Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I hope you will join me in sending get-well wishes to one of the hardest working humane investigators I have had the pleasure of working with. Yesterday, Larry Maxwell, one of the toughest guys I have met, went on a regular call for us (the call was actually phoned in to the New Orleans Humane Society, but we share Larry's services) as he does several times a day, and was attacked by a large pit bull. Larry is a highly decorated ex-marine (Larry received not one, but two purple hearts). Larry was first wounded during a tour of duty in Vietnam after being shot through the thigh with a .52 caliber rifle (can bring down an elephant) and wounded a second time after being hit with shrapnel after entering a booby-trapped bunker. Larry went out to investigate a complaint involving a dog kept in a kennel in the direct sunlight, without water.
Larry arrived on the scene and proceeded to talk to the owner. Larry noticed that the dog in question, a large pit bull, was chained up to the side of the house and was not kenneled, as the report advised. However, within seconds of seeing Larry next to his owner, the dog broke free from his chain and ran full speed toward Larry, covering the 50 feet that separated them within a matter of seconds. Larry is highly trained and carries both a concealed weapon (was a marine marksman and has a concealed weapons permit) and a can of pepper spray. However, the dog ran so fast and sprang in mid-air to attack Larry that he did not have time to adequately defend himself. The dog lunged for his face. With seconds to spare, Larry could could only raise his arm to protect his head. The dog, weighing about 85 pounds, bit Larry's arm in mid-air and hit him in the chest with both paws. The force of the impact pushed Larry off his feet and against a brick wall. The dog towered over Larry and proceeded to bite, back off and bite again, mainly on his legs.
The owner yelled at the dog to stop and after a few tense moments, the dog stopped attacking and the owner gained control of her dog. Larry was able to regain his senses after a few minutes and called our office to report the incident. The dog is currently quarantined at a local vet clinic for the next 10 days.
The purpose of this email is to caution all of us in this field to be extra vigilant on our calls and be prepared for anything. Most of us have been doing these types of calls for years, but this is an excellent reminder that we can never let our guard down. I am advising all of you who respond to cruelty calls to have a large can of pepper spray with you at all times and thoroughly scope out the area before approaching the front door.
I encourage you to send Larry a get-well email card through American Greetings or any of the other free (I know how cheap we are) email online mailing companies. Larry's email address is "Larry Maxwell" <[address removed]>.
Larry, you are an incredible guy and we are all grateful for the thousands of hours you have volunteered and the work you do every day to help animals in need. Please grab a cold one and put your feet up for a few hours!!!! That is a direct order!
With best regards for a speedy recovery and with lots of gratitude,