PORTLAND, Ore — A SE Portland man and his dog are recovering after a pit bull attacked them.
Multnomah County Animal Services confirmed they’re investigating the incident, which happened Aug. 3 at SE 44th and Nehalem St.
“It was kind of horrific,” said victim, 72-year-old Gregg Van Slyke.
Van Slyke was walking his poodle, Lucy, around 9 a.m. when he noticed a parked car with a pit bull inside. With the window rolled down only a few inches, Van Slyke could see and hear the dog barking but believed he and Lucy were safe.
But he was mistaken.
“Somehow, that pit bull managed to pull the window down—they're very strong,” said Van Slyke. “He got out and came real fast across the street, he was on me in a heartbeat.”
Van Slyke said the dog bit his arm, then went for Lucy.
“The dog snapped her out of my arms and threw her on the ground, breaking her pelvis,” said Van Slyke. He said his daughter and a bystander ran over to help. “We were wrestling with him to try to get Lucy free because he was bound and determined to kill that dog.”
Lucy spent three nights at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital.
“She's a fighter,” said Van Slyke, who said he’s spent around $7,000 on veterinarian bills.
“I'm retired on social security, so it's a pretty big bill for me.”
Van Slyke said he'd like the pit bull's owner to help but said they haven't even apologized.
“We were willing to work out a payment plan, but they just ignore us,” said Van Slyke. “We're not going to let that happen and I don't want that dog to attack anyone else.”
Jay LeVitre with Multnomah County Animal Services told KGW that they plan to visit the pit bull's owner this week. He said in general, the state requires animals that bite be quarantined and observed for 10 days.
“I certainly have nothing against any breed of dog,” said Van Slyke, “but I think that dog has to be contained.”
As for Lucy, Van Slyke said she'll spend the next six weeks on bed rest. He hopes she’ll make a full recovery.
“She’s a fighter,” said Van Slyke. “I don't want her to leave us, yet.”