Man and his pug reunited after ‘unprovoked’ dog attack in Norwich park

Donna-Louise Bishop donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk
Friday, July 18, 2014
7:00 AM

A 79-year-old from Norwich has been reunited with his pet pooch Toby, after an unprovoked attack from another dog left him in hospital for nine days with a broken hip.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Reggie Dowe, of Essex Street, off Unthank Road, was walking his four-year-old pug at nearby Jenny Lind Park earlier this month.

Mr Dowe, who usually takes Toby for two or three walks a day, said they often went to that park as they would usually see people they knew. But on this occasion Mr Dowe said he saw an unknown Staffordshire Bull Terrier run towards them.

“Before I had a chance to move it seemed to be on my dog and I automatically went down to try and separate them,” he said. “It had my dog by the throat and the next thing I know I’m on my back.

“All of a sudden I’m out and I could not remember anything else.”

Do you think dogs should be kept on a lead in Norwich’s Park? Vote in our online poll here.

Mr Dowe sustained a broken hip and lost two of his teeth during the incident. He was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he underwent a hip replacement. Toby is still receiving treatment from the vet after he got three deep puncture wounds to his throat and shoulder.Mr Dowe’s wife Jeanette, 76, said the attack had affected the whole family.

“It’s a terrible shock,” she said. “Since of all this has happened it’s affected my family and we can’t forget it - we’ll never forget it. It’s affected us all badly.

“We are frightened to go anywhere with our dog.”

Mr Dowe thanked the people of the community who ran to his aid and said it would be a while before he would be able to walk Toby in the park again but he is happy they can recover together at home.

- Go to

28 comments

  • NICHOLAS DODMAN, BVMS, ACVB, ACVA Rottweilers were originally bred to guard the money of peasants returning home from the city of Rottweil in Germany, so their fierceness was prized. Staffordshire bull terriers and pit bulls were programmed to deliver a full crushing bite to the noses of bulls. "They're locked and loaded," as Dodman puts it. on breed profiling But Dodman defends the practice. "The insurance companies have no ax to grind," he says. They base their decisions on actuarial statistics showing that certain breeds in certain homes are a recipe for trouble and the cause of lawsuits. on the MA muzzling law After a spate of attacks by pit bulls this summer, Massachusetts lawmakers passed legislation requiring the dogs to be muzzled in public. Some pit bull owners protested, but a Tufts expert says the law may be a good idea. Breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers, says animal behavior expert Nick Dodman, are hardwired for aggression. “Some of these dogs are as dangerous as a loaded handgun,” Dodman– director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at TuftsSchool of Veterinary Medicine – said in an interview with The Boston Globe Magazine. Genetics play a big role. “No doubt about it, pit bulls are genetically predisposed toward aggression,” he told the magazine. “Justas certain breeds of dogs were bred to herd, certain were bred to hunt, certain to point, and others to swim.” While most pet owners accept that their dogs have certain genetic behavioral characteristics, there is still resistance to the idea that some dogs are more dangerous than others. “Everybody accepts [genetic behaviors like herding or hunting] until you throw in the word ‘aggression’ and things like a full, crushing bite, which some breeds were specifically bred for in the past.” Statistics on dog attacks reinforce the link between certain dogs and dangerous behavior. “It’s like a scene from “Casablanca” when they say, ‘Roundup the usual suspects,’” Dodman told the Globe.“It’s always German shepherds, chow, husky, pit bull.The numbers do the talking.” He added that pit bulls and Rottweilers alone account for more than 50 percent of the fatal dog attacks every year. Despite the danger, the owners of these dogs often fail to take proper precautions. “A lot of owners of aggressive breeds are suffering from denial and ignorance, because no one wants to be fingered as having that kind of dog,” Dodman said. “Genetics does play a role and people who think it doesn’t are kidding themselves,” says Dodman. “The pit bull is notorious for a very hard bite. They are always No. 1 in the lethal dog bite parade. The dog was bred for pit fighting. It was bred to never give up, to bite and hang on.”

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • HUGH WIRTH, veterinarian RSPCA Victoria president Dr Hugh Wirth said the dogs were a menace and were not suitable as pets for anyone. "They are time bombs waiting for the right circumstances.'' "The American pit bull terrier is lethal because it was a breed that was developed purely for dog fighting, in other words killing the opposition. "They should never have been allowed into the country. They are an absolute menace." “The fact of life is that the community doesn't want American pit bull terriers. They've said it loud and clear over and over again - they want them banned.”

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Behavioristsveterinarians RANDALL LOCKWOOD, PhD Randall Lockwood, who said he has witnessed the best and worst of pit bulls, said illegal dog-fighting is perpetuating dogs that are hazards to humans and other animals. Shaped by dog-fight enthusiasts, they are "a perversion of everything normal dogs should do. What they've created is a canine psychopath." "Fighting dogs lie all the time. I experienced it first hand when I was investigating three pit bulls that killed a little boy in Georgia. When I went up to do an initial evaluation of the dog's behavior, the dog came up to the front of the fence, gave me a nice little tail wag and a "play bow" -- a little solicitation, a little greeting. As I got closer, he lunged for my face." The pit bull, in its purebred or mixed form, has been responsible for most of the fatal dog attacks on humans in the last two years. In 1987, there were eight deaths from dog attacks in the country, and seven involved pit bulls. In 1986, there were 13 deaths, seven involving pit bulls. But pit bulls have been victimized by hype. The dogs are no strangers to ordinances. A pit bull ban was passed in London in the 1400s. These dogs can be canine crocodiles. They have a dark and bloody history. In the United States, pets are considered property in the eyes of the law. And one of the most hotly defended rights of the individual is the right to own anything, no matter how stupid or dangerous the choice — even when what someone wants to own is a threat to them, their family, and the community around them.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • MELISSA ARCA, MD The reality is that any dog can bite, and statistically speaking, a child is most likely to be bitten by the family dog or a dog that they know. When you're talking about bite severity resulting in life-threatening and even fatal injuries, pit bulls and Rottweilers are the main culprits. Experience absolutely colors our perception, and in this case I can't help but be affected by what I've seen. I will never forget a young child I treated in the ER during my pediatric residency. She suffered severe facial lacerations and tears to her face after a pit bull attack in her local park.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • ALEXANDRA SEMYONOVA, animal behaviorist You will also not prevent the dog from being what he is genetically predisposed to be. Because the inbred postures and behaviors feel good, fitting the body and brain the dog has been bred with, they are internally motivated and internally rewarded. This means that the behavior is practically impossible to extinguish by manipulating external environmental stimuli. The reward is not in the environment, but in the dog itself! As Coppinger and Coppinger (2001, p. 202) put it, “The dog gets such pleasure out of performing its motor pattern that it keeps looking for places to display it.” Some dogs get stuck in their particular inbred motor pattern. As pointed out above, this kind of aggression has appeared in some other breeds as an unexpected and undesired anomaly – the golden retriever, the Berner Senne hund, the cocker spaniel have all had this problem. The lovers of aggressive breeds try to use these breeding accidents to prove that their aggressive breeds are just like any other dog, “see, they’re no different from the cuddly breeds.” But a cuddly breed sometimes ending up stuck with a genetic disaster does not prove that the behavior is normal canine behavior. All it proves is that the behavior is genetically determined. "These dogs aren't killers because they have the wrong owners, rather they attract the wrong owners because they are killers." The 100 Silliest Things People say about dogs.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • JOHN FAUL, animal behaviorist Faul said they were dangerous and a threat to life. He said the pitbull was bred to be absolutely fearless and had a "hair-trigger" attack response. "The cardinal rule is that these dogs are not pets," he said. "The only way to keep them is in a working environment." He said the only relationship one could have with the pitbull was one of "dominance, sub-dominance", in which the dog was reminded daily of its position.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • ANDREW ROWAN, PhD, Tufts Center for Animals "A pit bull is trained to inflict the maximum amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. Other dogs bite and hold. A Doberman or a German shepherd won't tear if you stand still. A pit bull is more likely to remove a piece of tissue. Dogs fight as a last resort under most circumstances. But a pit bull will attack without warning. If a dog shows a submissive characteristic, such as rolling over most dogs wills top their attack. A pit bull will disembowel its victim." "A study by Dr Randall Lockwood of the US Humane Society found that pit bulls are more likely to break restraints to attack someone and that pit bulls are more likely to attack their owners, possibly as a result of owners trying to separate their dogs from victims." Jørn Våge, Tina B Bønsdorff, Ellen Arnet, Aage Tverdal and Frode Lingaas, Differential gene expression in brain tissues of aggressive and non-aggressive dogs The domestic dog (Canis familiaris), with its more than 400 recognised breeds [1], displays great variation in behaviour phenotypes. Favourable behaviour is important for well-being and negative traits such as aggression may ruin the owner-dog relationship and lead to relinquishment to shelters or even euthanasia of otherwise healthy dogs [2,3]. Behavioural traits result from an interaction of both genetic and environmental factors. Breed specific behavioural traits such as hunting, herding and calmnessaggression are, however, evidence of a large genetic component and specific behaviours show high heritabilities

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • ALAN BECK, Sc.D However, Alan Beck, director of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine Center of the Human-Animal Bond, favors letting the breed go into extinction. “This breed alone is a risk of serious public health factors,” Beck said. “We are keeping them alive against their own best interests.” Beck said while he does not advocate taking dogs from current and caring owners, he does feel that it has become more of a social and political issue for people than a health one. “If these dogs were carrying an actual disease, people would advocate euthanizing them,” Beck said. “This breed itself is not natural.” "It has this sort of mystique that attracts a population of people. Of course, most of these dogs are never going to bite, as champions of the breed will tell you. But most people who smoke don't get cancer, but we know regulations help reduce a significant risk." "I know you're going to get beat up for this. But they just aren't good dogs to own. That's why so many of them are relinquished to shelters. There are too many other breeds out there to take a chance on these guys."

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • MERRITT CLIFTON, journalist, Animal People editor There are very few people, if any, who have written more on behalf of dogs over the past 40-odd years than I have, or spent more time down the back alleys of the developing world observing dogs in the habitats in which normal dogs came to co-evolve with humans. But appreciation of the ecological roles of street dogs & coyotes, exposing dog-eating and puppy mills, opposition to indiscriminate lethal animal control, introduction of high-volume low-cost spayneuter and anti-rabies vaccination, introduction of online adoption promotion, encouraging the formation of thousands of new humane societies worldwide, etc., are not to be confused with pit bull advocacy. Pit bull advocacy is not defending dogs; it is defending the serial killers of the dog world, who kill, injure, and give bad reputations to all the rest. Indeed, pit bull advocacy, because it erodes public trust in dogs and people who care about dogs, stands a good chance of superseding rabies as the single greatest threat to the health, well-being, and human appreciation of all dogs worldwide.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • STANLEY COREN, PhD "A dog's breed tells us a lot about that dog's genetic heritage and makeup. Genetics is a strong determinant of personality. In the absence of any other information, we can make a reasonable prediction about how the dog will behave based upon its breed." p 84 "When we crossbreed, we lose some of that predictability, since which genes will be passed on by each parent and how they will combine is a matter of chance. Fortunately, there is some data to suggest that we can still make predispositions without knowing much about its parentage. John Paul Scott and John L Fuller carried out a series of selective breeding experiments at the Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine. By happy chance, their results revealed a simple rule that seems to work. Their general conclusion was that a mixed breed dog is most likely to act like the breed that it most looks like."

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Dog trainersanimal control, Pit Bull breeders, owners, fanciers, experts TRISH KING, Director, Behavior & Training Dept. Marin Humane Society "There is no direct eye contact or very little direct eye contact. It is very quick and over with. Which is one reason why with pit bulls and rottweilers, we have problems. Because they're bred to do direct eye contact and so they are off putting to other dogs and actually scary to other dogs." The fourth undesirable characteristic - arousal or excitement - is actually the most problematic. Many bully dogs cannot seem to calm themselves down once they get excited. And once they get excited all their behaviors are exacerbated. Thus, if a dog is over-confident and has a tendency to body slam or mount, he or she will really crash into the other dog or person when he's aroused, sometimes inadvertently causing injury. He may begin to play-bite, and then bite harder and harder and harder. When you try to stop the behavior, the dog often becomes even more "aggressive." In this way, play can turn into aggression fairly quickly. Research on the brain has shown that excited play has exactly the same chemistry as extreme anger. This allows a play behavior to switch quickly into aggression. And, once the dog has become aggressive a few times, the switch is much easier.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • STEPHEN COHN, MD, professor of surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center “I think this is a public health hazard, this particular dog. We just have to have them contained in a way that protects the general public. I don't want to see another kid come in dead.” JOHN BINI, MD, chief of surgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center “There are going to be outspoken opponents of breed legislation, who say: ‘My pit bulls lie with my baby and play with my rabbit.' And that's fine. I just think we're seeing something here, and I think it does warrant a discussion as to whether this is a risk that a community wants to take.” MORTALITY, MAULING, AND MAIMING BY VICIOUS DOGS, April 2011 Annals of Surgery “Fortunately, fatal dog attacks are rare, but there seems to be a distinct relationship between the severity and lethality of an attack and the breed responsible,” they wrote in an article published in the April issue of the medical journal Annals of Surgery. “These breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.”

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • MARK WULKAN, MD, surgeon at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta "There is a difference with the pit bulls. In the last two years we've seen 56 dog injuries that were so severe the patient had to be admitted to the hospital so this doesn't count just a little bite and then goes to the emergency room. Of those 56, 21 were pit bulls. And then when we look at our data even further, of the kids that were most severely injured, those that were in the hospital for more than 8 days or had life threatening injuries, 100% of those were pit bulls.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • ANDREW FENTON, M.D. As a practicing emergency physician, I have witnessed countless dog bites. Invariably, the most vicious and brutal attacks I have seen have been from the pit bull breed. Many of the victims have been children. In a recent study from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, pit bull attacks accounted for more ER visits than all other breeds combined. In young children, the most common part of the body injured was the face. Numerous studies have proven that the number-one cause of dog bite fatalities is the pit bull breed. I am certain that many attacks are due to owner negligence, but the fact remains that many were unpredictable and were perpetrated by formerly "loving and loyal" pets. Dr. Chagnon has every right to leave our town as she claims she will if pit bulls are banned, just like every one of her patients has the right not to attend her clinic where she brings her pit bulls. I applaud Mayor Pro Tem Joanne Sanders for bringing this issue to the forefront. In the interest of public safety, I recommend we enforce a spayneuter requirement on pit bulls while reviewing and revamping all of our policies relating to animal bites.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Dr. EDGAR JOGANIK (after trying to reattach scalp and ear to a pit bull victim) Pit bull attacks are typically the most severe, and in about one-third of all attacks, the animals are family pets or belong to close friends. That should be the message, that these dogs should not be around children, adults are just as likely to be victims. Everyone should be extremely cautious.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • ROBERT D. NEWMAN, M.D. As a pediatrician I was disturbed to read Vicki Hearne's assertion that there are no bad breeds, just bad dogs (Op-Ed, April 15). There is ample evidence to suggest that certain breeds of dogs are more dangerous to children than others. From 1979 to 1994, there were 177 known dog-bite-related fatalities in the United States. Of these fatalities, 66 percent were caused by five breeds: pit bull, Rottweiler, shepherd, husky and malamute. If you include crosses among these five breeds, that number rises to 82 percent. Other breeds, like Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers were not implicated in a single fatality during this same period. I laud the American Kennel Club's attempt to include information about dog breeds considered ''not good with children'' in the coming edition of ''The Complete Dog Book,'' and lament the fact that the book is being recalled at the request of some breeders. Seattle, April 16, 1998

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • DR RICHARD SATTIN, chief of unintentional-injuries section of the Centers of Disease Control We're trying to focus public attention on this greatly underestimated public hazard. In 1979, pit bulls accounted for 20 percent of fatal attacks by dogs. That figure had risen to 62 percent by 1988. Nobody knows the dog population of the United States or the exact breakdown by breed. We do not believe that pit bulls represent anywhere near 42% percent of dogs in the United States. Therefore, we believe that the pit bull excess in deaths is real and growing.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • HORSWELL BB, CHAHINE CJ, oral surgeons Dog bites of the facial region are increasing in children according to the Center for Disease Control. To evaluate the epidemiology of such injuries in our medical provider region, we undertook a retrospective review of those children treated for facial, head and neck dog bite wounds at a level 1 trauma center. Most dog bites occurred in or near the home by an animal known to the childfamily. Most injuries were soft tissue related, however more severe bites and injuries were observed in attacks from the pit-bull and Rottweiler breeds. Younger (under five years) children sustained more of the injuries requiring medical treatment. Injury Severity Scales were determined as well as victim and payer mix demographics, type and characteristics of injury, and complications from the attack.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Darrin Stephens

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Its always said "its the owners and not the dog" enough I say.Its time to get tough.You see them every day in the City Centre a,a certain type of person with these breeds an accessory for aggression.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • As mentioned previously, why is it the same the story over and over again 99% of the time its always a Staffordshire bull terrier thats caused the problems, when ever I take my dog for a walk which is a Miniature Schnauzer by the way I look at every dog that is near to us and use y personal judgement to whether I think they are a danger to my dog, if I see a staffy or anything similar then I take action to avoid it, Labradors, Spaniels greyhounds are non agressive dogs so they do not phase me, but staffies avoid like the plague !!!

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Always seems to be the same breed of dog attacking people, and usually the same sort of people having them as pets. You don't hear of Labradors or spaniels mauling people. Mandatory neutering of all bull terriers with pups only being available from reputable breeders and licence to own would help instead of people selling them on Facebook to top up their benefits.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Skoalbandit

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Often see dogs being "walked" on city roads with no lead. Perhaps we should return to licencing and any dogs that are unlicenced or not on a lead in a public place should be removed on sight.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    marty r

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • I think an outright ban on dogs would not work as some dogs like search and rescue or guide dogs do valuable work, but a ban on dogs in public places seems like a good idea as it would certainly make our environment safer and cleaner

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Ryan Bure

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • There do seem to have been a huge increase in the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by dog attacks, maybe a ban on dogs in public places could be the answer, then children could play in our parks without fear of injury or getting dog mess all over them, just a thought

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    michaelfane

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Firstly, I want to stress that I find this story shocking. No one should go through what Mr Dowe has. However, with reference to the previous comment - I'm not sure who you think would benefit from all dogs being completely banned from the city?! You seem to be forgetting that there is such a thing as a responsible dog owner (Mr Dowe being one of them). Responsible owners who should be able to own dogs without judgement or bans preventing them for being in public! Why should everyone be penalised for the horrific behaviour of those that do not act responsibly?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    NorwichGirl

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Another day another dog attack, high time dogs were banned from the city

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    blister

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • At a time when dogs are killing and injuring dozens of people in the UK it does seem somewhat foolhardy that a Dogs Charity is importing potentially dangerous dogs from Romania to give to people here. Given that dogs can transmit TB to humans or even attack them it does seem rather risky actions.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Ryan Bure

    Friday, July 18, 2014

  • Disgusting but all to familiar, how long before a child is killed, a rescue dog killed a child in Leicester recently, time to class dogs as a dangerous animal and limit their numbers

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    blister

    Friday, July 18, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT