Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Other Side of the Coin

In an effort to deliver balanced Dachshund news, meet the other players in the troubling story of 'Spork,' the Colorado red smooth who bit a vet tech, and is now facing an uncertain future at the hands of the city of Lafayette.  The veterinary technician, Allyson Stone, as seen from a video capture above,was bitten by Spork and has suffered greatly.   Spork bit off one inch of her upper lip, and one inch of her lower lip.  In regards to pressing charges, according to the police report, the vet tech states that:  she is fearful that Spork will bite someone, possibly his owner, in the future, and that she does not want anyone else to suffer and wanted to try to prevent another attack.  Watch the video at CBS4.

Jasper Animal Hospital has received threatening calls, including a death threat, as a result of this incident.  According to The Daily Camera, Jasper chief veterinarian and founder Donald Dodge, in a written statement, said the hospital routinely notifies animal control in dog bite cases.
Dodge said that he supported Stone pressing charges because a record is needed when an animal causes serious injury to a person in case of future incidents.
"Jasper Animal Hospital has not advocated for, or participated in any way, in subsequent decisions by the city of Lafayette to prosecute Spark's guardians," he said in a statement. "We remain very worried about everyone concerned -- the dog, his guardians and the injured technician. We consider this incident a tragedy, and we sincerely wish the best for everyone concerned, Spork in particular."

In May of 2006, the city of Lafayette, Colorado, enacted a vicious dog law which trumps state law, that describes a vicious animal as one that attacks or bites without being provoked, approaches someone in a terrorizing way or has been trained as a fighting animal.  An animal's fate is up to a municipal judge who decides whether the animal must be removed from the city or destroyed, or if it can stay with certain provisions.   Source.



The Animal Law Center, based out of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, has released a statement on behalf of their clients, Spork's humans, Tim and Kelly Walker, in response to the statement made by Dr. Donald Dodge, on behalf of himself and Jasper Animal Hospital yesterday.  Here's an excerpt:

At no time have the Walkers ever sought to undermine Jasper Animal Hospital or the hospital’s devotion to the welfare of animals and their guardians.  In fact, it was the outstanding reputation of the clinic that drew them to it in the first place.
While the Walkers are perplexed by the City of Lafayette’s aggressive pursuit of the charges against them, they are also distressed by the veterinary technician’s desire to further this case. While they have been very upset and concerned about the injuries suffered by the tech, the Walkers are surprised that a trained veterinary professional would put an animal in her care in this position.

Read the entire statement at The Animal Law Center.

Spork's case is scheduled to go to court in April.

11 comments:

The Frugal Fraulein said...

I love your blog and read it to Mr. T every day. You have asked for articles about Dachshunds and here are two I have written and would like to share. They can be read at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2700229/mister_t_is_my_valentine.html?cat=53 and http://www.associatedcontent.com/slideshow/46787/farewell_to_ms_brookie.html?cat=53

one is about Mister T being my Valentine and the other is a photo essay in celebration of Ms Brookie's life. It might need a warning for sensitive views. I really wanted to share such a special transition that was treated with such love and respect. Many people don't have a chance to be involved till the moment happens and it might help someone in their time of need.
Abby The Frugal Fraulein

Joey and Maggie said...

Hey Abby,
Thanks for the links! Enjoyed reading about Mister T, and the photos of Ms. Brookie show what a great gal she was. Sorry for your loss.

impromptublogger said...

Again, while I'm very sorry that she was injured like that I wonder about her training (or lack thereof). When my doxie was young he took a chomp at my upper lip - but then I wonder what his first owners were like (we're his second owners after the first decided it wasn't working out at 5 months). I am sure it was more my fault that he did that then his at the time.

If the vet tech can't handle a small dog, how can they handle a larger one that might get scared and lash out? After watching enough episodes of The Dog Whisperer it does give you a different perspective.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry, but that so called police photo is crap for evidence, were the cops afraid to get closer to her face?? Lips are soft tissue, Wiener Dogs Have Sharp Little Teeth. It doesnt look as bad as there claiming and by this long distance photo does nothing to support her or the city claims. She obviously in the wrong business and that Vet Should Go Out of Business!!
Brian M. Babey

Anonymous said...

just goes to show how close she put her face next to his mouth. and why she shouldn't have been doing that. <3 you, spork!

Ashley said...

The owner says that she was holding Spork and they were still in the lobby, therefore the vet tech took a personal risk by putting her face close enough to the dog to get bit. If they weren't in an examination room then it wasn't even part of the procedure, so my question is why the vet tech had her face in Spork's. I've worked in a kennel and not only is it common sense, but it's training a vet tech should definitely have, that an older dog and a visably nervous dog are both red flags for bites and she acted absolutely unprofessional by putting her face close enough for a bite. If she knew what she was doing she would have muzzled him and attempted to calm him/ make him more familiar with her before continuing. This vet tech is out for money and personal gain and should never be allowed to work around animals again. That photo of her in the hospital is pathetic and completely played up. "looked for pieces of her lips on the floor" .. give me a break. if this was happening to my doxie i would be absolutely devastated.

Ashley said...

to be honest, I'm curious as to how qualified she even was to be handling the animals. Maybe the animal hospital should go through more thorough training with their employees and maybe Spork's humans have a case against them. If i was that vet tech, I would not be able to live with myself knowing i was responsible for killing someone's beloved loyal family member (especially a doxie, but that's just bias!). The fact that she's willing to do that makes me wonder why she even works with animals.

Anonymous said...

Ashley, you hit the nail on the head. How would she know if part of her lip was gone at that moment to look for it on floor.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting such a thorough account of what happened. I have been taking my 2 dogs and 3 cats to Jasper Animal Hospital for 8 years. I switched from another clinic because of Dr. Dodge's compassion and care for my furry family members. When my old guy was ready to pass, Dr. Dodge came to my house at 9pm because I couldn't bear to lose him in a clinic. Dr. Dodge is 6'5" tall and he wears fur all over his clothes, he is always on the floor with the animals. I will continue to take my cats and dog to JAH.

AmyM said...

I feel for Spork, but I have to admit, that is a very serious bite. To lose part of her lips? She is now disfigured. I think there is more to the story than we are hearing.

I certainly don't want Spork to die, but blaming the vet tech for this severe of a bite seems a little much too. I have issues with any dog that is willing to bite a human that viciously.

Karen Hening-Speedone said...

Just a point - when I was about 10 years old, a dachshund ran up to me, took a flying leap and bit me in the chin. It happened so fast that I didn't even know I'd been bitten until the two people with whom I was talking started freaking out!

Dachshunds CAN jump! And they can strike FAST!!

Glad all worked out for Spork and hope the vet tech is o.k., also.

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