Vernon senior recovering after dog attack

24/12/2018 Posted by admin

A north Okanagan senior is still recovering after a sudden dog attack in early September. He wants to see restrictions placed on the breed of dog that attacked him, but that may be easier said than done.

Doug McNeil, 84, was out for a morning walk in the Mission Hill area of Vernon on Sept. 4 when a dog jumped up on his chest and knocked him backwards.

“When he knocked me down I remember hitting the ground and him biting on me. I tried to keep him off my face so I had bite marks on me,” said McNeil.

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“I thought this is a hell of a way to go.”

The incident left the senior in rough shape with bruises on his arms. He needed an operation to fix his injured hip.

“They had to rebuild the hip bone. It was shattered,” said McNeil.

More than a month later he is still recovering. The senior doesn’t want to see the same thing happen to anyone else and is calling for restrictions on the breed of dog that attacked him, which he believes was a bullmastiff.

“Get that breed of dog off the street. It’s almost [as] big as a man. Knocked me flat,” said McNeil.

However, restricting a particular breed would have its challenges including identifying which animals fell into that category. Dog control said that the dog that attacked McNeil wasn’t a bullmastiff but a mixture of different mastiff breeds.

“People want to restrict pit bulls and Rottweilers. Any breed can be dangerous, it depends on the dog, it depends on the owner,” said Pat Ellis with K9 Control.

In the McNeil case, dog control said the animal was declared dangerous and must now be muzzled when out in public.

“We did issue tickets to the dog owner. He was quite upset about the whole thing himself. It is my understanding that they have surrendered the dog to a dog training facility at the moment to have it assessed and [the facility] will decide if the dog will be put down or not,” said Ellis.

Meanwhile, McNeil estimates he still has weeks of recovery left before he can get around with just a cane.