Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dog Bites Ottawa Woman's Nose Off In Home Depot

OTTAWA - The elderly owner of a dog that attacked a Home Depot employee in Ottawa on Friday, leaving the victim's face disfigured, was charged by the city on Monday.

"As a result of the investigation, we were able to validate the bite did occur," said Susan Jones, general manager of emergency and protective services.

The shih tzu's owner — described by the victim as a woman in her seventies — will have to fork over a $610 fine and keep her pooch muzzled at all times in public.

"We take a zero-tolerance approach," to ensuring community safety, Jones said.

Anne Riel's face is disfigured after her nose was bitten by a shih tzu while she greeted its owner inside a Home Depot store last Friday.

The mother of two kids, four and 16, has worked as a greeter and sales associate for almost one year at the Ottawa store.

"He literally jumped up and bit my nose off. It was bleeding everywhere," Riel, 39, told QMI Agency.

Plastic surgeons fixed her nose with seven stitches. At least three more surgeries are needed.

"I'm happy with (the action against the owner), but then what happens to the dog?" Riel said Monday.

She wants the dog put down after the incident, which happened around 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Her shift was almost over and she had won a customer service award that morning.

The big box store has a no-pets policy.

But the rule isn't enforced and dogs are often brought inside the store, Riel said.

The attack was captured on video by the store's cameras, however, the company has yet to issue a statement.

The store's assistant manager on duty Sunday declined comment and referred comments to Home Depot's public relations department in Toronto.

QMI Agency's calls were not returned Sunday or Monday.

Signs reading "NO PETS (Except Seeing Eye Dogs or Service Animals)" are posted on the glass doors at the entrances and exits.

The shih tzu may be ordered to be destroyed.

"We haven't dismissed that yet," said Jones. "We're going to review the evidence and the injuries. We could very well proceed."

Riel returned to work Monday and said she's receiving a lot of support from colleagues and customers.

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Anonymous said...

The store has a no pet policy & she was greeter when it happened, then she can't ask to have the dog destroyed. Typical shih tzu behaviour first of all & I understand the dog jumped up but to get her nose she would of had to bend over slightly, common sense in adults not to get close to animals when you don't know their behaviour.

Anonymous said...

This animal should not be put down...I think they need to look at it's history. no bad dogs, just bad owners (and people who don't know how to approach strange dogs). Stories like this make me angry, who are we to chose the fate of this animal who has no voice of it's own?

Dana Fedman, CPDT-KA said...

I am a professional dog trainer who does a lot of behavior counseling for aggression. Dr. Ian Dunbar developed an assessment tool for dog bites. This is what is known as a Level 3 to Level 4 dog bite. This dog showed no bite inhibition. A normal dog - even if provoked - will give obvious warnings. A Level 1 bite is no skin contact/person pees their pants. :-) Sometimes people don't recognize these warning -they can be quick and subtle - and that very well may have occurred. Or...the dog was stressed in the environment, the owner didn't recognize it and the store employee didn't know how to read dogs and protect herself. No matter what the surrounding circumstances were or the level of provocation, this level of injury - especially to a person's face - would likely result in a big, fat lawsuit against the owner, the owner losing her homeowner's insurance ultimately resulting in the dog being euthanized here in the U.S. The owner got off easy. I don't know how things go in Canada. I consider this dog VERY dangerous.

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