Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dachshund 'Spork' Bites Vet Tech - Labeled Vicious Dog - May Be Euthanized!



If you're looking for a new place to call home - stay away from Lafayette, Colorado, where 10-year-old Dachshund 'Spork' bit a vet tech who approached his face with scissors, and now he is fighting for his life after the city has labeled him a "vicious dog!"  Excerpt from The Denver Channel:

In August, Spork's humans, Kelly and Tim Walker, said Spork bit a veterinary technician during an exam at Jasper Animal Hospital in Lafayette. As a result of the attack, the Walker’s said both the vet tech who was bit and the veterinarian of the animal hospital filed reports with animal control.
If the Walker’s are found guilty of owning a vicious dog Spork could be euthanized or kenneled.
“I went to that vet thinking they were trained to take care of my dog properly,” said Kelly.
According to state law in Colorado, a dog owner is not liable for a dog bite if the person bitten is a vet, groomer or anyone who works closely with animals.
But city of Lafayette is asserting home-rule exception, which means they do not have to follow state law.

Crikey, what a mess.  Read more and see another video at The Denver Channel, and become a fan of Spork on his facebook page:  Save Spork!  The case is scheduled to go to court in April.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Spork, I'm with you buddy. Vet techs should know better than stick sissors in your face. Lets hope our favourate breed, the dachshunds don't go to any vet's in Lafayett anymore. Good luck Spork. I would like an update on whats going on with you.

Anonymous said...

This is absurd!!!! That poor woman & that sweet dog...What the hell is wrong with people...I would have bit her to if she stuck scissors in my face...My God...
I hope that vet is boycotted.
I am praying for this poor little dog & his owner...How unfair...

Anonymous said...

Most dog bites that happen out of fear are bites to the hands or arms. Vicious dog bites are to the face or throat. If the vet tech was bitten in the face I am inclined to believe that no matter how small, any animal has the opportunity to snap and have a vicious moment. If the vet tech had to go to the hospital then the report was automatically filed. Animal Control then determines the level of aggression. If the dog was labeled vicious by the City of Lafayette Animal Control Officers, then that is what he is. I don't even think that the Vet Hospital should be brought into the picture. It is out of their hands. They have no say what-so-ever.

Anonymous said...

That vet technician should not only loose her job, but never go on to work in another vet again. Big difference when a dog bits or attacks on a sidewalk for no apparent reason and when one bites in a vet office while being handled and the folks making this determination should clearly understand the difference. If I were the pet owner, I'd file a civil suit either way this plays out, simply for mental anguish...if my pet were put down, for even more damages in this case. This vet/clinic should not be treating animals...I hope it loses all of its business!!!

Anonymous said...

Have any of you people heard the other side of the story?? Does anyone know how the Vet Tech is?? Does anyone wonder if scissors were really involved in a Dental Exam?? These seem like excellent questions. I have owned Dachshunds all of my life. I have had to have one put down before due to a bite incident. I was terrbily saddened but could not take the chance that my "Doug" would do that to anyone else ever again. I felt responsible for the actions of my pet, like all good pet owners should, and had to make the hard choice.

Anonymous said...

The judge will see this case for exactly what it is and toss the case and this vet!!! The vet tech should KNOW WHAT BUSINESS THEY ARE IN AND KNOW THAT THINGS LIKE THIS COULD HAPPEN!!

The people in this county should be very leary now of this vet hospital. They might want to sue you at the drop of a hat.

Anonymous said...

Um, aren't scratches and bites an occupational hazard in this line of work? Sorry, but I don't really feel all that sorry for the vet tech here. Plus, if this dog is ten years old, wouldn't there have been signs of his "aggression" previously? These seem like the kinds of owners who'd have taken precautions if so. And one more thing: since when does a city's laws trump a state's laws? Isn't that like a state claiming jurisdiction over the federal government?

Anonymous said...

In response to the previous comment:
How do we know if this is the animal’s first “aggressive” act? We have only heard one side of the story. The side of the fearful owner. Everyone is jumping to conclusions instead of waiting for more facts to emerge. I love my pets but I refuse to put animals ahead of people.

Anonymous said...

As a pet owner, if my pet had a history of biting, or "aggressive acts", I would have warned the vets office, as I am sure these folks would have done. If their pup was in pain and the tech put her face too close and maybe touched him in a way that he was hurting he would automatically "fear bite" to protect himself.

Anonymous said...

Most dog bites that happen out of fear are bites to the hands or arms because anyone with any common sense would not put their face in the face of a dog that is scared and feeling threatened. This was not a vicious attack, it was simply a case of a poor scared dog (in a controlled medical environment, not out in public - BIG difference) trying to protect itself and an incompetent vet-tech not reading the signs and acting appropriately.

I mean, we're talking about a trained professional who should know how to properly deal with a dog in this situation and who should expect these sort of things to happen in their line of work. I don't think the other side of the story really matters here. It would be completely different if this dog bit someone while out in a public situation, but that is not the case.

I think this is a shameful situation, regardless of who originally pressed charges and that the City of Lafayette should absolutely not pursue this case.

Anonymous said...

What the previous poster said.

AMY ANN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Working in the animal field myself, I know there is always that chance of being bit. It comes with the job. If you know what you are doing and get to know the dog first, move slowly, etc. you can almost always prevent that bite from happening. You never come directly at a dog like that. Dachshunds are also naturally protective and can have the tendency to be aggressive anyway. I feel bad for Spork and the family. They took a loved family member to a place they thought would be a safe place to get him help and now they are facing this. I wish Spork all the luck in the world and may he have a long, long life.

Denise Brock said...

This is a tragic situation my heart goes out to the family and Spork. I have had a dachshund by my side since I was 7 years old and I know they are the most loving devoted animals. When they are scared they can react in many different ways. As a vet or vet-tech. one should know this, as well as this person should have seen the fear Spork was experiencing and handled him appropriately. I cannot believe the city of Lafayette would actually waste tax payer money to bring charges in this situation. Spork must be saved and remain with his family. My heart breaks for you Walker family!

Peachy Keen said...

Rumor has it that the vet tech's breath smelled like liver. She was asking to be bit! Fire the vet tech hag, don't kill Spork! Yo, city of Lafayette officials, here's a chance for an elected official to get some good press... Save Spork - Get Reelected!

Anonymous said...

If you listen closely to the interview, this bite happened when the vet tech approached the dog while the owner was holding him! If you know ANYTHING about dogs, especially small ones, its not a good idea to make the dog feel cornered! That is a pretty much guaranteed time that they are going to bite and defend themself. I even approach MY OWN DOG with caution when I have to put her in a position where she could feel trapped or cornered. It doesn't matter if I am her owner, if she feels threatened she is going to defend herself. I am saying some big prayers for this family! I think this case is absolutely absurd and I hope the courts there see it that way.
Mandi

kalyxcorn said...

oh no! i can't help but think the tech may have been a bit inexperienced. getting in that close with the possibility of causing pain? surely one can anticipate the reaction any dog might have. our vet casually slips on a muzzle and all is well for times like that.

SojournerSamson said...

Facebook can raise a hundred volunteers if Spork becomes a fugitive,she can be hidden in another state until her family can join her.

Manic Fixation said...

SHAME SHAME SHAME on Jasper Vet Hospital! It's an utter shame to try and prosecute a dog for nipping during what could be considered a traumatic process for some animals! I've never met a vet or tech who is not trained or aware of the hazard of fearful animal biting. IT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY! How dare they join a field devoted to saving the lives of animals and then threaten to put one down! What kind of a message is this sending to current or potential clients? The only publicity this story is getting Jasper is the BAD kind. SHAME SHAME SHAME! I think Jasper Vet Hospital should be boycotted.

Anonymous said...

Dachshunds are known as "fear biter". Shame on that vet clinic. They should have taken this in consideration when approching the dog. When going to a vet clinic you expect the people working there to know how to handle dogs. If they can't don't work there. I have been disappointed by 2 vets where I live because they showed fear when handling my dog, a 5.06 lbs maltese. By the way, he did not bit them. They might be good vets, but I won't use them again because of their reaction.

Anonymous said...

How did her face get close enough to dog that is alittle above ankle high? i have volunteered with the humane society and have worked with scared and nervous dogs. i have never been bite, obviously this vet tech didnt know what the hell she was doing, remember this dog didnt jump 5 high and grab her in the face she had to get close enough to the dogs face!! its obvious that some of these post are by the Jasper Employees, who dont have the guts to post their real names!! Sorry for the Vet Tech but such an incident was and is caused by her own stupidity!!!

Brian M. Babey

The New Adventures of Tulip and Picasso Blue said...

When we first brought Picasso home he bit me and my son a handful of times. He was scared and felt powerless. He was not a vicious dog and has worked out wonderfully. As a trained vet tech she should have known better to be so close to Spork's face and she should have known that approaching a dachshund that is hurt or scared is not the wise thing to do. I feel very badly for Spork's family. I hope Spork is returned to his home.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS ABSURD!!!!! ..... WHAT HAPPEN WITH THE WHALE THAT JUST KILLED THE TRAINER AT SEA WORLD IN ORLANDO FLO. AND HAD KILLED 2 MORE IN ANOTHER STATE . WHY THEY HAVEN EUTHANIZED HIM ???? THIS IS A REAL VICIOUS ANIMAL. NOT THIS LITTLE DOG THAT SEEMS THAT WAS SCARED AND NERVOUS . MAYBE HE WAS TOUCH BY THE VET IN A WAY THAT HE WAS HURTING AND AUTOMATICALLY HE PROTECT HIMSELF. LIKE ANY OTHER DOG WILL DO.I HOPE SPORK IS RETURNED TO HIS FAMILY.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS ABSURD!!!!! ..... . IT SEEMS THAT THIS LITTLE DOG WAS SCARED AND NERVOUS . MAYBE HE WAS TOUCH BY THE VET, IN A WAY THAT HE WAS HURTING AND AUTOMATICALLY HE PROTECT HIMSELF. LIKE ANY OTHER DOG WILL DO .... WHAT HAPPEND WITH THE WHALE THAT JUST KILLED THE TRAINER AT SEA WORLD IN ORLANDO FLO. AND HAD KILLED 2 MORE IN ANOTHER STATE BUT INSTEAD, THEY ARE PLANNING TO LEAVE HIM AT SEA WORLD LIKE NOTHING HAPPEND.I HOPE SPORK IS RETURNED TO HIS FAMILY AND THIS WHALE BE RETURN TO THE OCEAN WHERE HE BELONGS!!!

Anonymous said...

I know this vet hospital and they are professionals devoted to helping animals. They work a LOT with animal rescue and have helped thousands of animals. Everyone who is so up-in-arms needs to stop and realize that #1-This was a freak accident and nothing that could have been anticipated. #2-The vet and tech were REQUIRED to file a report, but that is ALL THEY DID. They did NOT FILE CHARGES and DID NOT ASK TO EUTHANIZE THE DOG. #3-It is the CITY of Lafayette that has filed the charges and that may cause the dog to be euthanized. Meanwhile all the wackos who fail to understand that there are 2 sides to the story are ignorantly calling and harassing the caring folks at vet hospital without cause.

Anonymous said...

Putting this little dog to death would be like taking someones child and condeming them to death!The justice system should be this swift with rapists and murderers who were not scared and trying to protect themselves. The city of Lafayette should be ashamed!

Anonymous said...

Guess What?! Good News! I was just watching the noon Denver News Channel 4 with my Mom and they said that Spork could be with his family again! And as long as he's a good boy and doesn't get into trouble, the "vicious dog" charges will be dropped in six months!
Woof! Woof! Good Boy, Spork! We're so happy for you!
Mickey

Anonymous said...

I am sorry what happened to the vet tech, my heart goes out to her. However, the vicious dog law in lafayette, colorado is not fair, this law should have excluded incidents happened in veterinary field because getting bitten by animals is an occupational hazard to this field.

Lafayette, Colorado --- a place I will never live or set foot probably.

Miley said...

I came to your blog from yahoo answers. I'm really sorry to what happened, and I know how you feel, my German Shepherd was put down due to being dangerous.
I hope it works out well, and your little fella will get well soon, and live for many more years.

I also have a blog,
curiouscavortingcavoodle.blogapot.com

I'm following your blog, to keep in touch :)

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