Family worried about vet bills after dog mauling

Family worried about vet bills after dog mauling

July 17, 2013
Angel, 10-year-old peekapoo, is recovering from injuries suffered when she was mauled Tuesday night by a Rottweiler outside her owner’s home in Canton Township.

Authorities say a Canton Township man will likely have to pay for more than $1,200 in veterinarian bills after his Rottweiler mauled a neighbor’s dog in their yard Tuesday night.

The peekapoo suffered several injuries – including a grotesque abdomen wound – that required two surgeries at Washington Animal Hospital with more procedures and follow-up care likely to push the bill higher.

The 10-year-old dog named Angel is expected to survive, but her family is concerned about how to pay for the immediate medical bills if their neighbor refuses to pay.

Kym Secreet, who is Canton Township’s animal control officer, said a witness told her the larger dog pushed its head below the fence separating the Barnett Street properties and had the peekapoo in its mouth. The Rottweiler’s owner, Clifford Ayers, was able to pull the dog back onto his property, but not before the smaller dog suffered deep gashes on her back and abdomen, Secreet said.

The gruesome scene was difficult for Kim Daugherty, who owns Angel, as her family searched for a vet open when the attack happened about 5 p.m.

“It just tore my dog apart,” Daugherty said. “I was hysterical. All I could do was cry and pray for my dog to make it. I was beyond crazy.”

Angel remained at the animal hospital, and Daugherty expects she will need another surgery for the wounds on her back. Daugherty, who said she is fighting pancreatitis and given just two years to live, is worried about how much higher the medical costs will rise above the first $1,229 bill.

Secreet, though, said that shouldn’t be a problem for the family since she plans to file a citation against Ayers for failing to contain or confine his dog. She said if found guilty, Ayers would be required to pay all of the medical bills and could face up to a $500 fine. Secreet said he was adamant that the peekapoo came into his yard, although she noted that he still must control his dog at all times.

She has not received other complaints about the Rottweiler and considered it a “friendly” dog.

“It wasn’t really a fair fight,” Secreet said. “In any instance, the peekapoo is going to lose. It’s not going to win a fight against a Rottweiler.”

Ayers could not be reached for comment.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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