Dear Members of the San Francisco Yorkshire Terrier Meetup Group:
Earlier this week, I was contacted by Diana Lopez, a member of our group asking for our assistance in regards to her yorkshire terrier, Valentino, aka Val. On March 26, 2007, Diana?s yorkie was attacked by two pit bulls running loose in her Antioch neighborhood of Cajon Court & North Francisco. The two pit bulls tried to attack Diana?s uncle whom was taking Val for a walk, but Val unknowing the danger ahead of him, redirected the pits towards himself. Val ran back home and found that he had nowhere else to go but to stand guard. One pit bull grabbed him by the neck and the other by the leg. Neighbors that happened to be out washing their cars saw what was happening, and quickly came to Val?s aid by striking the two pit bulls just enough for them to let go.
We are very fortunate that Val was not killed, but the injuries that he sustained are quite extensive. Val has lost his right eye, suffered trauma to his neck from the bites, a fractured (t2) vertebrae, blood in his lung, tissue and muscle damage to his front and back right leg, and bite wounds on his private area. Diana is waiting for the blood work to come back from the lab to make sure Val?s liver is functioning properly. If the lab work comes out positive, the vet will surgically remove Val?s eye and a prosthetic eye will be put in its place. The most important issue at this point besides the eye is the damage to Val?s trachea. The massive wound to his trachea is slowing closing, but will not be surgically closed due to the high risk of blood clots. Val is currently at home and is taking antibiotics and pain medication. The veterinarian estimates an 85 percent chance of recovery, which will take approximately two to three months.
This is an unfortunate case all around because the two pit bulls were captured and put to sleep. Pit bulls have a long history of attacks, but I ultimately believe the owners of the two pit bulls need to be responsible for the assault on Diana?s yorkie, and their negligence in caring for the two pit bulls. The police were called and are unable to get involved in locating the pit bull owners since a human being did not cause the attack. An anonymous tip was made to the Antioch Animal Control Center with the address of the pit bull owners, but without a written statement, Animal Control cannot use the lead to further prosecute. Flyers with a large reward have been placed in the Antioch neighborhood urging someone to come forth and identify the owner(s) of the two pit bulls. Diana has been working with the Supervisor of Animal Control and has also written a letter to the city?s mayor urging for the City to help locate the pit bull owners. However, she has not received much help or guidance and is at lost on who or where she can find financial and legal assistance.
Diana is hoping to locate the pit bull owners, not only to help offset the extensive veterinary bills, but wishes that this kind of attack will never occur to another human being and/or dog due to the carelessness of these dog owners. As a dog lover and an organizer of the San Francisco Yorkshire Terrier Group, I am hopeful we can come together as a group to help a fellow member. A special donation box will be available at the May Meetup for those who would like to donate to Valentino?s medical bills and we are also encouraging members to write to the Supervisor of Animal Control and the Mayor of Antioch requesting immediate action to Diana?s case.
[address removed] = Animal Care Supervisor Monica Helgemo
300 L Street Antioch ca 94509
[address removed] = Antioch's mayor Donald P. Freitas
[address removed] = Mayor Pro tem James D Davis
Should you have any questions, suggestions or words of encouragements, please post your comments on the group?s message board or you can email Diana directly @ [address removed]. Diana and Valentino have gone through a very traumatic event and our help will greatly be appreciated and heartfelt. Thank you for reading this email and we continue to update the group with the well being of Valentino.