Denver: Dog rescue story becomes dog bite story

In Denver every winter, dog rescues show up in the news on a weekly — sometimes daily — basis. Dogs venture out onto frozen ponds and lakes, fall through the ice, and are rescued by local firefighters.

This particular story was televised last night and I stepped around the corner from the kitchen to watch. As usual, I got a little misty eyed. The unfortunate part, however, is that I couldn’t help thinking the dog looked like a pit-bull type (I know, I know, “pit bull” is not a breed). Denver, you see, has a controversial ordinance banning pits, as do several other municipalities in the area, including Lakewood, where this rescue occurred. So I wondered what the aftermath would be, whether the owner would come forward, what would happen to the dog, etc.

dogo argentino

A Dogo Argentino

As it turned out, the owner was on the scene. The dog had been off his lead and “chased a coyote onto the ice.” (The coyote was never found.) Bad owner. There are strict leash laws throughout the metro area.

Then this morning I turned on the news and the first story I heard was that the dog, owner, and rescuer had been at the TV station doing an interview when the dog suddenly bit the interviewer in the face. The interviewer, a beautiful vivacious young woman and one of my favorite local personalities, was rushed to the hospital. They said she wasn’t seriously injured, but in my book a dog bite in the face is always serious.

I don’t know what set the dog off, but I plead guilty to stereotyping. I can’t help feeling a need for caution with dogs like this. And that caution kicked in when I first saw this dog, later reported to be an Argentine mastiff. The owner, of course, was irresponsible in letting that dog off his lead in the first place, and had he not done that, the rescuer would not have risked his life, the reporter would not have been bitten, and I would not be several degrees more wary of so-called “pit bulls.”

According to Wikipedia, in many countries it is illegal to import or own a Dogo Argentino because of their temperament, and there are laws against the breed in various parts of the U.S., including Colorado. All things considered, we may not have heard the end of this story.

There’s a follow-up on the biting incident that says the condition of the reporter, Kyle Dyer, has not been released. The Denver Post is also reporting on the incident.

Update: Someone posted the biting incident on YouTube:

Update: The noon news said the dog is being held by Denver animal control and an April court date has been set. The owner has been cited because his dog bit someone and for violating leash laws, not maintaining control of his dog, and not having the dog vaccinated for rabies. The report also said Dyer, who was hospitalized, is assuring viewers she’ll be fine. I wonder if, when she said that, she’d heard that the dog had not been vaccinated …

Denver takes a very hard line on vicious dogs and dog bites and the subject has been hotly debated for years. The debate will probably be reignited with this story. Meantime, there’s a good chance this dog will end up being euthanized because of an irresponsible owner.

Update: A follow-up report and video from Channel 9 News.

Update: The 5 pm news reported that Dyer is in “fair” condition following reconstructive surgery. She’s still in the hospital.

Update: Denver’s Channel 9 explains dog bite incident

Update: Another local TV station noted that the coyote the dog was chasing also fell through the ice but did not survive.

(Additional rescue video at 9News.com.)

Check back for updates to this post as more information becomes available.



Categories: Culture, dogs, Dyer, Kyle

35 replies

  1. Yikes. What an unfortunate situation.

  2. Dumb woman…you never, never, EVER put your face in a strange dogs face. It doesn’t matter what breed it is.

    • Not dumb, but certainly not thinking. I would never have done that, nor would I allow anyone around me to do it.

    • If you saw the whole video the dog had been licking her face affectionately and then instead of coming in for another affection face lick he bite instead. By the time she realized that he decided he did not want to lick her face this time it was too late for her to pull away. My dog would never do this no matter how traumatized. This is a banned breed and with pitbull type in its breeding. Definately another mutant that previous generations did not have to worry about. LONG LIVE THE domesitc dogs of yesteryear. Pitbulls and the like are man made mistakes like created viruses that escape the lab and nuclear bombs. Evil begets evil

      • I don’t trust the breed either. None of the pit or mastiff fighting dog types.

        Oops, I just noticed that video has been taken down again. Second time it’s happened. Guess I’ll have to find another replacement.

      • This dog is not related to the “pit bull.” It is an Argentinian Mastiff, which is a hunting breed more closely related to Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhound, Boxer, and Great Dane. I have trained hundreds of dogs through my lifetime, many of which were from shelters and traumatic backgrounds; I also run agility; worked at a vet clinic for years; and work closely with a professional breeder and show person. First of all, that dog was in a strange environment right after a traumatic event. Secondly, lowering your face down in that manner is perceived as a threat by a dog. Does not matter the dog was licking and loving right before, that specific movement may be perceived as a threat. We never EVER lower our faces like that to other trainers dogs. Never.

        Now, in reference to your “pit” equating “evil.” It is the humans which make a dog evil. Not the dog. The American Stafford Terrier is a loving and very devoted breed. The only reason they have a bad “rap” is because they have been trained to be aggressive by humans. Not a single one is born that way. It is a learned behavior by evil people.

        Oh, and by the way… with the hundreds of dogs I have trained, and adding in all the other hundreds I have been around, but not actually handled, and including the dogs at the vet clinic – which are often sick – the ONLY two bites I have ever encountered were from Dachshunds – and those were both my fault. Not the dogs.

        • Understood. But the breed did originate from the Cordoba fighting dog and other fighting breeds, so we have the nature/nurture dichotomy to consider. It’s always up to the owner to make sure the dog — any dog — is properly raised, trained, and controlled.

      • Wow, have you ever had a pit or any of these “banned breeds”? I have and it was the little mix breed that left me marked for life. I hope you never have a child with mental or physical disabilities.

  3. The rescue is wonderful! But ignorance prevails by the reporter. First of all, the dog is in a strange place, bright lights, noises it is not used to. Then this strange woman gets close enough to his face that he is within biting range. The dog only did what many dogs would have done under those circumstances. The dog was set up for failure here. They are NOT people!

  4. She should have never put her face by the dog, it started to growl warning her to back away but she didn’t. IF THE DOG WAS TRUELY MEAN IT WOULD HAVE BIT THE FIRE FIGHTER IN THE WATER AND ON STAGE WHEN HE WAS HOLDING DOGS NOSE AFTER THE BIT ( ITS A TRAGEDY ON ALL PARTS, POOR DOG)

    • By all reports the dog was well behaved in the studio for more than an hour before the on-air incident. Latest reports say that barring “extenuating circumstances” (whatever those might be), the dog will probably be returned to its owner. I hope so. It would be so unfair for the dog to be put down because the humans around it made mistakes.

  5. Dodgy business. News happens at such a speed we sometimes pick up stories without giving proper weight to issues like how responsible the owner was, or whether the dog was the sort which could tackle the stress of a studio and strangers.

    • I’m frustrated that they haven’t paid more attention to the owner’s apparent irresponsibility in this case. I hope that will come later, after Ms. Dyer recovers. There are lessons to be learned here about the responsibilities of pet ownership (owners are called “pet guardians” in Colorado), dog behavior, interaction with animals, etc.

  6. Let’s set the dog up for failure: traumatic experience. Then put him in unfamiliar surroundings, with bright lights, strange people, and not knowing what is expected of him….owner should have known better
    The broadcaster should also have been more wary – maybe naive? You need to be careful with strange dogs coming over them like that. But she trusted her producer who scheduled the dog.
    Dog are just dogs. ALl breeds can be aggressive and dangerous in certain situations
    Sad all the way around.

  7. Breaks your heart :(

Trackbacks

  1. Denver’s Channel 9 explains dog bite incident « Pied Type
  2. [VIDEO] News Anchor Bit By Rescue Dog On Live TV | Practikel
  3. Update on dog bite victim Kyle Dyer « Pied Type
  4. Denver dog owner interviewed after on-air dog bite « Pied Type
  5. Kyle Dyer update « Pied Type
  6. Kyle Dyer does live interview with KUSA « Pied Type
  7. Kyle Dyer returns to work tomorrow « Pied Type

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