviour.
Featured Image: Beware of dog sign via Shutterstock