A male greyhound was brutally attacked by another dog in Ames on Sunday evening. Two days later, authorities are still searching for leads in the investigation.
According to Ames Animal Control Director Ron Edwards, the Ames Police Department originally followed up on the call of an animal attack in the 3400 block of Aurora Avenue in south Ames. “Ames Animal Control was notified at 8:44 p.m. Sunday evening that a person’s dog was attacked by an unleashed pit bull,” he stated. “While the attacked dog’s owner was outside, the pit bull came from across the street. The owner did not provide any information to the owner of the dog that was attacked.”
Edwards explained that the injured greyhound spent the rest of the night in a local animal clinic. By the following day, a degree of progress in the dog’s condition had been made. “We contacted the victim first thing Monday morning,” he said. “At that time, the dog was already home recovering. He had been at Iowa State Vet Med for about five hours.”
As the maimed greyhound now begins a tenuous and delicate road to recovery, Ames Animal Control has launched an investigation aimed at locating the owner of the dog that attacked. “We confirmed with [the greyhound owner] that she does not have the information of the other owner,” Edwards noted. “We know the building that that person went back into. Whether or not that person actually lives in that building is something is yet to be determined. There is always a possibility that they were just visiting. We have posted notices on our Facebook page and at that apartment complex to try and locate an owner to come forward, that way we can verify vaccination information. We also want that opportunity to speak with them about the leash law and continue to look at the incident altogether.”
The greyhound owner, who took to Facebook on Monday to describe the incident and seek help from the community, described the attacking dog as a “chestnut/tan pit bull/mix”. Edwards understands the fear many feel when they hear of any sort of incident allegedly involving a pit bull. “This isn’t about the breed,” he affirmed. “Sometimes pet-lovers will come forward that think, because it was reported as a pit bull-type dog, that animal control is absolutely against pit bulls. That is just not the case, at least not at this agency. Several of our employees have pit bulls as pets. It just brings up a lot of emotions…We don’t even know if it was a pit bull.”
According to Edwards, just because the agency is looking for the owner of the attacking dog, this does not mean that the animal, when located, will be put to sleep. “It is extremely rare that a dog is euthanized with the outcome of one of these investigations,” he noted. “We look at the history of that particular animal and that particular incident. What happened during the incident? Was it a mistake or an accident? How serious were the injuries? Were people injured as well? In this case, it was just the dog. The ultimate option is euthanizing. Even then, there is a process to go through with a hearing. The owner, as well as witnesses, would have the opportunity to speak.”
Even so, if Ames Animal Control is able to identify the attacking dog’s owner, there are likely to be fines handed out, and even further consequences are possible. “At this point, I would say there would certainly be a leash-law citation,” he acknowledged. “A dog has to been maintained with a leash in any common areas and under the owner’s control, including those common areas at an apartment complex. We would also verify to see if the dog has had its current rabies vaccination. The dog was not wearing a collar or a rabies tag. That is an additional citation. There is also part of our code that allows us to register a dog as a ‘dangerous animal,’ if we determine that. With that, there are certain requirements that have to be met, such as a basket muzzle when the dog is outside the home.”
Regardless of the outcome, Edwards reiterated the seriousness of this type of investigation. And although the greyhound’s injuries do not appear to currently be life-threatening, things can change quickly. “They have said that the dog is on pain medication now and doing better, but there’s always a chance of infection,” he said. “There were definitely some significant wounds. The dog has drainage bandages, drain tubes, stitches, and needs several bandage-changes a day. We’re not out of the woods yet.”
WARNING: THE IMAGES BELOW OF THE INJURIES SUSTAINED IN THE INCIDENT ARE GRAPHIC IN NATURE.
Anyone with information with regards to the incident is encouraged to contact Animal Control at the Ames Animal Shelter. The department’s phone number is 515-239-5530. You may also reach out to officials through the Ames Animal Shelter page on Facebook.